Wisconsin Snow and Cloud Experiment - Terra 2000

Project Description
The Wisconsin Snow and Cloud - Terra 2000 (WISC-T2000) experiment is
being conducted from February 25 to March 13, 2000 to validate science
products from instruments on NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra
satellite. The recently launched (Dec. 1999) Terra satellite is the
first of two (the second, called Aqua, is scheduled for launch in
Dec. 2000) EOS satellites designed to measure earth surface and
atmospheric characteristics over the global domain. Expected science
products include global cloud cover and cloud type, atmospheric
temperature and moisture, surface reflectance, and sea surface
temperature among many others. These measurements will lead to further
understanding of the earth's radiation budget and global climate
change. WISC-T2000 focuses on two of the five Terra instruments, the
MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the
Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR). During the experiment a
NASA ER-2 aircraft will be based in Madison, WI and will carry
carefully calibrated instrumentation designed to simulate MODIS and
MISR measurements from Terra. The ER-2 will be used to map surface and
atmospheric properties while Terra is overhead. The ER-2
instrumentation includes the MODIS Airborne Simulator (MAS), the
Scanning High-resolution Interferometer Sounder (S-HIS), the Cloud
Lidar System (CLS), the Air Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer
(AirMISR), and two camera systems. The MAS data will provide 50 m
resolution images of the earth in solar and thermal bands for mapping
high resolution spatial variation. The S-HIS will be used to measure
the vertical atmospheric profile, producing soundings much like
weather balloons. CLS will be used to map the vertical profile of
clouds and aerosols beneath the ER-2. AirMISR will make multi-angle
measurements of earth reflectance to assess the angular distribution
of solar reflection.

There are several primary objectives of WISC-T2000:

1.To validate cloud detection, cloud height, and cloud particle
characteristics measured by MODIS on Terra, the ER-2 will fly under
MODIS while single layer ice and water clouds are in the scene. These
flights will take place over the DOE ARM CART site in Oklahoma where
many ground-based instruments will also be making cloud measurements.

2.To validate snow detection by MODIS, the ER-2 will fly over snow
fields in the Upper Midwest with measurement teams on the ground. MAS
data will be used to map the spatial variability of the snow fields
for comparison to MODIS.

3.To validate the multi-angle reflectance characteristics of snow
fields, the AirMISR instrument will measure snow surfaces on frozen
Upper Midwest lakes at the same viewing angles as those of MISR.

4.To validate clear atmospheric temperature and moisture structure,
MAS and S-HIS measurements over the DOE ARM CART site will be compared
to those from MODIS.

5.To validate the radiometric calibration of MODIS, MAS and S-HIS
radiance measurements will be compared directly to those of
MODIS. This important fuResults of the above objectives will be used
to adjust and refine the MODIS and MISR global products leading to a
more accurate assessment of the earth's current climate status and
changes that occur over the 10 year combined lifetime of the Terra and
ensuing Aqua missions.

WISC-T2000, the first in a series of Terra science product validation
experiments, is a combined effort of NASA's Dryden Flight Research
Center (DFRC), the University of Wisconsin's Space Science and
Engineering Center (SSEC), NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the
University of Colorado and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
(GSFC). The ER-2 instrumentation has been developed and maintained at
SSEC, JPL, GSFC, and NASA's Ames Research Center.

WWW: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/wisct2000/

[This summary was extracted from the WISC-T2000 Home Page]