Headlines > News > CALIPSO team honoured with a NASA Group Achievement Award

CALIPSO team honoured with a NASA Group Achievement Award

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:25 pm
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(Thales Alenia Space) – Thales Alenia Space is the CALIPSO industrial prime contractor and has provided the PROTEUS platform.

Cannes – The CALIPSO Team has been honored with a NASA Group Achievement Award on July 13 for exceptional achievements in the successful development, launch, and operation of the CALIPSO satellite. This is a wonderful tribute to the many team members on both sides of the Atlantic that are fully committed to make CALIPSO the success it is.

The climatology satellite Calipso (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) has been launched in April 2006 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base and spaceport in California.

This climatology mission, designed to support the sustainable development of our planet, is a joint program of NASA and French space agency CNES, with Thales Alenia Space* and Ball Aerospace as the main industry partners.

Calipso is dedicated to help scientists understand the Earth’s climatic system and predict global changes, an ability limited until now by uncertainty about the radiation impact of clouds and aerosols. It will supply a unique set of data on vertical atmosphere profiles, using the first satellite-mounted backscatter lidar (LIght Detection And Ranging).

Today the lidar has produced about 600 million profiles and the data are revealing cloud and aerosol structures across the globe in greater detail than seen ever before. Scientists are now using this information to better understand their effects on climate, weather, and air quality. Calipso is also able to identify cloud and aerosol features, precisely determine their altitude and distinguish different types of particles. In August 2006, scientists were thus able to track tiny grains of dust as they drifted from Africa to America.

* Thales Alenia Space is the CALIPSO industrial prime contractor and has provided the PROTEUS platform.

About Thales Alenia Space
European leader in satellite systems and at the forefront of orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Together with Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space forms the “Space Alliance” between the two groups. The company is a worldwide reference in telecoms, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. With 7200 employees and 11 industrial sites, Thales Alenia Space is located in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium. www.thalesaleniaspace.com

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