About this Research Topic
The NOAA Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) carries two Earth science instruments, the NASA Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Advanced Radiometer (NISTAR) providing data since 2015. The DSCOVR unique location at the first Lagrange point (L1) about 1.5 million km from Earth toward the sun provides multiple daily views of the entire illuminated disk of the Earth from sunrise to sunset at the backscattering direction (scattering angles between 168° and 178°). EPIC is a CCD camera with 10 narrowband filters covering UV, visible and near-IR spectrum including two oxygen absorption channels. NISTAR provides continuous measurements of the entire sunlit face of Earth in 3 broad bands: total radiation 0.2-100um, total solar reflected 0.2-4um, and near-IR solar reflected 0.7-4um.
EPIC makes from 13 in winter to 22 in summer daytime observations covering the entire sunlit part of Earth. Such high cadence of observations at planetary scale allows to characterize events and diurnal cycles of clouds, aerosols, and properties of the land surface and ocean, still unachievable with the modern fleet of the polar and geostationary space missions. Combined with good radiometric performance, continuous reliable calibration, and a rather unique combination of spectral bands, including UV and O2 A and B-bands, this makes DSCOVR EPIC a unique and innovative science mission making discoveries and serving as a pathfinder for the next generations of the Earth science missions.
Our goal is to provide a synergistic overview of the total scope of the mission and science, which can be summarized in a title: “DSCOVR EPIC/NISTAR: 5 years of Observing Earth from the first Lagrangian Point.”
The proposed Research Topic will include the following themes:
• EPIC and NISTAR radiometric characterization and calibration;
• Ozone, SO2 from volcanic eruptions and other trace gases;
• Aerosols from EPIC: algorithms and data analysis;
• Clouds from EPIC: algorithms and data analysis;
• Ocean properties from EPIC;
• Land and vegetation characterization from EPIC;
• Science with EPIC and NISTAR observations.
About twice a year the orbit of DSCOVR crosses the orbital plane of the Moon. This Research Topic's cover image was taken by DSCOVR/EPIC on October 2, 2020 (https://epic.gsfc.nasa.gov/galleries/2020/lunar_transit) when the moon was passing behind the Earth. The Topic Editors would like to acknowledge Karin Blank from NASA/GSFC who produced this image.
Keywords: aerosols, clouds, trace gases, vegetation, ocean remote sensing
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