Space data


POLDER (POLarization and Directionality of the Earth’s Reflectances) instrument analyses the intensity and direction of light reflected by the Earth and its atmosphere, as well as its polarization, a physical characteristic describing how waves propagate. Such measurements reveal some interesting properties of clouds and aerosols, thereby telling us more about how they affect climate. Designed and developed by CNES, in close collaboration with the LOA atmospheric optics laboratory in Lille, the POLDER instrument is mainly dedicated to the study the of the clouds and aerosols properties, but it also provides valuable information on the directionality of terrestrial reflectances and on the ocean colour. It has been the first space instrument to provide global and systematic spectral, directional and polarization measurements of radiation reflected from the Earth and atmosphere.

Stratospheric sounders

Several satellites and space-based instruments were launched in the 1990s-2000 to observe the ozone layer in the stratosphere. More generally, the objective was to better understand the chemistry of the middle stratosphere (stratosphere, mesosphere) and to validate chemistry-transport models to reproduce and predict the ozone hole. These instruments are generally spectrometers covering various spectral ranges, […]



The aim of the mission is to provide the global measurements of aerosols and clouds needed to achieve a better understanding of their role in climate, and to improve our ability to predict long-term climate change and seasonal or inter-annual variations. CALIPSO and CloudSat are highly complementary and together provide 3-D perspectives of how clouds and aerosols form, evolve, and affect weather and climate. They fly in formation with other satellites in the A-train constellation to enable an even greater understanding of our climate system from the broad array of sensors on these other spacecraft. CALIPSO and CloudSat are in orbit around the Earth at an altitude of 705 km, with a nominal inclination of approximately 98.2 degrees. They were launched together on April 2006 for an initial duration of 3 years. However, due to their good performance, their missions have been gradually extended until 2022.


The project Developed by CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) in partnership with Eumetsat (EUropean organisation for the exploitation of METeorological SATellites), the IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) instrument was designed for operational meteorology and for monitoring atmospheric chemistry and climate. IASI is a thermal infrared Fourier transform spectrometer flying onboard the Metop-A (2006), Metop-B (2012) […]


The project Megha-Tropiques is a space mission jointly managed by the space agencies CNES and ISRO. This mission is designed to study the convective systems of the atmosphere and more particularly the analysis of the water cycle through the transport and distribution of water vapor, the life cycle of convective systems and energy exchanges in […]


Scientific goals The scientific objectives of Parasol are to characterise the radiative and microphysical properties of clouds and aerosols eby making the best use of the complementary nature of the data provided by the various sensors on the AQUA platform, and those of the Calipso and CLOUDSAT missions. For a long time only greenhouse gases […]

Others projects

Name Description Start date End date Data access
CloudSat - 31/10/2006 - -
CALIPSO Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation Calipso is a joint Earth science mission between NASA and CNES dedicated to the measure of the vertical distributions as well as of the optical and physical properties of aerosols and clouds in the atmosphere, which influence the Earth’s radiation balance. For this purpose, it combines an active lidar instrument with passive infrared and visible imagers. 30/10/2006 31/12/2022 -
SMR Sub-millimeter Microwave Radiometer The Swedish SMR instrument, developed jointly with France and Finland, was launched on 20 February 2001 on board the Swedish mini-satellite ODIN . This microwave receiver is operational in the millimetre range around 119 GHz and in the submillimetre range between 480 and 580 GHz (although to date only submillimetre measurements have been analysed). Aimed […] 20/02/2001 -
POAM (Polar Ozone and Aerosol Measurement) Polar Ozone and Aerosol Measurement The POAM instruments were developed by the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to measure the vertical distribution in the atmosphere of ozone, water vapour and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), as well as aerosol extinction and temperature. The first, POAM 2, was installed on the CNES satellite SPOT 3: it was launched in September 1996 and ceased […] 01/09/1996 31/05/2006 -
ILAS (Improved Limb Atmospheric Photometer) Improved Limb Atmospheric Photometer The ILAS instrument, developed by the Japan Environment Agency (NIES), was launched on the ADEOS 1 satellite on 17 August 1996. It was a visible/infrared spectrometer, recording atmospheric absorption spectra by solar occultation and its main objective was to monitor stratospheric ozone in the polar regions. Products available on AERIS ILAS : Two ILAS datasets […] 17/08/1996 30/06/1997
SAGE II (Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment) Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment The SAGE II instrument was developed by NASA to provide the scientific community with a global and long-term description of the distribution of aerosols, ozone, water vapour and NO2. It thus provides a unique and crucial database to improve our understanding of global, seasonal and interannual climate variability and, in particular, stratospheric ozone trends. This […] 01/10/1984 31/08/2005 -
AERUS-GEO - - - -