The CLARREO imperative to initiate an unprecedented, high accuracy record of
climate change that is tested, trusted and necessary to provide sound policy
decisions can only be achieved through advances in the current state of satellite
sensor calibration. Accuracy requirements and attributes of a climate monitoring
system are outlined in the recent "Achieving Satellite Instrument Calibration for Climate Change"
As stated in ASIC3, “Design of climate observing and monitoring systems must ensure the establishment of global,
long-term climate records that are of high accuracy, tested for systematic errors on-orbit,
and tied to irrefutable international standards maintained in the U.S. by the
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).”
Current satellite-based sensors are not designed to meet the accuracy requirements of CLARREO.
Many sensors used for climate measurements were designed to meet operational weather needs and
are not optimized for climate sampling. These sensors, along with older instruments designed for climate,
lack the ability to test for systematic errors on orbit. The CLARREO mission is designed to meet these
goals through careful consideration of the instrument design, calibration traceability at all stages
of development and operation, and spectral, spatial, and temporal sampling focused specifically
on the creation of climate records.
As CLARREO orbits at 609 km altitude (red), it crosses a satellite such as Suomi NPP (green)
with an operational sensor (e.g CERES, VIIRS). The CLARREO RS spectrometer collects data matched in time,
space, and view angles to provide a reference intercalibration standard for the target sensors.