About the Mission
What is ACE?
ACE is a tier-2 Decadal Survey mission focusing on Aerosol, Cloud systems, ocean Ecosystems, and the interactions among them.
What will ACE do?
ACE will assist in answering fundamental science questions associated with aerosols, clouds, and ocean ecosystems, by making improved and more comprehensive measurements through the use of innovative and advanced remote sensing technologies. Aerosols measured by ACE include those of both man-made and natural origins, the latter of which is contributed significantly by ocean ecosystems.
For aerosols, ACE seeks to distinguish aerosol types and associated optical properties and size. For cloud systems and processes, ACE will measure profiles of cloud hydrometeors, distinguishing cloud droplets and raindrops, and ice crystals and snow, including profile measurements of particle size and cloud optical properties. The properties and behaviors of cloud hydrometeors are known to change in the presence of aerosols while clouds are also known to significantly process and alter the aerosols population.
he surface and microscopic ecosystem of Earth's ocean is a crucial link in the global carbon cycle. ACE will be able to make more accurate measurements and distinguish those ocean ecosystem components that actively take up and/or store carbon dioxide from those that don't.
What are the goals?
- Improved understandings of Earth system interactions among aerosols, cloud and precipitation systems, and ocean ecosystems, specifically
- Quantify direct radiation effect of aerosols
- Assess indirect effects of aerosols through modification of hydrometeor profiles in cloud systems
- Observe and distinguish those ocean ecosystem components that actively take up and/or store carbon dioxide
- Measure and quantify the linkage between the ocean ecosystems and atmospheric aerosols
Achievement of these goals will result in enhanced capabilities to observe and predict changes to the Earth's hydrological cycle and energy balance in response to climate forcings.
Benefits of ACE
- ACE will narrow the uncertainty in aerosol-cloud-precipitation interaction and quantify the role of aerosols in climate change.
- ACE will provide more comprehensive knowledge of cloud processes, especially advancing knowledge of the ice phase and the partition of liquid-phase and ice phase
- ACE measurements will help climate modelers make more precise predictions of climate change.
- ACE will measure the ocean ecosystem changes and precisely quantify ocean carbon uptake.
- ACE measurements will improve air quality forecasting by determining the height and type of aerosols being transported long distances.
Decadal Survey Recommended Payload
- Lidar for measurement of aerosol heights, cloud top heights, and aerosol properties
- Radar measurements of microphysics structure for cloud and precipitation
- Polarimeter for measuring aerosol optical properties and aerosol types
- Ocena color spectrometer for measuring ocean leaving light which contains information on biological components
Enhanced Science Payload
- Infrared radiometer imager for cloud measurements
- High frequency microwave radiometer for cloud ice measurements
- Low frequency microwave radiometer for precipitation and water measurements
- Microwave temperature and humidity sounder
Canadian Smoke Event
Fires near Hudson Bay degrade East
Coast air quality as far south as North Carolina
Florida Red Tide
SeaWIFS (L and LR) and MODIS Fluorescence (UR) images of red tide near Florida, Oct. 31 and Nov. 21