Mon, May 23, 2005
A Five Year Mission
The Active Cavity Radiometer
Irradiance Monitor satellite, (AcrimSat) has completed its
five-year primary mission successfully. The satellite was launched
in December 1999 to study how solar energy affects the weather and
climate here on Earth.
The Acrim III instrument on board the spacecraft is the third of
a series of solar monitoring tools built by NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The instrument measures solar
irradiance and how it impacts Earth's winds, land and oceans.
"The satellite's measurements of total solar irradiance have
been the most precise ever collected," said Roger Helizon, AcrimSat
project manager/scientist at JPL. "The mission has provided a
wealth of data for its relatively small cost of 30-million
Data from the instrument is used to create global climate models
and to study solar physics. When Venus passed between the Earth and
Sun in June 2004, AcrimSat measured a drop in the solar energy
equivalent to all the energy used by humans in 2003.
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