CERES (Cloud and Earth's Radiant Energy System) instruments were launched aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) in November 1997 and on the EOS Terra satellite in December 1999. Two additional instruments will fly on the EOS Aqua spacecraft in 2002. Multiple satellites are needed to provide adequate temporal sampling since clouds and radiative fluxes vary throughout the day. The first 24 months of CERES data collected on both TRMM and Terra demonstrate that the CERES instruments are substantially improved over the ERBE instruments. The CERES data show lower noise, improved ties to the ground calibration in absolute terms, and smaller fields of view. CERES instrument calibration stability on TRMM and Terra is typically better than 0.2%, and calibration consistency from ground to space is better than 0.25%. Onboard calibration sources provide traceability of the measurements to the International Temperature Scale of 1990 at the 0.2% level. Such levels of accuracy have never before been achieved for radiation budget instruments


Status: Operational
Satellite Terra/Aqua
Launch Date: December 1999
Type: Earth radiation budget radiometers
Measurements and Applications: Long term measurement of the Earth's radiation budget and atmospheric radiation from the top of the atmosphere to the surface; provision of an accurate and self-consistent cloud and radiation database.

Technical Characteristics

Resolution: 20 km
N. of Bands: 3
Wavebands: 0.3-5 µm
0.3 - 100 µm
8 - 12 µm




CERES Web Page http://science.larc.nasa.gov/ceres/