The PARASOL (Polarization and Anisotropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Science coupled with Observations from a Lidar) mission defined in 1999 intends to characterize the radiative properties of clouds and aerosols by taking advantage of its complementarity with the other instruments in the A-Train formation, which include the CERES and MODIS radiometers onboard the Aqua satellite, a lidar onboard Calipso and a radar onboard Cloudsat. 

The instrument was designed by the Atmospheric Optics Laboratory (LOA). It includes:

  • a digital camera with a 274 x 242-pixel CCD sensor array,
  • a wide-field telecentric optics and
  • a rotating wheel

The instruments makes measurements at different wavelengths (443, 490, 565, 670, 763, 765, 865, 910 and 1020 nm) and in several polarization directions. Spectral responses are available for POLDER1, POLDER-2 and PARASOL. Since it acquires a sequence of images every 20 seconds, the instrument can view ground targets from different angles. Compared to POLDER, the PARASOL sensor array was rotated 90 degrees to favor multidirectional observation over daily global coverage. Likewise, a 1020 nm channel was added to make measurements to compare to data acquired by the lidar onboard CALISPO. 

 (cit: ICARE)   


Status: Operational
Satellite ADEOS-II
Launch Date: December 2002
Type: Multiple direction/polarisation radiometers
Measurements and Applications: Measures polarisation, and directional and spectral characteristics of the solar light reflected by aerosols, clouds, oceans and land surfaces

Technical Characteristics

Resolution:  5.5 km
N. of Bands: 9
Wavebands: VIS - NIR: 0.490 - 1.02 ┬Ám
Swath: 1600 km


POLDER Products Ditribution Center http://polder.cnes.fr/
POLDER 1 Spectral Response http://smsc.cnes.fr/POLDER/Doc/PolderSpectrum.tar
POLDER 2 Spectral Response http://smsc.cnes.fr/POLDER/Doc/Polder2Spectrum.txt
PARASOL Spectral Response http://smsc.cnes.fr/PARASOL/PARASOL_spectral_response.xls


 Ocean Color POLDER-2 Web Page http://www.ioccg.org/sensors/polder2.html