Aura (satellite)

Aura (satellite)

Aura (EOS CH-1) is a multi-national NASA scientific research satellite in orbit around the Earth, studying the Earth's ozone layer, air quality and climate. It is the third major component of the Earth Observing System (EOS) following on Terra (launched 1999) and Aqua (launched 2002). Aura follows on from the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS).

The name "Aura" comes from the Latin word for air. The satellite was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on July 15, 2004 aboard a Boeing Delta II 7920-10L rocket. Aura flies in formation with the "A Train", a collection of several other satellites (Aqua, CALIPSO, CloudSat and the French PARASOL), in a sun-synchronous orbit, the satellites having an equatorial crossing time in the afternoon.

Aura carries four instruments for studies of atmospheric chemistry:
*HIRDLS — High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder - measures infrared radiation from ozone, water vapor, CFCs, methane and nitrogen compounds. Developed jointly with the United Kingdom Natural Environment Research Council.
*MLS — Microwave Limb Sounder - measures emissions from ozone, chlorine and other trace gases, and clarifies the role of water vapor in global warming.
*OMI — Ozone Monitoring Instrument - uses ultraviolet and visible radiation to produce daily high-resolution maps. Developed by the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programmes.
*TES — Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer - measures tropospheric ozone in infrared wavelengths, also carbon monoxide, methane and nitrogen oxides.

The Aura spacecraft has a mass of about 1,765 kg. The body is 6.9 m long with the extended single solar panel about 15 m.

ee also

*Terra (satellite)
*Aqua (satellite)

External links

* [ NASA site]
* [ Aura validation data centre]
* [ Aura Mission Profile] by [ NASA's Solar System Exploration]

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