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News: Radio Astronomy Notice

UPDATE: 1 November 2018

CloudSat is operating during the sunlit portion of each orbit, but it does NOT operate during eclipse (night-time). The web-based orbit prediction tool can be used to determine when CloudSat will fly over your observatory:

http://www-angler.larc.nasa.gov/cloudsat/

CloudSat is no longer part of the A-Train at 705km altitude. CloudSat is orbiting below the A-Train at an altitude of approximately 689 km. The CloudSat orbit is no longer sun-synchronous – the MLTAN is current increasing (i.e. the ascending node of the orbit is moving eastward by six to eight minutes per year. The orbit altitude will slowly decrease, and the inclination will slowly increase for the next few years until end of mission is reached. Both of these changes will cause the MLTAN to increase at a slowly accelerating rate.

It is important to regularly check predictions of CloudSat overflights of your facility using the website tool weblink, above.

The CloudSat cloud-radar (CPR) footprint is offset along-track from the satellite nadie by 0.16 degrees, and this configuration is stable. This means that the CPR boresight is approximately 1.9km ahead of the sub-satellite (nadir) position.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Deborah Vane
dvane@jpl.nasa.gov

Mona Witkowski
Mona.M.Witkowski@jpl.nasa.gov