Essential tools for space-based climate studies
Radiometers—instruments that measure the energy emitted at specific wavelengths—are increasingly important tools in the Earth and space sciences, especially for climate studies.
LASP is a world leader in developing instruments to measure the amount of solar radiation entering Earth’s atmosphere, as well as the amount that’s absorbed, reflected, and emitted back to space. The balance between the two, called Earth’s radiation budget, is a key factor in determining our climate: if our planet absorbs more heat than it emits, it warms; if the opposite happens, and Earth emits more heat than it absorbs, it cools.
For NASA’s Libera mission, LASP is currently building an innovative solar instrument with advanced detectors that will set new standards of accuracy for quantifying changes in the flow of energy through the Earth system and allow scientists to investigate their underlying causes.