One of NASAs monitoring systems, usually set up on a satellite, is reaching new ground. NASA is setting up a new monitoring site for their Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) experiment on Lake Superior’s Granite Island in Michigan. This project began in 1997 when the first CERES instrument was launched into orbit.
The CERES devices are meant to help determine Earth’s energy budget—how much of the sun’s radiation is reflected back to space by Earth’s land, water and atmosphere. Previously launched on satellites, CERES instruments provided detailed information about cloud properties, which play a huge role in how much solar radiation gets in and out of Earth’s system.
The instruments that were orbiting the Earth were able to measure energy at the top of the atmosphere and thereby estimate energy levels in the atmosphere and at Earth’s surface. The Granite Island Monitoring location will act as a check on these estimates and will provide direct measurements of clouds, sunshine, radiation and aerosols from Earth’s surface for comparison with satellite data.
For more information check out this article in The Mining Journal.