EarthCARE satellite loads four instruments: a millimeter-wavelength cloud profiling radar (CPR), a high spectral resolution lidar (ATLID), a visible and infrared imager (MSI), and a broad-band radiometer (BBR).
The synergistic use of the radar, the lidar and the imager observations will enable three-dimensional global retrievals of clouds and aerosols. Furthermore, a broad-band radiometer will make collocated measurements of short-wave and long-wave radiances at the top of the atmosphere, in order to study radiation effect of cloudsand aerosols.
The cloud profiling radar will furthermore have the capability to observe vertical motions in clouds by Doppler measurements, and the lidar will have high spectral resolution so that the molecular return can be separated from the cloud/aerosol signal.
The EarthCARE will contribute to succeeding observations after NASA's A-Train (CloudSat and CALIPSO), and will produce more valuable information on clouds, aerosols and radiation.