Successful launch of EarthCARE!

On May 29 (Japan Standard Time), the Earth observation satellite EarthCARE (Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer), nicknamed Hakuryu (White Dragon), jointly developed and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), was launched launched by the SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA.

EarthCARE is equipped with four sensors: Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR), Atmospheric Lidar (ATLID), Multi-wavelength Imager (MSI), and BroadBand Radiation Balance (BBR). Japan was in charge of CPR development. The others were developed by Europe, while Japan was responsible for the development of algorithms to derive aerosol and cloud optical property prodouts from the ATLID.

To validate these products, the use of the SKYNET network led by CEReS and the AD-Net lidar network of closely related national laboratories is planned.


Coinciding with the launch, sky radiometer observations have resumed for the first time in 11 months at Lauder, New Zealand, an important southern hemisphere site for SKYNET. Lidar observations were also resumed at the Chiba University Atmospheric Environment Observation Supersite, the common site for SKYNET, AD-Net, and A-SKY, for the first time in 13 months.

JAXA | Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) Launch Result

credit: ESA/JAXA

The observation site in Lauder has reopend. | SKYNET (
LIDAR observations at the Chiba site have resumed. | A-SKY (


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