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2021 Robert H. Goddard Award - Air-LUSI team

air-LUSI telescope

The air-LUSI telescope during a calibration. The light on the other side of the room is an “artificial moon,” a stable source of light that has already been well-characterized.

Credit: NASA photo/Ken Ulbrich

NIST air-LUSI team members together with team members from the University of Guelph, McMaster University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, U.S. Geological Survey, and NASA were recognized for the development and demonstration of the air-LUSI instrument, which has successfully flown several flights on a NASA ER-2 high altitude aircraft. The air-LUSI instrument makes accurate measurements of the Moon’s irradiance to allow the Moon to serve as a standard for the on-orbit calibration and validation of Earth remote sensing satellites that have sensors operating in the near-infrared or visible spectral regions. The anticipation is that the air-LUSI effort will improve lunar calibration capacity by providing accurate spectral irradiance measurements above most of the interfering atmosphere. This improvement would facilitate satellite constellation observatories, that are providing near constant monitoring of Earth systems worldwide, by enabling more accurate long-term, satellite climate records.


Created January 25, 2022, Updated February 7, 2022