Parasol (satellite)

PARASOL (Polarization & Anisotropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Sciences coupled with Observations from a Lidar) was a French-built Earth observing research satellite. It carried an instrument called POLDER which studied the radiative and microphysical properties of clouds and aerosols.

Mission typeEarth Observation
COSPAR ID2004-049G Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.28498Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration9 years
Start of mission
Launch dateDecember 18, 2004 (2004-12-18)
RocketAriane 5
Launch siteKourou, French Guiana
End of mission
DeactivatedDecember 18, 2013
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Satellites in A Train, prior to 2 December 2009: PARASOL is the second, from left

PARASOL was launched from the French spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on December 18, 2004 by an Ariane 5 G+.

It flew in formation in the "A Train" constellation with several other satellites (Aqua, CALIPSO, CloudSat and Aura). These satellites had, for the first time ever, combined a full suite of instruments for observing clouds and aerosols, from passive radiometers to active lidar and radar sounders.

On 2 December 2009, PARASOL was manoeuvred out of the A-Train, dropping some 4 km below the other satellites by early January 2010.[1]

The satellite's mission was formally ended exactly 9 years after launch on December 18, 2013. [2]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ The PARASOL Satellite Moving Off the A-Train's Track, Angelita Kelly & Rob Gutro, Goddard Space Flight Center, 4 January 2009, accessed 6 January 2009
  2. ^ PARASOL eoPortal Directory accessed 14 June 2016