THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – INSTRUMENT SUMMARY - CPR (CloudSat) -
Full Name Cloud Profiling Radar Status Operational
Instrument Agencies NASA Maturity
Instrument Type Cloud profile and rain radars Geometry Nadir-viewing
Instrument Technology Cloud and precipitation radar Sampling Sounding
Data Access Open Access Data Format HDF-EOS
Measurements and Applications Primary goal to provide data needed to evaluate and improve the way clouds are represented in global climate models. Measures vertical profile of clouds.
Resolution Summary Vertical: 500 m, Cross-track: 1.4 km, Along-track: 2.5 km
Swath Summary Instantaneous Footprint < 2 km
Accuracy Summary detects ice clouds optical depth >1, water clouds optical depth >3, ice content to +100%, -50%, liquid content to <50%, in-cloud heating to within 1K day-1 km-1
Waveband Summary Microwave: 94 GHz
MW (~1.0 cm - ~100 cm)
W-Band (94 GHz)
Instrument Measurements
CategoryParameterAccuracy
Atmospheric Temperature FieldsCloud base height500 [m]
Cloud particle properties and profileCloud liquid water (LT, HT, TC)0.5 [g-m-3]
Precipitation Profile (liquid or solid)0.3 [-]
Cloud ice (LT, HT, TC)-2 [g-m-3]
Cloud ice content (at cloud top)0.5 [g-m-3]
Cloud optical depth 
Cloud type, amount and cloud top temperatureCloud imagery500 [m]
Cloud type 
Cloud cover 
Liquid water and precipitation ratePrecipitation rate (liquid) at the surface0.3 [-]
Precipitation rate (solid) at the surface0.3 [-]
Radiation budgetDownwelling (Incoming) long-wave radiation at the Earth surface10 [W/m2]
Instrument Missions
CloudSat - CloudSat (2006 - 2017)
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