Terra Satellite drift affects on MOPITT

Oct. 12, 2022, 3:25 p.m.

Project: MOPITT

On February 27, 2020, Terra completed all mission maneuvers related to maintaining a 10:30 mean local time (MLT) equator crossing and 705 km orbit altitude. Terra will begin drifting to an earlier MLT around April 2021. In October 2022, Terra will reach and exceed a 10:15 AM MLT crossing corresponding to a constellation exit with lower orbit altitude (694 km). MLT will continue to drift after this, reaching 9:00 AM around December 2025. After constellation exit, MOPITT science observations will continue in concert with the changing MLT. The major effect will be that the MOPITT surface sampling pattern will no longer be repeating every 16 days. However, sample locations will be reported with the data in the same format as current data. The MOPITT single pixel footprint size will decrease slightly, by 1.5%, as the orbit altitude is lowered from 705 km to 694 km. We do not expect these orbit changes to have significant impacts to MOPITT retrieval quality.

See: https://www2.acom.ucar.edu/mopitt/status for Instrument status.

Related URLS: https://www2.acom.ucar.edu/mopitt/news