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MISR - Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer
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Science Goals

MISR's Study of Aerosols MISR's Study of Clouds MISR's Study of Earth's Surface

MISR Applications of Global Multi-Angle Imagery

Climate is what makes Earth habitable. And the climate is constantly changing -- as a consequence of both natural processes and human activities. We care a great deal about even small changes in Earth's climate, since they can affect our comfort and well-being, and possibly our survival. Even a few years of below-average rainfall, an unusually cold winter, or a change in emissions from a coal-burning power plant, can influence the quality of life of people, plants, and animals in the region involved.

The goal of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) is to increase our understanding of the climate changes that are occurring on our planet, and the reasons for these changes, so we are better equipped to anticipate and prepare for the future. The MISR instrument is a part of EOS. Its role is to measure how much sunlight is scattered in different directions under natural conditions. This will help quantify the amount of solar energy that heats Earth's surface and atmosphere, and the changes that occur in these quantities over the six-year nominal lifetime of the MISR instrument.

From the MISR observations, we will also learn more about those components of Earth environment that scatter sunlight in the first place: particles in the atmosphere, the planet's surface, and clouds. MISR will monitor changes in surface reflection properties, in atmospheric aerosol content and composition, and in cloudiness. We will use these data to study the effects of land use changes, air pollution, and volcanic eruptions, as well as processes such as desertification, deforestation, and soil erosion. As part of the EOS program, computer models that predict future climate will be improved by the results of these studies.