Less than a month after its launch on May 29, 2024, ESA’s EarthCARE satellite has returned the first image on June 13 from its W-band (94 GHz) Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) instrument. For the first time from space, the image unveils the internal structure and dynamics of clouds which will lead to much better understanding and prediction of future climate changes. EarthCARE (Earth Cloud, Aerosol, Radiation Explorer mission) Cloud Profiling Radar was provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA.

QuinStar provided five W-band active components that make up the Transmit-Receive Front-end System of the radar.  These are: Low Noise Amplifier (LNA), Active Frequency Multiplier, Medium Power Driver Amplifier and Mixers for the Upconverter and Downconverter, all shown in Photograph above.

In addition to measuring the density and distribution by size of constituents of cloud, the Cloud Profiling Radar uses its Doppler velocity capability to measure the vertical speed of motion of the ice, snow and rain.

QuinStar’s W-band Active Components achieved state-of-the-art performance in the radar resulting in the unprecedented performance of CPR. QuinStar has also developed other uniquely advanced W-band Space Products, such as High Power Solid-State Power Amplifiers (SSPA) for the next generation of Cloud Radars currently undergoing design for advanced atmospheric satellite-based instruments.

EarthCARE also carries three other highly sophisticated instruments which working together with CPR will give us a holistic understanding of the highly complex interactions between clouds, aerosols, incoming solar radiation and outgoing thermal radiation to help understand the role that clouds and aerosols play in heating and cooling Earth’s atmosphere, thereby contributing to a better understanding of climate change.

For additional information on this and other Space Products produced by QuinStar for many successful Space Programs, and please contact sales@quinstar.com

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