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The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation satellite is a joint project by NASA and the French Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) to study the role that clouds (particularly thin clouds) and aerosols play in determining weather, climate, and air quality. It has an active lidar system, and passive infrared and visible imaging systems. The satellite is in a polar orbit and is part of the Afternoon-Train constellation. Its observations are designed to complement those made by Cloudsat (launched by the same rocket on 26 April 2006), and the two satellites are positioned so that the interval between them is no more than 15 seconds, thus providing essentially simultaneous observations of the same region. See also Aqua; Aura; Orbiting Carbon Observatory; Parasol.

Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

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