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Space-Based Measurements of Ozone and Air Quality in the Ultraviolet and Visible


As a team of NASA/Goddard scientists and engineers watched, a Soviet-built Cyclone booster carried the second TOMS into orbit and history. In the last days of the Cold War, Meteor-3 TOMS became the first and the last American-built instrument to fly on a Soviet spacecraft. Within weeks, Meteor-3 TOMS would become the first American instrument aboard a Russian spacecraft. Launched from the Plesetsk facility near the White Sea, Meteor-3 TOMS had a unique orbit that presented special problems for processing data.

Meteor-3 TOMS began returning data in August 1991 and stopped in December 1994. The Meteor-3 TOMS was launched from Plesetsk, Russia on a Cyclone booster. This link will help you learn more about the Russian Space Agency and their future Earth observing programs.

Current TOMS and OMI data were processed with the Version 8 algorithm that has been developed by NASA Goddard's Ozone Processing Team to address errors associated with extreme viewing conditions. The basic algorithm used just 2 wavelengths (317.5 and 331.2 nm under most conditions, and 331.2 and 360 nm for high ozone and high solar zenith angle conditions). The longer of the two wavelengths is used to derive the surface reflectivity (or cloud fraction). Once the surface reflectivity has been established, the shorter wavelength, which is heavily absorbed by ozone, may be used to derive total ozone. The algorithm also calculates the "aerosol index" (AI) from the difference in surface reflectivity derived from the 331.2 and 360 nm measurements. The AI primarily provides a measure of absorption of UV radiation by smoke and desert dust. This algorithm is described in detail in the TOMS algorithm theoretical basis document (ATBD). Interested viewers may also wish to read about the Version 8 algorithm.

Meteor-3 Mission PatchHere's the official Meteor-3 TOMS mission patch (98 Kbytes)
Note: A 200 dpi version of the mission patch is also available (437k)

Check out Meteor-3 TOMS data and images
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