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The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO)

CALIPSO, a joint mission between NASA and the French space agency, CNES, provides new insight into the role that clouds and atmospheric aerosols (airborne particles) play in regulating Earth's weather, climate, and air quality.


October 01, 2021: Data Release of CALIPSO IIR Level 3 GEWEX Cloud Monthly Product Version 1.00
The Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) at NASA Langley Research Center in collaboration with the CALIPSO mission team announces the release of a new CALIPSO IIR level 3 (L3) Global Energy and Water cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Cloud product. This new data product is a reformatted version of CALIPSO’s contribution to the GEWEX cloud assessment of global cloud datasets from satellites ( The files include global distributions of clouds microphysical properties along with cloud amount, radiative temperature, effective emissivity, and cloud optical depth as averages and histograms on a uniform 2-dimensional (2D) spatial grid. All level 3 parameters are derived from the CALIPSO IIR version 4.2 level 2 products, with a temporal averaging of one month.

  • CAL_IIR_L3_GEWEX_Cloud-Standard-V1-00

The monthly products are available beginning with data from June 2006 through December 2016.

Information about this new data product including data availability, user documentation and quality statements, relevant links, and tools for working with the data, etc. can be found at the following ASDC link:

An in-depth data quality document and description document can be found in the following CALIPSO links:

June 30, 2021: Retirement of older CALIPSO Data Products
Several CALIPSO Lidar and IIR data products have been pulled from the public and are no longer orderable. These data products, spanning from June 13, 2006 to September 30, 2020, have been replaced with newer versions. Versions of these data products after October 1, 2020 are still orderable but will be periodically pulled to only maintain the most recent 6-12 months of data at a time.

To view the entire list of pulled datasets, click here.

January 20, 2022 - ATTENTION:
The CALIPSO payload was powered off on January 20th at 14UTC due to significant solar activity. No data will be collected and processed during at this time. There will be an attempt to power on the payload Tuesday January 25th depending on the proton levels.

May 04, 2020 - ATTENTION:
Due to errors seen in the Level 0 data from the WFC starting on April 11th, 2020 CALIPSO has suspended processing and distribution of the Level 1 standard and expedited WFC products. IIR Level 2 processing scripts have been modified to ignore the loss of the WFC data stream with minimal impact to the data. Browse images will continue to be generated without the WFC contribution.

June 20, 2018 - ATTENTION: ONGOING
CALIOP is experiencing an elevated frequency of low energy laser shots within and near the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) region which has degraded the science quality of affected profiles since September 2016. Please see the Low Laser Energy Advisory page for further information and guidance for identifying affected profiles.


The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) satellite provides new insight into the role that clouds and atmospheric aerosols (airborne particles) play in regulating Earth's weather, climate, and air quality.

CALIPSO combines an active lidar instrument with passive infrared and visible imagers to probe the vertical structure and properties of thin clouds and aerosols over the globe. CALIPSO was launched on April 28, 2006 with the cloud profiling radar system on the CloudSat satellite.

CALIPSO and CloudSat are highly complementary and together provide new, never-before-seen 3-D perspectives of how clouds and aerosols form, evolve, and affect weather and climate. CALIPSO and CloudSat fly in formation with three other satellites in the A-train constellation to enable an even greater understanding of our climate system from the broad array of sensors on these other spacecraft.

CALIPSO is a joint U.S. (NASA) and French (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales/CNES) satellite mission that has been in operation for four years.  » Read more …


» CALIPSO’s Data Availability Tool
» CALIPSO’s Search and Subsetting Web Application

Last Updated: January 04, 2022
Curator: Charles R. Trepte
NASA Official: Charles R. Trepte

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