November 19, 2023

Wide-Field Camera (WFC)

The Wide Field Camera (WFC) is designed, by day, to provide context for lidar measurements.

It is a 645-nm single-channel imager derived from a commercial star tracker built by U.S. firm Ball Aerospace.

The field of view is 60 kilometres, centred on the lidar's spot. The detector is a 512x512 pixel CCD array. Each pixel covers 125 metres on the ground. Full resolution is retained within an area of five kilometres on either side of the satellite’s ground track. Outside this area resolution is degraded on board to one kilometre.

WFC images provide context for scientific analysis of the vertical profiles measured by the lidar, enabling CALIPSO observations to be co-registered with Aqua and PARASOL observations. WFC’s spectral band matches the MODIS instrument’s channel 1. The camera acquires science data only during the sunlit part of the orbit. There is no calibration device for WFC on the satellite