The Wide Field of View Camera (WFC) will provide, by day, the context of the lidar measurement.
It is a single-channel imager at 645 nm derived from a commercial star tracker of the Ball Aerospace American company.
The field of view is 60 km, centred on the lidar's spot. The detector is a 512x512 pixels CCD array. Each pixel size covers 125 m on the ground. The full resolution is kept in an area of 5 km along the satellite track. Outside this area the resolution is degraded on board to 1 km.
The WFC images provide the context for the scientific analysis of the vertical profiles measured by the lidar. Thanks to them, the CALIPSO observations will be co-registered with AQUA and PARASOL observations. The WFC spectral band matches the MODIS channel 1. The camera will aqquire scientific data only during the sun-lit part of the orbit. There is no calibration device for the WFC on board.