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Click on the image above to see a video of (a simulation of) EarthCARE in orbit

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The EarthCARE satellite during system testing at ESTEC

Welcome to the EarthCARE ESA Validation Portal.

This part of the EarthCARE validation website serves as introductory information for scientists interested in EarthCARE validation, and also acts as a landing page for the (restricted)  collaboration environment for the Principal Investigators of the ESA EarthCARE Validation Team. Scientists that are interested to collaborate on EarthCARE Validation are requested to contact in order to obtain information on how to join the EarthCARE Validation Team.

titleEarthCARE Validation Team Principal Investigator access

Welcome to(this test of) the EarthCARE Validation Portal.

Introduction to the EarthCARE mission 

EarthCARE will measure the 3D structure of cloud and aerosols, together with collocated observations of solar (shortwave) and terrestrial (thermal) radiation. For this purpose, the satellite carries four scientific instruments, two active instruments – a lidar and a radar – to measure the vertical distribution of clouds and aerosols, an imager  to collect cloud and aerosol information across the satellite ground track and a broadband radiometer for measuring outgoing reflected solar and emitted thermal at the top of the atmosphere.  , ESA’s Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer mission developed in co-operation with JAXA, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, will address the need for a better understanding of the interactions between cloud, radiative and aerosol processes that play a role in climate regulation. That ESA-JAXA Joint mission was selected as the 6th Earth Explorer Mission and 3rd ESA Earth Observation Core Mission during the Granada ESA meeting in October 2004.

The EarthCARE mission aims to improve the representation and understanding of the Earth's radiative balance in climate and numerical weather forecast models by acquiring vertical profiles of clouds and aerosols, as well as the radiances at the top of the atmosphere. Aerosols control cloud properties, while clouds control the production of precipitation and convection influences stratospheric humidity. The observations of EarthCARE will therefore lead to more reliable climate predictions and better weather forecasts through the improved representation of processes involving clouds, aerosol and radiation.

The satellite will weigh about 2350 kilograms (including propellant) and will be placed in a quasi-polar orbit of 97° inclination at an altitude of about 400 kilometres. Not only is the entire satellite qualification programme progressing nominally, but finally the technical assessment has been completed to allow agreement on the way forward to replace the original Russian Soyuz launcher. Final contractual negotiations are underway for a slot reserved for EarthCARE launch with VEGA-C, retaining Falcon 9 as a backup solution. The four instruments of the payload consist of an Atmospheric Lidar, a Broad-Band Radiometer and a Multi-Spectral Imager developed by ESA, and a Cloud Profiling Radar developed by JAXA. This instrument suite has been optimised to provide co-located samples of the state of the atmosphere along the satellite flight track.


EarthCARE Mission resources

Further information about the EarthCARE mission in general Further information can be obtained from the following resources:

EarthCARE Validation

The geophysical validation of EarthCARE involves a suite of correlative instruments and methods. This portal provides an overview of the validation activities  and support functions for the validation teams. The contributions These activities are resulting from the responses to the 2017 ESA Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for the Validation of EarthCARE. 

The contributions activities have been presented and reviewed during the 1st ESA EarthCARE Validation Workshop in June 2018 in Bonn, Germany

The scientists in the EarthCARE validation team will collaborate with ESA algorithm and instrument experts and will be provided with preliminary EarthCARE data products as soon as available, hence well before public release of the consolidated data products.

Scientists that are interested in collaboration and joining the ESA EarthCARE Validation Team
are invited to contact


The EarthCARE launch date has been set to July 2022. Further news on the mission status can be found here (Mission Status)

EarthCARE Validation Resources




The report of the



Title (link to workshop home page and presentations)


13-15 June 2018Bonn, Germany
Workshop held in June 2018 in Bonn, Germany (the presentations can be found here)
Workshop20180613-15 ESA CalVal Workshop Report_(1.0).pdf
10 March 2021OnlineEarthCARE Geophysical Data Products and Retrievals
25-28 May 2021Virtual / Online 2nd ESA EarthCARE Validation Workshop20210525-28 2nd ESA EarthCARE Cal_Val Workshop Report.pdf
9-13 October 2023Frascati, ItalyESA-JAXA Prelaunch EarthCARE Science and Validation Workshop
6 Months after LaunchFrascati, Italy ESA-JAXA Preliminary Validation Results Workshop
During Mission Life TimeTBC Annual Validation Workshops

Note that several additional meetings may be organised by validation subgroups and are not listed here. 

  • The ESA Atmospheric Validation Data Centre (EVDC)
  • [Links to already existing overpass and visualisation tools, placeholder for future tools]