A newer version of this visualization can be found here.
This animation shows the orbits of NASA's current (as of November 2011) fleet of Earth remote sensing observatories. The satellites include components of the A-Train (Terra, Aqua, Aura, CloudSat, CALIPSO), two satellites launched in 2011 (Aquarius, Suomi NPP), and nine others (ACRIMSAT, SORCE, GRACE, Jason 1 and 2, Landsat 7, QuikSCAT, TRMM, and EO-1). These satellites measure tropical rainfall, solar irradiance, clouds, sea surface height, ocean salinity, and other aspects of the global environment. Together, they provide a picture of the Earth as a system.
This is an update of entry 3725. It was created for display on the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) hyperwall, a 5 x 3 array of high-definition displays with a total pixel resolution of 6840 x 2304. The orbits are based on orbital elements with epochs in November of 2011. The animation spans six hours, from 15:00 to 21:00 UT (10 am to 4 pm EST) on November 30, 2011.
Hyperwall frames. The names of the screens that comprise the hyperwall follow the spreadsheet convention in which rows are assigned numbers, beginning with 1 at the top, and columns are assigned letters, beginning with A at the left. The display in the upper left is A1. The display in the bottom right is E3 (for a 5 x 3 display).
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 188.8.131.52.0