PACE Technical Report Series, Volume 11: The PACE Postlaunch Airborne eXperiment (PACE-PAX)





Citation of Original Publication

Knobelspiesse, Kirk D, et al. "PACE Technical Report Series, Volume 11: The PACE Postlaunch Airborne eXperiment (PACE-PAX)." NASA/TM–2023-219027/Vol. 11.


This is a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
Public Domain Mark 1.0



The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE; mission is NASA's latest and greatest effort to study the ocean-atmosphere system and build upon the legacy of previous satellite missions that have revolutionized our understanding of our home planet. By using advanced radiometric and polarimetric instruments to measure ocean color and key atmospheric variables, PACE aims to provide new insights into the complex interactions between the ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere. This information will be critical for improving our ability to model and predict changes in the Earth's climate, as well as to manage and conserve our planet's valuable natural resources. Performance assessments and science data product validation is a critical process for any Earth Science space-borne mission, as it involves assessing and verifying the quality of the data products generated by the mission while it is in orbit, as well as assigning uncertainties to these retrievals. More specifically, validation efforts are essential for assessing the accuracy of instrument data and the derived science products across varied spatial and temporal scales and ensuring their reliability and consistency with the mission's scientific goals and objectives. The overall plan for validation of PACE data is described in “PACE Science Data Product Validation Plan” (see, e.g.,, and among range of post-launch activities, it describes the need and requirements for a post-launch airborne field campaign in support of PACE validation. This volume outlines the plans and requirements of the PACE Postlaunch Airborne eXperiment (PACE-PAX). The main goal of PACE-PAX is to gather validation and assessment data for the PACE mission, using a variety of airborne and ground-based assets. These assets will be coordinated to obtain complementary measurements of key ocean and atmospheric variables, such as ocean color, aerosols, and clouds. By collecting data from multiple sources, PACE-PAX will help to validate and refine the data products generated by the PACE mission, as well as to identify any potential errors or biases in the measurements. This will be essential for ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the PACE data products, and for maximizing the scientific value of the mission.