ABSOLUTE STANDARDS FOR CLIMATE MEASUREMENTS
In a world of changing climate, political uncertainty, and ever-changing budgets, the benefit of measurements traceable to SI standards increases by the day. To truly resolve climate change trends on a decadal time scale, on-orbit measurements need to be referenced to something that is both absolute and unchanging. One such mission is the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) that will measure a variety of climate variables with an unprecedented accuracy to definitively quantify climate change. In the CLARREO mission, we will utilize phase change cells in which a material is melted to calibrate the temperature of a blackbody that can then be observed by a spectrometer. A material’s melting point is an unchanging physical constant that, through a series of transfers, can ultimately calibrate a spectrometer on an absolute scale. CLARREO consists of two primary instruments: an infrared (IR) spectrometer and a reflected solar (RS) spectrometer. The mission will contain orbiting radiometers with sufficient accuracy to calibrate other space-based instrumentation and thus transferring the absolute traceability. The status of various mission options will be presented.