Colorado State University is playing a big part in a couple of NASA’s Earth science missions.

NASA  is launching five Earth satellite missions this year. Researchers in CSU's Department of Atmospheric Science , CIRA – the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere – and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are playing major roles in two of the five.

In February, NASA sent up the international Global Precipitation Measurement satellite, which collects high resolution sharper rain and snow data from around the world.

Then in July, the federal agency launched the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, its first satellite dedicated to measuring the amount of carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere and in natural “sinks” such as oceans and forests.

In both cases, CSU developed the complex algorithms that convert the raw data collected by the orbiting satellites into accurate information that can be used by researchers around the world.