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The SAGE 3 (Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment) is the third generation of solar occultation instruments operated by NASA, with additional elements added to accommodate installation and operation on the International Space Station (ISS).

Earlier SAGE instruments were flown as free-flying satelltites (SAGE) or hosted instruments (SAGE-2 on ERBS and SAGE-3-M3M on Meteor-3M 1).

The SAGE III instrument is used to study ozone, a gas found in the upper atmosphere that acts as Earth’s sunscreen, and aerosols, or tiny particles in the atmosphere. These measurements are vital inputs to the global scientific community for improved understanding of climate, climate change and human-induced ozone trends.

NASA scientists are preparing to send a SAGE III instrument to the International Space Station (ISS). Instead of flying on an un-manned satellite, SAGE III will be mounted to the ISS at the ELC 4 platform, where it will operate alongside experiments from all over the world in the space-based laboratory. The orbital path of ISS will help maximize the scientific value of SAGE III observations as it provides global, long-term measurements of key components of Earth’s atmosphere.

The SAGE III sensor assembly consists of pointing and imaging subsystems and a UV/visible spectrometer. The pointing and imaging systems are employed to acquire light from either the sun or moon by vertically scanning across them.

The spectrometer uses an 800-element CCD linear array to provide continuous spectral coverage between 290 and 1030 nm. Additional aerosol information is provided by a discrete photodiode at 1550 nm. This configuration enables SAGE III to make multiple measurements of absorption features of target gaseous species and multi-wavelength measurements of broadband extinction by aerosols.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Earth Science
Operator: NASA
Equipment: SeaWinds
Configuration: Attached ISS payload
Propulsion: None
Power: Via ISS
Lifetime: 2 years
Orbit: 400 km × 400 km, 51.6° (typical)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
SAGE 3 N/A 19.02.2017 CC LC-39A Falcon-9 v1.2 with Dragon CRS-10, STP-H5