Science & Tech

NASA’s PREFIRE Mission will research Earth’s Polar Regions

  • NASA launched the “PREFIRE mission,” deploying twin CubeSats to monitor heat emissions in the Arctic and Antarctic areas, with the goal of improving climate studies.

About PREFIRE Mission

  • NASA and the University of Wisconsin–Madison collaborated in its development.
  • It strives to research and grasp the complex dynamics of heat emissions from Earth’s Polar Regions, with a particular emphasis on the Arctic and Antarctica. 


  • PREFIRE uses shoebox-sized CubeSats, measuring around 6U (6 units), with sophisticated instruments for data collecting.
    • When the solar panels that will power the spacecraft are deployed, they measure around 90 cm in height and almost 120 cm in breadth.
    • The two satellites will be put in a near-polar orbit (a form of low Earth orbit) at a height of around 525 kilometres. 
  • Thermal Infrared Spectrometers (TIRS): Each CubeSat is equipped with a Thermal Infrared Spectrometer, which was precisely designed to monitor far-infrared radiation released by the Polar Regions. 

The mission objective 

  1. To investigate the influence of heat radiation from Earth’s Polar Regions on climate.
  2. Use thermal infrared spectrometers to detect the far-infrared radiation released by the Earth’s surface and atmosphere.
  3. Improve knowledge of the greenhouse effect at the poles and its impact on climate change.
  4. Improve climate and ice models to forecast changes in sea level, weather, snow, and ice cover in a warming world.

Significance of PREFIRE

  • PREFIRE’s data will improve projections of climatic and environmental changes, helping to mitigate the consequences of global warming.
  • Data acquired will help us update climate models and improve our knowledge of Earth’s atmospheric processes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.