CNES was in charge of the overall mission development process for the Parasol mission. This included developing the platform and the payload, as well as satellite integration and launch. CNES was also in charge of developing and operating the MIGS command and control ground component, as well as the user ground component.
The scientific part of the mission centred on a principal investigator and included a science team comprised of representatives from the future users in France. The principal investigator hailed from the French Laboratoire d’optique atmosphérique (atmospheric optics laboratory, LOA). His role was to oversee the scientific aspects of the project and lead the science team. His responsibilities include:
- elaborate and validate mission specifications
- discuss and make a decision regarding any conflict between mission specifications and technical options offered by the system
- defining scientific products
- defining and setting up a scientific programme to monitor scientific data and products.
The Parasol science team comprised 3 other LOA scientists, 1 researcher from the Laboratoire de météorologie dynamique (Dynamic meteorology laboratory, LMD), 1 from the Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l’environnement (climate and environment sciences laboratory, LSCE), and 1 from the Laboratoire atmosphères, milieux, observations spatiales (Atmospheres, environments, and space observations laboratory, LATMOS). This last member was part of the mission as principal investigator on the Calipso mission in order to better manage the common needs and operational parameters of the 2 missions.
The Parasol science team helped the principal investigator elaborate mission specifications, discuss specification/system compromises, define scientific products, and organise and set up a data and product monitoring programme.