Libera - Understanding Earth's Energy Budget

Apex is proud to be a part of Libera, a groundbreaking space mission that will record how much energy leaves our planet's atmosphere on a day-by-day basis.

Apex Microtechnology takes pride in our longstanding heritage supporting multiple space applications across a variety of missions. Recently, NASA has given the green light to Libera, a pioneering space mission that will meticulously record daily energy losses from our planet's atmosphere. This data will be crucial in tracking the ongoing evolution of Earth's climate. Libera is set to launch on NASA's Joint Polar Satellite System-3 (JPSS-3) in 2027, and Apex is proud to have components onboard the mission.

Understanding Earth's Energy Budget

The Libera mission will build on NASA's extensive history of observing Earth's energy patterns through the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments. Libera is named after the daughter of Ceres, the Roman Goddess of agriculture which is a fitting name for the innovative instrument. Building on the seven decades of work that predate Libera, the instrument will further analyze the relationships between Earth and the sun, and the implications for humans on the ground.


A mock-up of Libera onboard NASA's JPSS-3 (Credit: Martha Lageschulte, Ball Aerospace)

Peter Pilewskie, a member of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at CU boulder, emphasized the importance of the Earth and sun's roles in our atmosphere and explained that Earth continually absorbs substantial solar energy while concurrently emitting and reflecting energy into space. The process was comparable to the deposit and withdrawals of a bank account. Any variation to this process such as oceanic ice shifts, alterations in cloud cover, and human influenced greenhouse gas emissions can lead to an imbalance. 

NASA's Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) and Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1) missions have primarily focused on the energy deposits. Libera, however, marks a shift in attention toward measuring the withdrawals of this relationship.

Libera's Goals

Libera has established three primary goals in alignment with NASA's Earth Venture Continuity (EVC) criteria and the advancement of Earth Radiation Budget (ERB) data utilization:

  1. Provide seamless continuity of the ERB Climate Data Records (CDRs)
  2. Develop a self-contained, innovative and affordable observing system.
  3. Provide new and enhanced capabilities that support extending ERB science goals.

As we venture into this new chapter of scientific exploration, Libera's mission and goals will enhance our comprehension of climate changes and their underlying causes. By examining the energy withdrawals from our planet, we move closer to understanding the complexities of Earth's evolving climate system. The collaborative efforts of NASA, CU Boulder, Ball Aerospace, NIST, and Utah State University underscore the collective commitment to advancing our knowledge and safeguarding our planet's future. Apex is proud to have our PA07 on board Libera and embark on a journey into uncovering Earth's climate and inspiring new solutions for the challenges that lie ahead. Read NASA's full press release here.

Apex's Contribution

The PA07 is a 5A, 100V power operational amplifier designed for motor, valve and actuator control. For optimum linearity, especially at low levels, the output stage of the PA07 is biased for Class A/B operation using a thermistor compensated base-emitter voltage multiplier circuit. A thermal shutoff circuit protects against overheating and minimizes heat sinking requirements for abnormal operating conditions. Housed in an electrically isolated, hermetically sealed 8-pin TO-3 metal package, the PA07 comes in Standard, A-Grade, and M/883 Grade variants. 

PA07 Key SpecificationsApex Microtechnology's PA07

  • High voltage - 100V
  • High output current - 5A
  • Low bias current - FET input
  • Protected output - thermal shutoff
  • Excellent linearity - Class A/B output
  • SMD # - 5962-9063801HXA


For more than 40 years, industry leading companies in the aerospace, space and defense industries have relied on Apex Microtechnology’s power amplifiers, integrated power modules, and precision voltage references to meet the rigorous demands of their operating environments. 

Apex continues to develop new products that are destined for orbit and beyond as we grow our already extensive space heritage. For more information about Apex Radiation Tolerant "R" grade devices or for additional radiation testing options and capabilities, please contact your local Apex sales representative.  

- Apex Microtechnology 

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