Radar

Getting the Big Picture: Remote Sensing

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A brief animated look at the different types of remote sensing techniques that NASA uses to study the Earth. This video discusses why we need remote sensing to study the Earth, and the differences between active and passive remote sensing from satellites. It also gives examples of different types of data NASA satellites collect about the Earth, and some of the applications of that data.

This video is public domain and can be downloaded in high resolution here.

 

TRMM PR Data Distribution Resumes

TRMM/PR data distribution resumes during the experimental operation period. The satellite has descended to an altitude of around 350 km on February 12, 2015, which is the original nominal altitude before 2001. Verification of the data quality concluded and JAXA and PPS started distribution of PR data around the 350 km altitude (orbit number from 98231) to the public. PR available data period around 350 km altitude will be about 40 days since February 12, 2015.

GPM Combined Radar-Radiometer Precipitation Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD) (Version 03)

Published Date: 
11/30/2011

The GPM Combined Radar-Radiometer Algorithm performs two basic functions: first, it provides, in principle, the most accurate, high resolution estimates of surface rainfall rate and precipitation vertical precipitation distributions that can be achieved from a spaceborne platform, and it is therefore valuable for applications where information regarding instantaneous storm structure are vital.

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Combined Radar Radiometer Algorithms

The combined use of coincident active and passive microwave sensor data provides complementary information about the macro and microphysical processes of precipitating clouds which can be used to reduce uncertainties in combined radar/radiometer retrieval algorithms. In simple terms, the combined algorithms use the radiometer signal as a constraint on the attenuation seen by the radar.

Radar Algorithms

The unique function of precipitation radars is to provide the three-dimensional structure of rainfall, obtaining high quality rainfall estimates over ocean and land. Radar measurements are typically less sensitive to the surface and provide a nearly direct relationship between radar reflectivities and the physical characteristics of the rain and snow in a cloud. Because of the complexities of operating radar in space, limited channels (frequencies) are designed for the instruments.

Precipitation Radar (PR)

The Precipitation Radar was the first spaceborne instrument designed to provide three-dimensional maps of storm structure. These measurements yield invaluable information on the intensity and distribution of the rain, on the rain type, on the storm depth and on the height at which the snow melts into rain. The estimates of the heat released into the atmosphere at different heights based on these measurements can be used to improve models of the global atmospheric circulation.

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