A list of PMM, Earth science and remote sensing algorithms
Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.


AIRS search for term

Advanced Infrared Sounder (U.S. satellite instrument)


AMSR search for term

Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (Japanese satellite instrument)

ATBD search for term

Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document


ATLAS search for term

Autonomous Temperature Line Acquisition System (moored deep-ocean buoy)

ATMS search for term

Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (U.S. satellite instrument)


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CLIMAT search for term

Monthly Climatological Data


CMORPH-KF search for term

CPC Morphing – Kalman Filter (NOAA precipitation algorithm)


CONUS search for term

Contiguous U.S.

CPC search for term

Climate Prediction Center (NOAA)

CPO search for term

Climate Program Office (NOAA)


CrlS search for term

Cross-track Infrared Sounder (U.S. satellite instrument)


CRU search for term

Climate Research Unit (Univ. of East Anglia, U.K.)


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DISC search for term

Data and Information Services Center (NASA/GSFC)


DMSP search for term

Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (U.S. Department of Defense)

DOI search for term

Digital Object Identifier


DPR search for term

Dual Frequency Precipitation Radar. This instrument on the GPM Core Observatory resolves the vertical structure, drop size and distribution of precipitation within clouds.  It operates in the Ka and Ku radar and microwave bands.

DWD search for term

Deutscher Wetterdienst (German Weather Service)


DWSS search for term

Defense Weather Satellite System (U.S. Department of Defense)


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EUMETSAT search for term

European organization for the exploitation of Meteorological Satellites


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FAO search for term

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


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GCI search for term

GPM Combined Instrument.  This precipitation algorithm uses both the GMI and DPR data from the GPM Core Observatory.  Learn more at

GCOMW search for term

Global Change Observation Mission - Water.  A precipitation measurement satellite launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in 2013.

GESDISC search for term

Goddard Earth Science Data and Information System Center (NASA/GSFC).  Visit the GESDISC at

GEWEX search for term

Global Energy and Water Exchange project (part of the World Climate Research Program)

GHCN search for term

Global Historical Climatology Network


GIOVANNI search for term

Geospatial Interactive Online Visualization ANd aNalysis Infrastructure (NASA/GSFC).  An online tool for graphically viewing and manipulating NASA satellite data.  Try GIOVANNI at 

GMI search for term

GPM Microwave Imager.  This instrument on the GPM Core Observatory measures 13 frequencies that are sensitive to a range of precipitation from light to heavy, as well as ice and snow in the atmosphere.  Learn more at 

GMS search for term

Geosynchronous Meteorological Satellite (JMA)


GOES search for term

Geosynchronous Operational Environmental Satellite (NESDIS)


GPCC search for term

Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (DWD; GEWEX)


GPCP search for term

Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GEWEX)


GPM search for term

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission.  An international satellite mission launched by NASA and JAXA on 27 Februrary 2014, that sets new standards for precipitation measurements worldwide using a network of satellites united by the GPM Core Observatory.

GPROF search for term

Goddard Profiling algorithm (precipitation algorithm).  The primary algorithm used in GPM for precipitation estimation from individual passive microwave sensors.  Learn more at: 

GSFC search for term

Goddard Space Flight Center (located in Greenbelt, Maryland).  The NASA center that assembled and tested the GPM Core Observatory and currently operates GPM.

GV search for term

Ground Validation.  Consists of collecting data from ground-based radar, rain gauges, disdrometers and airborne sensors and comparing them to TRMM and GPM satellite products in order to validate and improve the accuracy of the satellites’ precipitation estimates

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HDF search for term

Hierarchical Data Format.  A file format used to distribute TRMM and GPM satellite data. Learn more at

HQ search for term

High Quality; also Headquarters

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IMERG search for term

Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM.  This algorithm intercalibrates, merges and interpolates “all” satellite passive microwave precipitation estimates, together with microwave-calibrated infrared (IR) satellite estimates, monthly precipitation gauge analyses, and potentially other precipitation estimators at fine time and space scales for the TRMM and GPM eras over the entire globe.  Learn more at: 

IR search for term

Infrared.  The part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths just longer than red visible light 

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JAXA search for term

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. This agency is the partner with NASA in GPM.  Learn more at 

JMA search for term

Japan Meteorological Agency.  Learn more at 

JPSS search for term

Joint Polar Satellite System.  A collaborative program between NASA and NOAA to provide new-generation low-Earth-orbit operational meteorological satellites.  Learn more at

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KF search for term

Kalman Filter.  A mathematical technique for combining different kinds of data

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LEO search for term

Low Earth Orbit

LMODEL search for term

Lagrangian Model


LT search for term

Local Time

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MADRAS search for term

Microwave Analysis and Detection of Rain and Atmospheric Structures (Megha-Tropques satellite sensor)

Meteosat search for term

Meteorological Satellite (EUMETSAT).  Operational geosynchronous satellite

METOP search for term

Meteorological Polar Orbit satellite (EUMETSAT).  Operational LEO satellite

MHS search for term

Microwave Humidity Sounder (U.S. and EUMETSAT satellite sensor)


MTSat search for term

Multi-functional Transport Satellite (Japan).  Operational geosynchronous satellite

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NASA search for term

National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  The U.S. government agency responsible for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission.  Learn more at 

NCDC search for term

National Climatic Data Center (NOAA).  Learn more at 

NESDIS search for term

National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NOAA)


NetCDF search for term

Network Common Data Format

NOAA search for term

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Learn more at 

NPP search for term

National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NOAA).  A collaborative program between NASA and NOAA to provide a testbed for the new-generation low-Earth-orbit operational meteorological satellites.  Learn more at 

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PDF search for term

Probability Density Function


PERSIANN-CCS search for term

Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks – Cloud Classification System (Univ. of Calif. Irvine precipitation algorithm)

PMM search for term

Precipitation Measurement Missions.  The collection of NASA missions (currently GPM, TRMM, and associated field campaigns) that measure and study Earth's precipitation 

PMW search for term

Passive Microwave

PPS search for term

Precipitation Processing System.  The organization at NASA GSFC that processes and distributes precipitation data from GPM.  Learn more at

PR search for term

Precipitation Radar. The TRMM precipitation radar instrument that launched with the TRMM satellite in 1997 

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Q2 search for term

Next-Generation Multi-Sensor Quantitative Precipitation Estimates


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REFAME search for term

Rain Estimation using Forward Adjusted-advection of Microwave Estimates (precipitation algorithm)

RT search for term

Real Time

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SAPHIR search for term

Sounder for Probing Vertical Profiles of Humidity (Megha-Tropiques satellite instrument)

SNPP search for term

Suomi NPP. NASA’s NPP meteorological satellite was renamed to honor one of the founders of satellite meteorology, Dr. Verner E. Suomi.  (Despite the Finnish origin, Dr. Suomi pronounced it “soo-mee”.)

SSMI search for term

Special Sensor Microwave/Imager.  The first generation of passive microwave imager that flew on DMSP-series polar-orbit satellites

SSMIS search for term

Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder.  The second generation of passive microwave imager that flew on DMSP-series polar-orbit satellites

SYNOP search for term

Synoptic Weather Report


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TCI search for term

TRMM Combined Instrument (precipitation algorithm)

THOR search for term

Tool for High-resolution Observation Review.  A graphical tool for displaying and manipulating HDF satellite data files from the TRMM and GPM missions.  Learn more at 

TMI search for term

TRMM Microwave Imager.  This instrument on TRMM measures 9 frequencies that are sensitive to a range of precipitation Learn more at 

TMPA search for term

TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis.  Learn more at 

TOVS search for term

Television-Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) Operational Vertical Sounder (U.S. satellite instrument)

TRMM search for term

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission.  Launched in 1997, TRMM provided critical precipitation measurements in the tropical and subtropical regions of our planet.  The Precipitation Radar (PR) was the first meteorological radar in space, whose three-dimensional data provided new insights into tropical storm structure and intensification.  The TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) measured microwave energy emitted by the Earth and its atmosphere to quantify the water vapor, the cloud water, and the rainfall intensity in the atmosphere. Learn more:  

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USWRP search for term

U.S. Weather Research Program

UTC search for term

Universal Coordinated Time (order of initials is French)

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X-Cal search for term

Cross-Calibration team (PMM)

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