GCPEx: Observational Strategy and Instruments

The GCPEx observing strategy framework is designed to use a combination of multi-frequency radar, particle imaging and water equivalent-measuring surface instrumentation in conjunction with airborne dual-frequency radar, high frequency radiometer and in situ microphysics observations arranged in stacked altitude patterns to provide the most complete coupled sampling of surface and in-cloud microphysical properties possible.

Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS)

The Lightning Imaging Sensor is a small, highly sophisticated instrument that detects and locates lightning over the tropical region of the globe. Looking down from a vantage point aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) observatory, 250 miles (402 kilometers) above the Earth, the sensor provides information that could lead to future advanced lightning sensors capable of significantly improving weather "nowcasting."

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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