GPM Precipitation Radar Arrives at Goddard
By Aries Keck, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Original www.nasa.gov Press Release (published 3/1/12)
The Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) built by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission's Core Observatory arrived on Friday, March 16 and was unloaded today at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Comprised of two radars, the DPR is one of two instruments that will fly on the Core Observatory scheduled for launch in February 2014.
Engineers from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. oversee the arrival and unpacking of the dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) built by Japan for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission's Core Observatory satellite. Comprised of two radars, the DPR is one of two instruments that will fly on the satellite, scheduled for launch in February 2014.
Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center - Ryan Fitzgibbons
The GPM mission will provide a new generation of satellite observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours for scientific research and societal benefits. NASA's mission partner JAXA developed the DPR in cooperation with Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology. The instrument will provide 3-D measurements of the shapes and sizes of raindrops and snowflakes and other physical characteristics that will allow scientists to better understand the physical properties of storms.
The DPR was flown from Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan, to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City where it and its supporting equipment were placed on trucks and driven to NASA Goddard.
The team of Japanese engineers that built the DPR accompanied the instrument to give it an initial post-travel check-up. The DPR will formally be handed over to NASA on March 30. In the coming months it will be integrated onto the spacecraft at Goddard. GPM's other instrument, the GPM Microwave Imager, was delivered in late February and has been mechanically integrated onto the GPM Core Observatory.
"Together these two instruments will provide a unique database to characterize precipitating particles in different parts of the world," said GPM Project Scientist Arthur Hou. "This dataset will be key to obtaining more accurate precipitation estimates from all the satellites in the GPM constellation and combining them into a uniform global precipitation dataset."