As of January 19, 2021, FTP access to the GPM research / production data server "arthurhou" is no longer available, and you must use either FTPS or HTTPS to access GPM research data. Click here to learn more.

What is the difference between "Near Real-time" (NRT) and "Production" / "Research" data?

GPM data products can be divided into two groups (near real-time and production) depending on how soon they are created after the satellite collects the observations. For applications such as weather, flood, and crop forecasting that need precipitation estimates as soon as possible, near real-time data products are most appropriate.  GPM near real-time (GMI & DPR) products are generally available within a few hours of observation.  For all other applications, production data products are generally the best data sets to use because additional or improved inputs are used to increase accuracy.  These other inputs are only made available several days, or in some cases, several months, after the satellite observations are taken, and the production data sets are computed after all data have arrived, making possible a more careful analysis.

For the GPM IMERG dataset, IMERG Early and Late Runs are the near real-time products, while IMERG Final Run is the research / production product. Click here to learn more about the differences between IMERG Early, Late and Final.