New NASA satellite cat-scans Earth's storms from space - Tucson News Now

New NASA satellite cat-scans Earth's storms from space

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The GPM will be able to look at snowfall, and give regions in cold climates a better estimate of yearly snowfalls The GPM will be able to look at snowfall, and give regions in cold climates a better estimate of yearly snowfalls
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

NASA partnered with Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to create a new satellite that will measure rain and snow across the globe in more detail than ever before. 

This newest satellite in the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission successfully launched from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on Thursday February 27th. 

Known as the Core Observatory, the satellite uses the new technology of Dual Polarization Radar to create 3-D images of precipitation falling over Earth. 

This is the first time this type of radar will be used to measure rain and snow from space.  

The Core Observatory is an advancement on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite launched in 1997. 

TRMM measured rainfall in the tropics, giving scientists a better understanding of hurricane and tropical storm precipitation. 

The new satellite will measure rain, and now snow, across the entire Earth's surface, circling the Earth every 90 minutes.

TRMM and the Core Observatory are both part of the larger GPM mission, which includes over half a dozen other satellites circling the Earth. 

The image below shows 


Other advantages of the new satellite are:

  • Improved knowledge of the Earth's water cycle and its link to climate change
  • New insights into storm structures and large-scale atmospheric processes
  • New insights into precipitation microphysics
  • Advanced understanding of climate sensitivity and feedback processes
  • Extended capabilities in monitoring and predicting hurricanes and other extreme weather events
  • Improved forecasting abilities for natural hazards, including floods, droughts and landslides.
  • Enhanced numerical prediction skills
  • Improved agricultural crop forecasting and monitoring of freshwater resources
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