Handover of Japan-built radar to NASA

Apr 04, 2012 By Ellen Gray
Left to right: Peter Hildebrand (NASA), Masahiro Kojima (JAXA) and Takeshi Miura (JAXA) in the clean room with the DPR. Credit: NASA Goddard/Pat Izzo

On March 30, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) officially handed off a new satellite instrument to NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) was designed and built by JAXA and Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT).

The DPR is one of two instruments that will fly aboard NASA's Core Observatory for the Global (GPM) mission scheduled for launch from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan on February 2014.

The Japanese engineering team that built the DPR accompanied the instrument to Goddard. They spent ten days putting the instrument through a post-travel check-up. The tests went well and according to schedule, said Masahiro Kojima, DPR Project Manager at JAXA.

The GPM mission was initiated by NASA and and is designed to unify precipitation measurements made by the GPM Core satellite along with a constellation of international partner satellites to achieve global coverage of rain and snow every three hours.

NASA provided GPM's other instrument, the GPM (GMI), which was delivered to Goddard in late February and has been integrated onto the GPM Core Observatory.

"We are at a very exciting phase of the project; having both instruments GMI and DPR delivered to Goddard," said GPM Project Manager, Art Azarbarzin.

The DPR will be integrated onto the GPM spacecraft in the coming months.

The will provide insights into a storm's physical structures. Its data will expand our knowledge of precipitation science, the Earth's water cycle, and the supply of fresh water around the world. It also will aid forecasts of hurricanes, floods and other .

The instrument is the first space-borne radar to use two bands in the microwave range of frequencies, Ku and Ka, to study precipitation. It obtains three-dimensional information about precipitation particles by measuring reflected energy from them at different heights within the clouds. The 'dual' in the radar's name refers to the way the two microwave bands of the instrument complement each other, allowing the radar to provide new information about the size distribution of raindrops and snowflakes as they fall.

Explore further: Lockheed Martin successfully mates NOAA GOES-R satellite modules

More information: For more information about the GPM mission, please visit: www.nasa.gov/gpm

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Spaceborne precipitation radar ships from Japan to U.S.

Feb 09, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Japanese scientists and engineers have completed construction on a new instrument designed to take 3-D measurements of the shapes, sizes and other physical characteristics of both raindrops ...

JPL radar treks to great white north to study snow

Jan 18, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Beginning Jan. 17, NASA will fly an airborne science laboratory, including a unique airborne radar built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., above Canadian snowstorms to ...

Recommended for you

Winter in the southern uplands of Mars

11 hours ago

Over billions of years, the southern uplands of Mars have been pockmarked by numerous impact features, which are often so closely packed that they overlap. One such feature is Hooke crater, shown in this ...

Five facts about NASA's ISS-RapidScat

11 hours ago

NASA's ISS-RapidScat mission will observe ocean wind speed and direction over most of the globe, bringing a new eye on tropical storms, hurricanes and typhoons. Here are five fast facts about the mission.

User comments : 0