NASA, JAXA Announce Launch Window for GPM Core Observatory Satellite

Weather precipitation NASA JAXA

GPM Core Observatory Satellite. Photo: NASA

[Via Satellite 12-27-13] NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have selected a launch window on Thursday Feb. 27, 2014 from 1:07 p.m. to 3:07 p.m. EST (3:07 a.m. to 5:07 a.m. JST Friday, Feb. 28, 2014) for a Japanese H 2A rocket carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory satellite from JAXA’s Tanegashima Space Center.

GPM is an international satellite mission that will provide advanced observations of rain and snowfall worldwide, several times a day to enhance our understanding of the water and energy cycles that drive Earth’s climate.

“Launching this core observatory and establishing the Global Precipitation Measurement mission is vitally important for environmental research and weather forecasting,” said Michael Freilich, director of Earth science, NASA. “Knowing rain and snow amounts accurately over the whole globe is critical to understanding how weather and climate impact agriculture, fresh water availability, and responses to natural disasters.”

The GPM Core Observatory builds on the sensor technology developed for the TRMM mission, with two innovative new instruments. The GPM Microwave Imager, built by Ball Aerospace will observe rainfall and snowfall at 13 different frequencies. The Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar, developed by JAXA with the National Institute of Information and Communication Technology transmits radar frequencies that will detect ice and light rain, as well as heavier rainfall. It also will be able to measure the size and distribution of raindrops, snowflakes and ice particles.

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