The Global Precipitation Measurement Mission: Data
Video Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
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GPM Core Observatory & Data Downloads
The foundation of the GPM mission is the Core Observatory satellite provided by NASA and JAXA. Data collected from the Core satellite serves as a reference standard that will unify precipitation measurements from research and operational satellites launched by a consortium of GPM partners in the United States, Japan, France, India, and Europe.
The GPM constellation of satellites can observe precipitation over the entire globe every 2-3 hours.
The Core satellite will measure rain and snow using two science instruments: the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR).
The GMI captures precipitation intensities and horizontal patterns, while the DPR provides insights into the three dimensional structure of precipitating particles.
Together these two instruments provide a database of measurements against which other partner satellites’ microwave observations can be meaningfully compared and combined to make a global precipitation dataset.
The Core Observatory satellite flies at an altitude of 253 miles (407 kilometers) in a non-Sun-synchronous orbit that covers the Earth from 65°S to 65°N — from about the Antarctic Circle to the Arctic Circle.
The GPM Core Observatory was developed and tested at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Once completed, it was then shipped to Japan, and a Japanese H-IIA rocket carried the GPM Core Observatory into orbit from Tanegashima Island, Japan, on February 27th, 2014.