Our Wet Wide World

The Global Precipitation Measurement Mission: Data

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.

Learn more about the GPM Core Observatory

Data Downloads & Documentation

Precipitation data sets, referred to as “products”, are available at a variety of levels which denote the amount of processing that data has been through.

These range from the raw instrument data to precipitation model outputs which are mathematically derived using the raw data as an input.

The below tables provide descriptions and links for all of the primary sources available for downloading GPM and TRMM data.

The products are first arranged by mission (GPM or TRMM), then by data processing level (the tabs at the top of the table). You can then select your desired algorithm from the list to view details about the algorithm, resolution, region, latency, and a list of links to download the data.

Use of the PPS FTP and STORM requires you to first register your email address.

Click here to register.