Japan Successfully Launches Rainfall-Tracking Satellite

The satellite launched by the Japanese space agency will provide detailed weather information and aid in the prediction of rain and snowfall.

AsianScientist (Mar. 7, 2014) – The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) celebrated the launch of their weather-tracking satellite, H-IIA F23, from Tanegashima Space Center last week.

Jointly developed with the United States, the satellite bears the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core observatory, which will take detailed measurements using radar and microwaves.

The GPM Core Observatory contains an instrument called the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR), developed by JAXA with the National Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Tokyo. It will use emitted radar pulses to make detailed measurements of three-dimensional rainfall structure and intensity, allowing scientists to improve estimates of how much water the precipitation holds.

In addition, the GPM Core Observatory will collect information that unifies and improves data from an international constellation of existing and future satellites by mapping global precipitation every three hours.

“We have spent more than a decade developing DPR using Japanese technology, the first radar of its kind in space,” said Masahiro Kojima, JAXA GPM/DPR project manager. “I expect GPM to produce important new results for our society by improving weather forecasts and prediction of extreme events such as typhoons and flooding.”


Source: NASA.
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