Global Precipitation Measurement
Visualization of the GPM Core Observatory and partner satellites orbiting Earth.
|Mission type||Environmental research|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||February 27, 2014|
|Launch site||Tanegashima Yoshinobu 1|
Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) is a joint mission between JAXA and NASA as well as other international space agencies to make frequent (every 2-3 hours) observations of Earth’s precipitation. It is part of NASA's Earth Systematic Missions program and will work with a constellation of satellites to provide full global coverage. The project will provide global precipitation maps to assist researchers in studying global climate, improving the forecasting of extreme events, and adding to current capabilities for using such satellite data to benefit society. GPM builds on the notable successes of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), which is also a joint NASA-JAXA activity.
The project is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and consists of a GPM Core Observatory satellite assisted by a constellation of spacecraft from other agencies and missions. The Core Observatory satellite will measure the two- and three-dimensional structure of Earth’s precipitation patterns and provide a new calibration standard for the rest of the satellite constellation. The GPM Core Observatory was assembled and tested at Goddard Space Flight Center, and launched from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan, on a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA rocket. The launch occurred on February 28, 2014 at 3:37am JST on the first attempt.  Agencies in the U.S., Japan, India and Europe operate the remaining satellites in the constellation for agency-specific goals, but also cooperatively provide data for GPM.
GPM Core Observatory Instruments
Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR)
The DPR is a spaceborne radar, providing three-dimensional maps of storm structure across its swath, including the intensity of rainfall and snowfall at the surface. The DPR has two frequencies, allowing researchers to estimate the sizes of precipitation particles and detect a wider range of precipitation rates. The Ku-band radar, similar to the PR on TRMM, covers a 245 km (152 mile) swath. Nested inside that, the Ka-band radar covers a 120 km (74.5 mile) swath. 
GPM Microwave Imager (GMI)
The GMI is a passive sensor that observes the microwave energy emitted by the Earth and atmosphere at 13 different frequency/polarization channels. These data allow quantitative maps of precipitation across a swath that is 885 km (550 miles) wide. This instrument continues the legacy of TRMM microwave observations, while adding four additional channels, better resolution, and more reliable calibration.
Precipitation data sets
GPM is set to produce and distribute a wide variety of precipitation data products after the launch and check-out of the GPM Core Observatory. Processing takes place at the Precipitation Processing System (PPS) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, as well as at the JAXA facility in Japan. Data is provided at multiple "levels" of processing, from raw satellite measurements to best-estimate global precipitation maps using combinations of all the constellation observations and other meteorological data. All data from the mission is made freely available to the public on NASA websites.
In addition to maintaining social media accounts and the GPM Road to Launch Blog, JAXA and NASA developed several outreach activities specific to this mission prior to launch that the public could participate in.
- NASA Socials
- JAXA-NASA Cherry Blossoms
- GPM Media Day
- Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD
- Social media users were invited to apply for credentials to attend the media day activities and share their experiences via their own accounts.
- The social was rescheduled from October 8, 2013, due to the government shutdown.
- Photo Contests
- GPM Anime Challenge
In Popular Culture
Swades: We, the People (Hindi: स्वदेश, Urdu: سودیش, pronounced [swəˈdeːʃ], English: Homeland) is a 2004 Indian film written, produced and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker which starts from NASA's GPM project analysis. The film stars Shahrukh Khan and debutante Gayatri Joshi. Sharukh Khan plays the role of Project Manager, GPM, NASA in this film. He explains the importance of GPM and its positive impact on Earth and thereby defends its budget. The movie, though was a commercial failure, but was highly critically acclaimed.
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- 10 Best Bollywood Movies of the Decade Rediff.com retrieved March 01 2014
- Official website (NASA)
- Official website (JAXA)
- Twitter and Facebook