ESSIC hosts radiometer algorithm team meeting for GPM project

Nai Yu Wang, an assistant research engineer at ESSIC, organized and hosted a working meeting for a team of scientists tasked with preparing radiometer algorithm code that will be used in NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) project.

The purpose of this code is to allow the core satellite and “constellation” of satellites that will be part of GPM – an international mission to use satellites to record global precipitation data up to 65 degree latitude north and south every three hours – to process precipitation data in a manner consistent across all of the satellites.

The meeting, which was held Monday and Tuesday in ESSIC’s conference room, was designed to coordinate members of the team in order to hash out how they will accomplish their goal and divide up into smaller tasks.

“We’re not talking about science, we’re talking about methods of how we’re going to make our algorithm,” Wang said. “We’re not here to present our best science.”

The team’s next step is to develop the first launch-ready version of the code, which will then be delivered to NASA for the GPM launch At this point, it will start to “churn” precipitation data, using the algorithm.

GPM is an extension of the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM), which launched in 1997 and continues to measure precipitation in tropical regions of the globe. By expanding its field of measurement to 65 degrees latitude, GPM can provide more accurate and timely information to expand current capabilities can measure more variable weather.

Wang said that the GPM mission is unique because it will be the first satellite that will have both active and passive microwave instruments that measure snowfall.

GPM is scheduled to launch in 2014. The team’s algorithm will need to be in place by the time the satellites turn on.