250 Expected Sampling of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones By TROPICS Constellation Satellites.

Thursday, 19 April 2018
Champions DEFGH (Sawgrass Marriott)
Scott A. Braun, NASA, Greenbelt, MD; and W. J. Blackwell and R. Bennartz

Handout (12.6 MB)

The Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) mission will use a constellation of small satellites to study tropical cyclones. The overarching goal for TROPICS is to provide nearly all-weather observations of 3-D temperature and humidity, as well as precipitation horizontal structure, at high temporal resolution to conduct high-value science investigations of tropical cyclones, including: (1) relationships of rapidly evolving precipitation and upper cloud structures to upper-level warm-core intensity and associated storm intensity changes; (2) the evolution of precipitation structure and storm intensification in relationship to environmental humidity fields; and (3) the impact of rapid-update observations on numerical and statistical intensity forecasts of tropical cyclones. TROPICS comprises at least 6 CubeSats in three low-Earth orbital planes (2 per plane). Each CubeSat will host a high-performance radiometer to provide temperature profiles using seven channels near the 118.75 GHz oxygen absorption line, water vapor profiles using 3 channels near the 183 GHz water vapor absorption line, imagery in a single channel near 90 GHz for precipitation measurements (when combined with higher resolution water vapor channels), and a single channel at 205 GHz for precipitation ice measurements. TROPICS will provide rapid-refresh microwave measurements, with a median refresh rate of ~50 minutes averaged over the tropics (latitudinally weighted according to the climatological storm tracks) for the baseline mission. In this presentation, we more closely examine the sampling frequency using actual storm tracks, with some discussion of the frequency as a function of storm latitude and instrument scan angle.
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