11D.3 Applications of NASA TROPICS Data for Tropical Cyclone Analysis, Nowcasting, and Impacts

Wednesday, 18 April 2018: 4:30 PM
Heritage Ballroom (Sawgrass Marriott)
Bradley T. Zavodsky, NASA MSFC, Huntsville, AL; and J. P. Dunion, W. J. Blackwell, S. Braun, D. S. Green, C. S. Velden, R. F. Adler, J. H. Cossuth, J. J. Murray, and M. J. Brennan

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) mission is a constellation of state-of-the-science observing platforms that will measure temperature and humidity soundings and precipitation with spatial resolution comparable to current operational passive microwave sounders but with unprecedented temporal resolution. TROPICS is a cost-capped ($30M) Venture-class mission funded by the NASA Earth Science Division. The mission is comprised of a constellation of 3 unit (3U) SmallSats, each hosting a 12-channel passive microwave spectrometer based on the Micro-sized Microwave Atmospheric Satellite 2 (MicroMAS-2) developed at MIT LL. TROPICS will provide imagery near 91 and 205 GHz, temperature sounding near 118 GHz, and moisture sounding near 183 GHz. Spatial resolution at nadir will be around 27 km for temperature and 17 km for moisture and precipitation. The swath width is approximately 2000 km. TROPICS enables temporal resolution similar to geostationary orbit but at a much lower cost, demonstrating a technology that could impact the design of future Earth-observing missions. The TROPICS satellites for the mission are slated for delivery to NASA in 2019 with potential launch opportunities in 2020. The primary mission objective of TROPICS is to relate temperature, humidity, and precipitation structure to the evolution of tropical cyclone (TC) intensity.

This abstract summarizes the outcomes of the 1st TROPICS Applications Workshop, held from May 8-10, 2017 at the University of Miami. At this meeting, a series of presentations and breakout discussions in the topical areas of Tropical Cyclone Dynamics, Tropical Cyclone Analysis and Nowcasting, Tropical Cyclone Modeling and Data Assimilation, and Terrestrial Impacts were convened to identify applications of the mission data and to begin to establish a community of end-users who will be able to benefit from TROPICS. Key takeaways, partnerships, and applications will be highlighted.

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