Session 4B.5 Workshop report on Nexrad-In-Space—a geostationary satellite Doppler weather radar for hurricane studies

Tuesday, 7 August 2007: 9:30 AM
Meeting Room 2 (Cairns Convention Center)
Eastwood Im, JPL / California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA; and E. A. Smith, V. Chandrasekar, S. S. Chen, G. Holland, F. D. Marks Jr., S. Tanelli, and G. J. Tripoli

Presentation PDF (655.7 kB)

The Nexrad-In-Space (NIS) Science and Technology Road Map Workshop was held on 10-11 April 2007. NIS is a mission concept to provide a geostationary satellite Doppler radar. It was developed over the last 4 years under the auspices of NASA's Earth Science Instrument Incubator Program (IIP). The NIS would provide Ka-band (35 GHz) reflectivity and line-of-sight Doppler velocity profiles over a circular Earth region of approximately 5200 km in diameter with a 12-km horizontal resolution, and a minimum detectable signal of 5 dBZ. The NIS radar achieves its superb sampling capabilities by use of a 35-m diameter, deployable antenna made from lightweight membrane material. The antenna has two transmit-receive array pairs that create a dual-beam, spiral-feed combined profile image of both reflectivity and Doppler velocity approximately every 60 minutes. This sampling time can be shortened even further by increasing the number of transmit-receive array pairs

It is generally recognized that the processes important in governing hurricane intensity and structure span a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. The environmental forcing considerations require a large domain. The vortex response to the environmental forcing ultimately involves convection on small horizontal scales in the eyewall and rainband regions. Resolving this environment-vortex-convection feedback in a numerical model requires observations on the space and time scales necessary to unambiguously define these structures within and surrounding the tropical cyclone. Because the time and space scales of these processes are small, continuous 3-dimensional independent observations of the 3-dimensional wind and precipitation structures will be needed to initialize numerical models critical for this purpose. The proposed NIS Doppler radar would be the first instrument capable of accomplishing this feat at time scales less than hours, and would create the opportunity for hurricane science to enter a new era of understanding and improved prediction. Thus, the scientific thrust of the Workshop was to develop the scientific framework for exploiting the NIS radar data through continuous 3-dimensional data assimilation of the Doppler and reflectivity signals in non-hydrostatic cloud resolving models.

This talk will present the key findings and recommendations from the NIS Workshop, including brief summaries of the instrument concept, the current technology status, the anticipated impacts on hurricane monitoring and model prediction, and the future science and technology roadmap.

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