7B.1 Cloud and Precipitation Imaging Radar Technology Development for Future Spaceborne Missions

Monday, 28 August 2017: 4:00 PM
St. Gallen (Swissotel Chicago)
Lihua Li, NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD; and G. Heymsfield, P. Racette, M. McLinden, M. E. Cooley, P. A. Stenger, and T. Spence

A dual-band (W‑band 94 GHz and Ka-band 35 GHz) radar has been identified as one of the key sensors for the NASA Aerosol, Cloud and Ecosystems (ACE) mission. Meanwhile, the Cloud and Precipitation Process Mission (CaPPM) concept, which is a follow-on to the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, is considering a tri-band (W‑band 94 GHz, Ka-band 35 GHz, and Ku-band 14 GHz) imaging radar for cloud and precipitation observation. This presentation provides an update on the most recent radar technology development at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (NGMS) through projects funded by the NASA Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) Instrument Incubator Program (IIP). Our primary objective of research is to advance the key enabling technologies for a dual-band (Ka/W-band) or a tri-band (Ku/Ka/W-band) shared-aperture spaceborne imaging radar to provide unprecedented, simultaneous multi-frequency measurements that will enhance understanding of the effects of clouds and precipitation and their interaction on the Earth energy budget. Effort has focused on architecture design and trade studies of a dual- or tri-band radar using a shared antenna aperture; development of the Ka‑band active electronically scanned array (AESA) transmit/receive (T/R) module, and development of the advanced radar backend electronics.
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