5th GOES Users' Conference


A microwave sounder for geostationary orbit

Bjorn H. Lambrigtsen, JPL and California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

The Geostationary Synthetic Thinned Aperture Radiometer (GeoSTAR) is a new Earth remote sensing instrument concept that has been under development at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. First conceived in 1998 as a NASA New Millennium Program mission and subsequently developed in 2003-2006 as a proof-of-concept prototype under the NASA Instrument Incubator Program, it is intended to fill a serious gap in our Earth remote sensing capabilities – namely the lack of a microwave atmospheric sounder in geostationary orbit. The importance of such observations have been recognized by the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council, which recently released its report on a “Decadal Survey” of NASA Earth Science activities. One of the recommended missions for the next decade is a geostationary microwave sounder. GeoSTAR is well positioned to meet the requirements of such a mission, and because of the substantial investment NASA has already made in GeoSTAR technology development, this concept is fast approaching the necessary maturity for implementation in the next decade. NOAA is interested in GeoSTAR as a potential payload on a future series of geostationary weather satellites, the GOES-R series and has closely monitored the technology development since 2003. GeoSTAR, with its ability to map out the three-dimensional structure of temperature, water vapor, clouds, precipitation and convective parameters on a continual basis, will significantly enhance our ability to observe hurricanes and other severe storms and would significantly improve the GOES-R capabilities in these areas. We discuss the GeoSTAR concept and basic design, the performance of the prototype, and the most important science applications that will be possible with GeoSTAR. The work reported on here was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Poster Session 1, Fifth GOES Users' Confererence Poster Session
Wednesday, 23 January 2008, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM, Exhibit Hall B

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