1.4 Tropospheric Water Vapor and Cloud ICE (TWICE): Development of Millimeter- and Sub-millimeter Wave Radiometer Instrument for 6U-Class Nanosatellites

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 9:15 AM
Room 338/339 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Steven C. Reising, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO; and P. Kangaslahti, E. Schlecht, T. C. Gaier, S. Padmanabhan, S. T. Brown, J. Jiang, R. Cofield, N. Chahat, X. Bosch-Lluis, M. Ogut, W. Deal, A. Zamora, K. Leong, and X. B. Mei

Measurements of upper-tropospheric water vapor and cloud ice at a variety of local times are critically needed to provide information not currently available from microwave sensors in sun-synchronous orbits. Such global measurements would enable increasingly accurate cloud and moisture simulations in global circulation models, improving both climate predictions and knowledge of their uncertainty. In addition, this capability would address the need for measurements of cloud ice particle size distribution and water content in both clean and polluted environments. Complementary measurements of aerosol pollution would allow investigation of its effects on cloud properties and climate. This is particularly important since the uncertainty in the aerosol effect on climate is at least four times as great as the uncertainty in greenhouse gas effects.

To address this unmet need, a collaborative team among Colorado State University, Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Northrop Grumman Corporation is developing and fabricating the Tropospheric Water and Cloud ICE (TWICE) radiometer instrument. TWICE is designed with size, mass, power consumption and downlink data rate compatible with deployment aboard a 6U-Class nanosatellite. TWICE is advancing the state of the art of spaceborne millimeter- and submillimeter-wave radiometers by transitioning from Schottky mixer-based front ends to InP HEMT MMIC low-noise amplifier front ends, substantially reducing the radiometer's mass, volume and power consumption. New low-noise amplifiers and related front-end components are being designed and fabricated by JPL and Northrop Grumman based on InP HEMT MMIC technology up to 670 GHz. The TWICE instrument will provide 16 radiometer channels, including window frequencies near 240, 310 and 670 GHz to perform ice particle sizing and determine total ice water content, as well as four sounding channels each near 118 GHz for temperature sounding and near 183 GHz and 380 GHz for water vapor sounding during nearly all weather conditions, particularly useful in the upper troposphere in the presence of ice clouds.

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