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Second Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity With a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) Mission Applications WorkshopThe 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 (PMW) sounders but with unprecedented temporal resolution (Mission Website).1 TROPICS is a cost-capped ($30.2 million), Venture-class mission funded by the NASA Earth Science Division (ESD) and led by Principal Investigator Dr. William Blackwell from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL). The mission consists of a constellation of six, three-unit (3U) CubeSats (approximately 10×10×34 cm), each hosting a 12-channel PMW spectrometer based on the Micro-sized Microwave Atmospheric Satellite-2 (MicroMAS-2) developed at MIT LL, but with a substantially improved design. 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 with a swath width of approximately 2,000 km from a 550-km orbit altitude. Both the spatial resolution and swath width are similar to the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) that is being flown as part of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). In addition, TROPICS meets many of the requirements outlined in the 2007 Decadal Survey for the Precision and All-Weather Tempera-ture and Humidity (PATH) mission, which was originally envisioned as a microwave instrument in geostationary orbit. TROPICS enables temporal resolution approaching that of geostationary orbit but at a much lower cost, demonstrating a technology that could impact the design of future Earth-observing missions. The satellites for the TROPICS mission were delivered to NASA in 2019 for launches planned in the 2021–2022 timeframe. The primary mission objective of TROPICS is to relate temperature, humidity, and precipitation structure to the evolution of tropical cyclone (TC) intensity.
Document ID
20210010046
Document Type
Conference Publication (CP)
Authors
E B Berndt (Marshall Space Flight Center Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, United States)
J P Dunion (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Washington D.C., District of Columbia, United States)
E L Duran (University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, Alabama, United States)
P T Duran (Marshall Space Flight Center Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, United States)
W. J. Blackwell (Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States)
S A Braun (Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, Maryland, United States)
D S Green (National Aeronautics and Space Administration Washington D.C., District of Columbia, United States)
Date Acquired
February 11, 2021
Publication Date
February 26, 2021
Publication Information
Publication: NASA STI Report Series
Subject Category
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Report/Patent Number
M-1518
Meeting Information
Second Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity With a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) Mission Applications Workshop(Miami, Florida)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 714443.02.02.01.42
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Use by or on behalf of the US Gov. Permitted.
Keywords
remote sensing
smallsats
hurricanes
precipitation
severe weather
disasters

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NameType NASA_CP_20210010046.pdf STI