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The Global Change Observation Mission-Water (GCOM-W1)

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Status: Current
Mission Category: A-Train
Launch Date: May 18, 2012

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission (No NASA contribution)

The “Global Change Observation Mission” (GCOM) aims to construct, use, and verify systems that enable continuous global-scale observations (for 10 to 15 years) of effective geophysical parameters for elucidating global climate change and water circulation mechanisms.

Water circulation changes will be observed by a microwave radiometer onboard the GCOM-W (Water) satellite (scheduled to be launched in Japan Fiscal Year 2012). The GCOM-W will observe precipitation, vapor amounts, wind velocity above the ocean, sea water temperatures, water levels on land areas and snow depths.

Key The Global Change Observation Mission-Water Facts

Altitude:Distance from sea level. 700km
Inclination: 98°
Origination: JAXA
Instruments: AMSR2 (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2)

Relevant Science Focus Areas:

  • Atmospheric Composition
  • Climate Variability and Change
  • Water and Energy Cycle
  • Weather

Relevant Science Questions:

  • How does the Earth system respond to natural and human-induced changes?
  • How is the global Earth system changing?
  • How will the Earth system change in the future?

Science Goals:

  • Enhanced understanding of water in the Earth's climate system and the global water cycle.
  • Enhanced understanding of additional components of the Earth's climate system and their interactions.
  • Improved weather forecasting.

Related Applications:

  • Agricultural Efficiency
  • Coastal Management
  • Disaster Management
  • Homeland Security
  • Water Management
  • Weather Prediction