Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Hydrosphere Land surface Agriculture Human Dimensions

Recent Imagery

You will be directed to the NASA Visible Earth webpage when you select Images by Mission below, or click on the images at right that are randomly generated to represent four out of all possible topics.

You are here

Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS)

Click image for alternate view

Status: Future, Formulation
Mission Category: ESSP, Venture Class, Earth Venture-Instrument
Launch Date: 2021

The Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) mission will provide rapid-refresh microwave measurements (median refresh rate of 21 minutes for the baseline mission, 31 minutes for the threshold mission) over the tropics that can be used to observe the thermodynamics of the troposphere and precipitation structure for storm systems at the mesoscale and synoptic scale over the entire storm lifecycle. TROPICS comprises 12 CubeSats (fully compliant 4.0 kg 3U) in three low-Earth orbital planes. Each CubeSat will host a high-performance radiometer scanning across the satellite track at 30 RPM to provide temperature profiles using seven channels near the 118.75 GHz oxygen absorption line, water vapor profiles using 3 channels near the 183 GHz water vapor absorption line, imagery in a single channel near 90 GHz for precipitation measurements, and a single channel at 206 GHz for cloud ice measurements. (Picture credit: MIT Lincoln Laboratory)

Key Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats Facts

Mission/Portal Page: https://tropics.ll.mit.edu/CMS/tropics/
Altitude:Distance from sea level. 600km
Inclination: 30°
Origination: NASA
Project Scientist(s): Scott Braun, NASA GSFC
Principle Investigator(s): William Blackwell, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Other Key Personnel: Chris Bonniksen
Ramesh Kakar

Science Goals:

  • Relate precipitation structure evolution, including diurnal cycle, to the evolution of the upper-level warm core and associated intensity changes
  • Relate the occurrence of intense precipitation cores (convective bursts) to storm intensity evolution
  • Relate retrieved environmental moisture measurements to coincident measures of storm structure (including size) and intensity
  • Assimilate microwave radiances and/or retrievals in mesoscale and global numerical weather prediction models to assess impacts on storm track and intensity