Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unique NASA Satellite Watches Rainfall from Space

14.05.2003


Your local weather forecaster uses Doppler radar systems, covering U.S. regions, to estimate rainfall and flooding, but NASA research satellites can see rainfall worldwide.



Data from NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)satellite, along with information from other satellites, allows researchers to see how much rain is falling over most of the world every three hours. This capability enables scientists to daily map areas of potential flooding.

These maps, available to the public on the Internet, will help water resource managers and scientists around the world by providing near-real time data of rainfall and flood potential. TRMM is considered a unique "rain gauge in the sky," because its instruments can look into clouds to determine rainfall, while other satellites can only see flooded areas after floods have occurred.


Because of its extraordinary capability, TRMM is used to calibrate and fine-tune measurements of rainfall taken by other satellites, leading to current updated records on a global scale. Once baselines are established, researchers use the higher quality TRMM data wherever possible and fill in the gaps with data from other satellites to get a more complete picture of rainfall around the world.

"This ability to detect potential floods is extremely useful for disaster monitoring," said Robert Adler, TRMM Project scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

"The rainfall maps are also useful in assessing the state of crops in remote regions, especially in the tropics," he said.

Maps that show areas of potential floods use precipitation radar data and high-resolution measurements of water content of clouds made by microwave radiometers. The maps span the Earth from 50 degrees north latitude to 50 degrees south latitude (an area just north of the U.S.-Canadian border and south to the tip of Argentina).

There are three variations of the rainfall accumulation maps, including 24-hour maps showing areas where more than 35 mm (1.37 inches) of rain has accumulated; maps with three-day accumulations of more than 100 mm (3.93 inches); and maps depicting areas with weeklong accumulations of more than 200 mm (7.87 inches).

Another map product, updated every three hours, shows a global snapshot of rainfall. A seven-day "movie loop" of the images allows users to track storms as they travel over land and oceans around the globe. Researchers use these near-global rainfall maps to monitor formation and dissipation of El Nino/Southern Oscillation conditions, soil moisture, and ocean salinity. These maps also are useful to water resource managers and farmers around the world.

The Adler led team of NASA scientists produced these TRMM rainfall and flood potential maps. The maps merge data from the TRMM Microwave Imager Precipitation Radar with information from other microwave satellites and geosynchronous weather satellite infrared data. Exploiting the strengths of multiple data sources increases the accuracy of the maps.

TRMM is a joint U.S.-Japanese mission and part of NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise, a long-term research program designed to study the Earth’s land, oceans, air, ice and life as a total system. The TRMM satellite was launched on November 27, 1997.

NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise is dedicated to understanding the Earth as an integrated system and applying Earth System Science to improve prediction of climate, weather and natural hazards, using the unique vantage point of space.


For information and TRMM images on the Internet, visit: http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2003/0425floods.html

For information about TRMM rain and flood maps on the Internet, visit: http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/

For information about NASA and Earth Science projects on the Internet, visit:

Krishna Ramanujan | Goddard Space Flight Center
Further information:
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2003/0425floods.html
http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/
http://www.nasa.gov

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht The Wadden Sea and the Elbe Studied with Zeppelin, Drones and Research Ships
19.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

nachricht FotoQuest GO: Citizen science campaign targets land-use change in Austria
19.09.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>