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12 October 2015 Current status of the dual-frequency precipitation radar on the global precipitation measurement core spacecraft
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The Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core satellite was developed by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). The GPM is a follow-on mission of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). The objectives of the GPM mission are to observe global precipitation more frequently and accurately than TRMM. The frequent precipitation measurement about every three hours will be achieved by some constellation satellites with microwave radiometers (MWRs) or microwave sounders (MWSs), which will be developed by various countries. The accurate measurement of precipitation in mid-high latitudes will be achieved by the DPR. The GPM core satellite is a joint product of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), JAXA and NICT. NASA developed the satellite bus and the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI), and JAXA and NICT developed the DPR. JAXA and NICT developed the DPR through procurement. The configuration of precipitation measurement using active radar and a passive radiometer is similar to TRMM. The major difference is that DPR is used in GPM instead of the precipitation radar (PR) in TRMM. The inclination of the core satellite is 65 degrees, and the nominal flight altitude is 407 km. The non-sun-synchronous circular orbit is necessary for measuring the diurnal change of rainfall similarly to TRMM. The DPR consists of two radars, which are Ku-band (13.6 GHz) precipitation radar (KuPR) and Ka-band (35.5 GHz) precipitation radar (KaPR). Both KuPR and KaPR have almost the same design as TRMM PR. The DPR system design and performance were verified through the ground test. GPM core observatory was launched at 18:37:00 (UT) on February 27, 2014 successfully. DPR orbital check out was completed in May 2014. The results of orbital checkout show that DPR meets its specification on orbit. After completion of initial checkout, DPR started Normal Operations and Initial Calibration and Validation period was started. JAXA conducted internal calibrations, external calibrations and phase code changes to mitigate KuPR sidelobe clutter effect. JAXA evaluated these operations results and concluded that DPR data could go public. DPR products were released to the public on Sep. 2, 2014 and Normal Observation Operation period was started. JAXA is continuing DPR trend monitoring, calibration operations to confirm that DPR keeps its function and performance on orbit.
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K. Furukawa, T. Nio, T. Konishi, R. Oki, T. Masaki, T. Kubota, T. Iguchi, and H. Hanado "Current status of the dual-frequency precipitation radar on the global precipitation measurement core spacecraft", Proc. SPIE 9639, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XIX, 96390G (12 October 2015);

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