The Earth Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) is a Japanese-European collaborative earth observation satellite mission. The Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) is one of the EarthCARE instruments and it is the world's first on-board millimeter-wave Doppler radar in space. The Japan Aerospace exploration agency (JAXA) is responsible for development of the CPR in this mission in cooperation with the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). This paper mainly describes the development status and performance of EarthCARE CPR Proto Flight Model (PFM).
The Earth Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) mission is joint mission between Europe and Japan for the launch year of 2018. Mission objective is to improve scientific understanding of cloud-aerosol-radiation interactions that is one of the biggest uncertain factors for numerical climate and weather predictions. The EarthCARE spacecraft equips four instruments such as an ultra violet lidar (ATLID), a cloud profiling radar (CPR), a broadband radiometer (BBR), and a multi-spectral imager (MSI) and perform complete synergy observation to observe aerosols, clouds and their interactions simultaneously from the orbit. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is responsible for development of the CPR in this EarthCARE mission and the CPR will be the first space-borne W-band Doppler radar. The CPR is defined with minimum radar sensitivity of -35dBz (6dB better than current space-borne cloud radar, i.e. CloudSat, NASA), radiometric accuracy of 2.7 dB, and Doppler velocity measurement accuracy of less than 1.3 m/s. These specifications require highly accurate pointing technique in orbit and high power source with large antenna dish. JAXA and National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) have been jointly developed this CPR to meet these strict requirements so far and then achieved the development such as new CFRP flex-core structure, long life extended interaction klystron, low loss quasi optical feed technique, and so on. Through these development successes, CPR development phase has been progressed to critical design phase. In addition, new ground calibration technique is also being progressed for launch of EarthCARE/CPR. The unique feature of EarthCARE CPR is vertical Doppler velocity measurement capability. Vertical Doppler velocity measurement is very attractive function from the science point of view, because vertical motions of cloud particles are related with cloud microphysics and dynamics. However, from engineering point of view, Doppler measurement from satellite is quite challenging Technology. In order to maintain and ensure the CPR performance, several types of calibration data will be obtained by CPR. Overall performance of CPR is checked by Active Radar Calibrator (ARC) equipped on the ground (CPR in External Calibration mode). ARC is used to check the CPR transmitter performance (ARC in receiver mode) and receiver performance (ARC in transmitter mode) as well as overall performance (ARC in transponder mode with delay to avoid the contamination with ground echo). In Japan, the instrument industrial Critical Design Review of the CPR was completed in 2013 and it was also complemented by an Interface and Mission aspects CPR CDR, involving ESA and the EarthCARE Prime, that was completed successfully in 2015. The CPR Proto-Flight Model is currently being tested with almost completion of Proto-Flight Model integration. After handed-over to ESA planned for the beginning of 2017, the CPR will be installed onto the EarthCARE satellite with the other instruments. After that the CPR will be tested, transported to Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana and launched by a Soyuz launcher in 2018. This presentation will show the summary of the latest CPR design and CPR PFM testing status.
Earth Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) is a Japanese-European collaborative earth observation satellite mission aimed to deepen understanding of the interaction process between clouds and aerosols and their effects on the Earth’s radiation. The outcome of this mission is expected to improve the accuracy of global climate change prediction. As one of instruments for EarthCARE, the Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) is the world’s first space-borne Doppler cloud radar jointly developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). In Japan, the critical design review of the CPR has been completed in 2013, and CPR proto-flight model was manufactured and integrated until summer in 2015. Finally, the proto-flight test have been just started. This paper describes the design results and current status of CPR proto-flight test.