Assessment of the Benefits of Extending the Tropical by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life

By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Committee on the Future of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission

Introduced together in 1997 through the nationwide Aeronautics and area management (NASA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration business enterprise (JAXA), the Tropical Rainfall Measuring venture (TRMM) is a satellite tv for pc challenge that put a different suite of tools, together with the 1st precipitation radar, in area. those tools are used to observe and are expecting tropical cyclone tracks and depth, estimate rainfall, and computer screen weather variability (precipitation and sea floor temperature). TRMM has been amassing information for seven years: this knowledge is utilized by the Joint hurricane caution heart, the nationwide heart for Environmental Prediction, and the nationwide typhoon heart, between others around the world. In July 2004, NASA introduced that it is going to terminate TRMM in August 2004. on the request of the nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric management (NOAA), the White condo, and the technological know-how group, NASA agreed to proceed TRMM operations in the course of the finish of 2004. in the meantime, NASA requested a countrywide examine Council (NRC) committee to supply recommendation at the merits of protecting TRMM in operation past 2004. After protecting a workshop with a few specialists within the box, the committee discovered that TRMM will give a contribution considerably to operations and technological know-how if the venture is prolonged; and consequently, strongly recommends endured operation of TRMM with the caveat that fee and probability might want to be extra tested prior to a last selection concerning the way forward for TRMM will be made.

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Additional info for Assessment of the Benefits of Extending the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission: A Perspective from the Research and Operations Communities, Interim Report

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1: If NASA wishes to use risk assessments as a basis for deorbiting assessments, the agency must consider such risks and benefits more comprehensively than it presently does. 2: Given the material presented at the workshop, we recommend that NASA should not base its decision to extend the TRMM mission primarily on quantitative comparisons between “lives potentially saved” through operational exploitation of TRMM data and “potential hazard” associated with uncontrolled reentry. • Workshop Goal #2: Place the risk and benefit information into the context of the various decision alternatives that NASA is faced with for the future of the TRMM satellite.

30 ASSESSMENT OF THE BENEFITS OF EXTENDING TRMM Climate and Weather Many of the key TRMM achievements in climate and weather research fall in two basic categories that also include many if not most of the original science questions of TRMM. These are (1) fundamental new information on the synoptic climatology of tropical rainfall and weather systems and (2) a reliable benchmark climatology of the basic features of the tropical rainfall field. , 2002). , 2003). The achievements in this second category result from the ability to produce redundant estimates of precipitation using different combinations of satellite sensors such as the PR and TMI.

Many organizations and individuals have invested in bringing TRMM data into the operational environment because of the unique aspects of TRMM’s orbit and sensor suite. This reflects their professional judgment of the value of doing so based on their experiences of improvements in such things as fixing the location of tropical cyclones and estimating storm intensity (see Appendix K). Nonetheless, the effect of TRMM data on operational applications has not been widely quantified because the data record is too short for meaningful statistical analysis15 13Passive microwave imager data from TMI, SSM/I (Special Sensor Microwave/Imager), and AMSR-E (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS [Earth Observing System]) are being used to map the total columnar water vapor distribution near tropical cyclones to monitor the impact of storms entraining dry, stable air.

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