Global Precipitation Measurement
[Text Source: NASA Science Missions Directorate Homepage, http://nasascience.nasa.gov/missions/gpm/ ]
GPM Constellation is a joint mission with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and other international partners. Building upon the success of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), it will initiate the measurement of global precipitation, a key climate factor. Its science objectives are: to improve ongoing efforts to predict climate by providing near-global measurement of precipitation, its distribution, and physical processes; to improve the accuracy of weather and precipitation forecasts through more accurate measurement of rain rates and latent heating; and to provide more frequent and complete sampling of the Earth's precipitation. GPM Constellation is envisioned to consist of a core spacecraft to measure precipitation structure and to provide a calibration standard for the constellation spacecraft, an international constellation of NASA and contributed spacecraft to provide frequent precipitation measurements on a global basis, calibration/validation sites distributed globally with a broad array of precipitation-measuring instrumentation, and a global precipitation data system to produce and distribute global rain maps and climate research products.