New Ocean Winds Satellite Mission to Probe Hurricanes and Tropical Convection

Ruf, Christopher S. ; Atlas, Robert ; Chang, Paul S. ; Clarizia, Maria Paola ; Garrison, James L. ; Gleason, Scott ; Katzberg, Stephen J. ; Jelenak, Zorana ; Johnson, Joel T. ; Majumdar, Sharanya J. ; O'brien, Andrew ; Posselt, Derek J. ; Ridley, Aaron J. ; Rose, Randall J. ; Zavorotny, Valery U.

Année de publication
The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) is a new NASA earth science mission scheduled to be launched in 2016 that focuses on tropical cyclones (TCs) and tropical convection. The mission’s two primary objectives are the measurement of ocean surface wind speed with sufficient temporal resolution to resolve short-time-scale processes such as the rapid intensification phase of TC development and the ability of the surface measurements to penetrate through the extremely high precipitation rates typically encountered in the TC inner core. The mission’s goal is to support significant improvements in our ability to forecast TC track, intensity, and storm surge through better observations and, ultimately, better understanding of inner-core processes. CYGNSS meets its temporal sampling objective by deploying a constellation of eight satellites. Its ability to see through heavy precipitation is enabled by its operation as a bistatic radar using low-frequency GPS signals. The mission will deploy an eight-spacecraft constellation in a low-inclination (35°) circular orbit to maximize coverage and sampling in the tropics. Each CYGNSS spacecraft carries a four-channel radar receiver that measures GPS navigation signals scattered by the ocean surface. The mission will measure inner-core surface winds with high temporal resolution and spatial coverage, under all precipitating conditions, and over the full dynamic range of TC wind speeds.

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