Encyclopedia Astronautica
TRMM



trmm.jpg
TRMM
Credit: NASDA
American earth atmosphere satellite. One launch, 1997.11.27. TRMM was an international mission dedicated to measuring tropical and subtropical rainfall.

TRMM provided long-term data sets of rainfall and energy budget measurements which were to be used to better understand global climate changes and their mechanisms. The spacecraft and four instruments were provided by the USA, while Japan provided one instrument and launch services.

The latent heat released by tropical rainfall played a major role in the global atmospheric circulation and the energy budget. The large spatial and temporal variations in tropical rain made it particularly difficult to measure from the Earth's surface, and TRMM provided measurement accuracies possible only from an orbiting platform.

The spacecraft was 3-axis stabilized, with zero momentum bias. Two solar panels provided 1100 W. Data downlink was via TDRSS.

The payload consisted of:

  • Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) - a passive broadband scanning radiometer with 3 spectral bands (visible through IR) that measured the Earth's radiation budget and atmospheric radiation from the top of the atmosphere to the surface of the Earth.
  • Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) - an optical telescope and filter imaging system which investigated the distribution and variability of both intracloud and cloud-to-ground lightning over the earth. Data from this experiment allowed for the derivation of a lightning climatology over the tropics and related the lightning observations to the rainfall distribution in tropical systems.
  • Precipitation Radar (PR) - the first spaceborne rain radar in the world, PR's major objectives were to (1) provide 3-dimensional rainfall structure data, (2) provide quantitative rainfall measurements, and (3) improve the accuracy of TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) measurement by providing rain structure information. This phased array radar operated at 13.8 Ghz with a swath width of 215 km.
  • TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) - a multi-channel/dual-polarised microwave radiometer that provided data related to rainfall rates over the oceans. TMI data, together with PR data, formed the primary data set of precipitation measurement. The imager operated at 10.7, 19.4, 21.3, 37 and 85.5 Ghz, had a swath width of 760 km and provided 6-50 km horizontal resolution.
  • Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS) - a passive cross-track scanning radiometer which measured scene radiance in five spectral bands (visible through infrared). VIRS had a 720 km swath width and provides 2 km horizontal resolution.

Project total cost was $ 650 million.

AKA: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission.
First Launch: 1997.11.27.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • H-2 Heavy lift Japanese indigenous launch vehicle. The original H-2 version was cancelled due to high costs and poor reliability and replaced by the substantially redesigned H-2A.

    3 stage vehicle consisted of 2 x H-II SRB + 1 x H-II stage 1 + 1 x H-II stage 2 More...


Associated Launch Vehicles
  • H-2 Heavy lift Japanese indigenous launch vehicle. The original H-2 version was cancelled due to high costs and poor reliability and replaced by the substantially redesigned H-2A. More...
  • H-II Japanese orbital launch vehicle. 3 stage vehicle consisted of 2 x H-II SRB boosters + core vehicle. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • NASDA Japanese agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. National Space Development Agency, Japan. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report,
  • NASA Report, TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission): A satellite mission to measure tropical rainfall, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Tanegashima Japan's main launch site for he larger N and H launch vehicles. In use for sounding rockets from 1967 and orbital launches from 1975. As of 2007 over 140 major launches had been made from the site. More...

TRMM Chronology


1997 November 27 - . 21:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Tanegashima. Launch Complex: Tanegashima Y. LV Family: H-2. Launch Vehicle: H-II. LV Configuration: H-II H-II-6F.
  • TRMM - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: TRMM. USAF Sat Cat: 25063 . COSPAR: 1997-074A. Apogee: 403 km (250 mi). Perigee: 395 km (245 mi). Inclination: 35.0000 deg. Period: 92.50 min. Summary: TRMM was an international mission dedicated to measuring tropical and subtropical rainfall. The spacecraft and four instruments were provided by the USA, while Japan provided one instrument and launch services..

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