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NEC's Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR*1) boarded on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM*2) core satellite obtains first images

According to the fifth issue of reports from the various working groups of the IPCC in September 2013, global warming will bring about climate change, leading to an increase in frequency of disasters around the world, including typhoons, tornados and floods caused by torrential rainfall, and resulting in intensification of damages. Further, water shortage will occur in some regions due to droughts. In order to address the various water-related impacts of climate change, we must consider adaptation from the two aspects of "the major causes of hazardous disasters" and "precious water resources". For this reason, it is necessary to first really know about the "water" on earth.

At present, NASA and JAXA are the two main organizations implementing the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) program. The "Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core satellite" was launched on February 28, 2014 as preparations were initiated toward observation of precipitation at the global level. The GPM program apprehends the latest global precipitation distribution every 3 hours. This data contributes to climate change adaptation in the areas of enhanced precision of weather forecasts, warnings on water-related natural disasters such as floods, and solutions to water resource issues.

GPM core satellite (Japan-United States joint development) (c)JAXAGPM core satellite (Japan-United States joint development) (c)JAXA

The Global Precipitation Measurement(GPM) core satellite is equipped with two observational instruments, the "Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar(DPR)" developed by Japan, and the "GPM microwave imager(GMI)" developed by the United States.

NEC and NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems, Ltd. were put in charge of the design and manufacture of this "Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar(DPR)", following the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission(TRMM) equipped with the precipitation radar "PR". The DPR is the successor to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission/Precipitation Radar(TRMM/PR*3), which was launched in 1997 as the world's first satellite-based precipitation radar. TRMM/PR has been in use for more than 16 years, far exceeding its design life of three years. The DPR makes detailed observations of precipitation using two frequencies. This is enabled through the combination of precipitation radar that uses Ku-band (13.6GHz) radio waves – the same type of radar used by TRMM/PR for observation of heavy precipitation – and a Ka-band (35.55GHz) precipitation radar suited to observing light precipitation.

Three-dimensional distribution of precipitation by the Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar(DPR)GPM core satellite (Japan-United States joint development) (c)JAXA

Utilizing state-of-the-art space technologies gained through our experience working with 67 satellites, including Osumi, Japan's first artificial satellite, and Hayabusa, NEC will continue to contribute to the realization of safe and reliable social infrastructure in the future.

(Note 1) DPR: Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar
(Note 2) GPM: Global Precipitation Measurement
(Note 3) TRMM/PR: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission / Precipitation Radar
NEC and Toshiba Corporation in charge of manufacture.

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