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Earth Science Seminar

The NASA EV-2 Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) Mission
Presented by Christopher Ruf
University of Michigan

Monday, August 27, 2012
11:00 A.M. in 233-305E

The NASA EV-2 Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) is a spaceborne mission focused on tropical cyclone (TC) inner core process studies. CYGNSS attempts to resolve the principle deficiencies with current TC intensity forecasts, which lie in inadequate observations and modeling of the inner core. The inadequacy in observations results from two causes: 1) Much of the inner core ocean surface is obscured from conventional remote sensing instruments by intense precipitation in the eye wall and inner rain bands. 2) The rapidly evolving (genesis and intensification) stages of the TC life cycle are poorly sampled in time by conventional polar-orbiting, wide-swath surface wind imagers. CYGNSS is specifically designed to address these two limitations by combining the all-weather performance of GNSS bistatic ocean surface scatterometry with the sampling properties of a constellation of eight satellites. The use of a dense constellation of microsatellites results in spatial and temporal sampling properties that are markedly different from conventional imagers. An overall mission design summary will be presented. Simulation studies examine the expected spatial and temporal sampling as functions of various orbit parameters of the constellation. Historical records of TC storm tracks are overlaid onto a simulated time series of the surface wind sampling enabled by the constellation. For comparison purposes, a similar analysis is conducted using the sampling properties of several past and present conventional spaceborne ocean wind scatterometers. Differences in the ability of the sensors to resolve the evolution of the TC inner core are examined.

JPL Contact: Joe Turk (4-0315)

About the Speaker
Chris Ruf is Professor of Atmospheric Science and Electrical Engineering and Director of the Space Physics Research Laboratory (SPRL) at the University of Michigan. He is Principal Investigator of the NASA EV-2 CYGNSS Mission. He has been involved in microwave remote sensing for 29 years, with an emphasis on spaceborne microwave radiometer design and calibration and the development and validation of ocean and atmosphere geophysical retrieval algorithms. He is also involved with related technology development efforts. His involvement with spaceborne microwave radiometer missions includes instrument scientist for TOPEX and GeoSat Follow and science or cal/val team member for five missions (Jason, WindSat, Aquarius, Global Precipitation Measurement and Juno).

Prof. Ruf is Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the AGU, AMS and URSI Commission F. SPRL is a research unit specializing in the fabrication of spaceborne scientific instruments. It has developed and flown over 36 successful spaceflight sensors since its founding in the 1950s.


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