||TRMM is a joint NASA/JAXA (formerly NASDA) mission within NASA's ESE (Earth Science Enterprise) program with a low-inclination (equatorial) orbit. NASA/GSFC provides the satellite, four passive sensors, and mission operations, NASDA the launch vehicle (H-II rocket) and the precipitation radar instrument. Each agency processes the data from its own instruments. TRMM is the first mission dedicated to observing and understanding tropical and subtropical rainfall, one of the most important, but least understood parameters in global change.
Objectives: Global change studies, especially in developing an interdisciplinary understanding of atmospheric circulation, ocean-atmospheric coupling, and tropical biology. General circulation models require detailed data on the latent heating of equatorial air masses, and the forcing and propagation speed of waves involved in the 30- to 60-day tropical oscillations.
Measure diurnal variation of precipitation and evaporation inthe tropics to provide increased understanding of how substantial rainfall affects global climate patterns.
Obtain a minimum of three years of climatologically significant observations of rainfall in the tropics.
In tandem with cloud models, provide accurate estimates of the vertical distributions of latent heating in the atmosphere.
Provide TRMM rain products to weather organizations/researchers as close to real-time as possible to facilitate research into their applicability for forecast improvements and broader weather research.