11 January 2005 GeoSTAR: a synthetic aperture microwave sounder for geostationary missions
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The Geostationary Synthetic Thinned Aperture Radiometer (GeoSTAR) is a new microwave atmospheric sounder under development. It will bring capabilities similar to those now available on low-earth orbiting environmental satellites to geostationary orbit - where such capabilities have not been available. GeoSTAR will synthesize the multi-meter aperture needed to achieve the required spatial resolution, which will overcome the obstacle that has prevented a GEO microwave sounder from being implemented until now. The synthetic aperture approach has until recently not been feasible, due to the high power needed to operate the on-board high-speed massively parallel processing system required for 2D-synthesis, as well as a number of system and calibration obstacles. The development effort under way at JPL, with important contributions from the Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Michigan, is intended to demonstrate the measurement concept and retire much of the technology risk. To that purpose a small ground based demo version of GeoSTAR is being constructed, which will be used to characterize system performance and test various calibration methods. This prototype development, which is being sponsored by NASA through its Instrument Incubator Program, will be completed in 2005. A GeoSTAR space mission can then be initiated. In parallel with the technology development, mission architecture studies are also under way in collaboration with the NOAA Office of System Development. In particular, the feasibility of incorporating GeoSTAR on the next generation of the geostationary weather satellites, GOES-R, is being closely examined. That would fill a long standing gap in the national weather monitoring capabilities.
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Bjorn H. Lambrigtsen, William J. Wilson, Alan B. Tanner, Pekka Kangaslahti, "GeoSTAR: a synthetic aperture microwave sounder for geostationary missions", Proc. SPIE 5659, Enabling Sensor and Platform Technologies for Spaceborne Remote Sensing, (11 January 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.578967; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.578967


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