22 August 2005 Progress in developing GeoSTAR: a microwave sounder for GOES-R
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The Geostationary Synthetic Thinned Aperture Radiometer (GeoSTAR) is a new concept for a microwave sounder, intended to be deployed on NOAA's next generation of geostationary weather satellites, GOES-R. A ground based prototype has been developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, under NASA Instrument Incubator Program sponsorship, and is currently undergoing tests and performance characterization. The initial space version of GeoSTAR will have performance characteristics equal to those of the AMSU system currently operating on polar orbiting environmental satellites, but subsequent versions will significantly outperform AMSU. In addition to all-weather temperature and humidity soundings, GeoSTAR will also provide continuous rain mapping, tropospheric wind profiling and real time storm tracking. In particular, with the aperture synthesis approach used by GeoSTAR it is possible to achieve very high spatial resolutions without having to deploy the impractically large parabolic reflector antenna that is required with the conventional approach. GeoSTAR therefore offers both a feasible way of getting a microwave sounder in GEO as well as a clear upgrade path to meet future requirements. GeoSTAR offers a number of other advantages relative to real-aperture systems as well, such as 2D spatial coverage without mechanical scanning, system robustness and fault tolerance, operational flexibility, high quality beam formation, and open ended performance expandability. The technology and system design required for GeoSTAR are rapidly maturing, and it is expected that a space demonstration mission can be developed before the first GOES-R launch. GeoSTAR will be ready for operational deployment 2-3 years after that.
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B. H. Lambrigtsen, B. H. Lambrigtsen, S. T. Brown, S. T. Brown, S. J. Dinardo, S. J. Dinardo, P. P. Kangaslahti, P. P. Kangaslahti, A. B. Tanner, A. B. Tanner, W. J. Wilson, W. J. Wilson, "Progress in developing GeoSTAR: a microwave sounder for GOES-R", Proc. SPIE 5882, Earth Observing Systems X, 58820L (22 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.615269; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.615269

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