ASSESSMENT OF THE BENEFITS OF EXTENDING THE TROPICAL RAINFALL MEASURING MISSION

A PERSPECTIVE FROM THE RESEARCH AND OPERATIONS COMMUNITIES

INTERIM REPORT

Committee on the Future of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu



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Assessment of the Benefits of Extending the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission: A Perspective from the Research and Operations Communities - Interim Report ASSESSMENT OF THE BENEFITS OF EXTENDING THE TROPICAL RAINFALL MEASURING MISSION A PERSPECTIVE FROM THE RESEARCH AND OPERATIONS COMMUNITIES INTERIM REPORT Committee on the Future of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Assessment of the Benefits of Extending the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission: A Perspective from the Research and Operations Communities - Interim Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Contract No. NASW-01001. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-10282-0 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Assessment of the Benefits of Extending the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission: A Perspective from the Research and Operations Communities - Interim Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Assessment of the Benefits of Extending the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission: A Perspective from the Research and Operations Communities - Interim Report COMMITTEE ON THE FUTURE OF THE TROPICAL RAINFALL MEASURING MISSION (TRMM) EUGENE RASMUSSON (Chair), University of Maryland (retired), College Park, Maryland V. CHANDRASEKAR, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado CAROL ANNE CLAYSON, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida JEFFREY D. HAWKINS, Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, California KRISTINA B. KATSAROS, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (retired), Freeland, Washington M. PATRICK MCCORMICK, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia MATTHIAS STEINER, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey GRAEME L. STEPHENS, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado CHRISTOPHER S. VELDEN, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin RAY A. WILLIAMSON, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. NRC Staff PAUL CUTLER, Study Director LEAH PROBST, Research Associate ROB GREENWAY, Senior Program Assistant

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Assessment of the Benefits of Extending the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission: A Perspective from the Research and Operations Communities - Interim Report BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ROBERT J. SERAFIN (Chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado M. JOAN ALEXANDER, NorthWest Research Associates/CORA, Boulder, Colorado FREDERICK R. ANDERSON, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Washington, D.C. MICHAEL L. BENDER, Princeton University, New Jersey ROSINA M. BIERBAUM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MARY ANNE CARROLL, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor CAROL ANNE CLAYSON, Florida State University, Tallahassee WALTER F. DABBERDT, Vaisala Inc., Boulder, Colorado KERRY A. EMANUEL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge DENNIS L. HARTMANN, University of Washington, Seattle PETER R. LEAVITT, Weather Information Inc., Newton, Massachusetts JENNIFER A. LOGAN, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts VERNON R. MORRIS, Howard University, Washington, D.C. F. SHERWOOD ROWLAND, University of California, Irvine THOMAS H. VONDER HAAR, Colorado State University/CIRA, Fort Collins ROGER M. WAKIMOTO, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Ex Officio Members ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR., University of Maryland, College Park ERIC F. WOOD, Princeton University, New Jersey NRC Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Director PAUL CUTLER, Senior Program Officer AMANDA STAUDT, Senior Program Officer IAN KRAUCUNAS, Associate Program Officer CURTIS MARSHALL, Program Officer CLAUDIA MENGELT, Associate Program Officer ELIZABETH A. GALINIS, Research Associate LEAH PROBST, Research Associate ROB GREENWAY, Senior Program Assistant KATIE WELLER, Program Assistant DIANE GUSTAFSON, Administrative Coordinator ANDREAS SOHRE, Financial Associate

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Assessment of the Benefits of Extending the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission: A Perspective from the Research and Operations Communities - Interim Report Prologue This report was originally released in December 2004 in prepublication form as the first report of a two-phase study to be carried out by the same committee. The first phase was sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and focused on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). The second phase was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and focused on the Global Precipitation Measurement mission. The report of the second phase will be published in a separate volume in 2006. A number of significant decisions for TRMM have been made since December 2004. In 2005, NASA approved a waiver of its controlled reentry guidelines to allow TRMM to operate beyond the minimum fuel point required for a controlled reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. In advance of the 2005 NASA Senior Review of 12 Earth science missions, NASA’s TRMM team proposed to extend TRMM.1 NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center was directed to continue TRMM science operations through fiscal year 2009, and TRMM may be further extended as a result of a future NASA Senior Review. As of the publication of this report, the TRMM spacecraft and instruments are in excellent condition and are fully operational.2 TRMM has enough fuel to operate until approximately 2012. June 2006 1 The TRMM Senior Review Proposal is available online at http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/trmm_rain/Events/TRMMSeniorProp_1.pdf [accessed May 11, 2006]. 2 As mentioned in Chapter 1, Box 1-1, the Clouds and Earth Radiant Energy System instrument failed shortly after launch. In 2002, one of the two Solar Array Drive Actuators lost sun-tracking function, leading to slightly less available power for the spacecraft but sufficient power for nominal operations of all working instruments. For up-to-date TRMM information and operational status, visit the mission Website at http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov.

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Assessment of the Benefits of Extending the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission: A Perspective from the Research and Operations Communities - Interim Report Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Phillip Arkin, University of Maryland, College Park Peter Bauer, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, Berkshire, UK Russell Elsberry, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California Roger Pielke, Jr., University of Colorado/CIRES, Boulder Amanda Preble, Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Center, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Roger Wakimoto, University of California, Los Angeles Although the reviewers listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert Dickinson, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Carl Wunsch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Assessment of the Benefits of Extending the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission: A Perspective from the Research and Operations Communities - Interim Report Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   11      Scope of the Report,   11      Audience for the Report,   12      Information Gathering and Workshop Dimensions,   12      History of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission,   13      Global Precipitation Measurement Mission,   13 2   DECISION CONTEXT   17      Introduction,   17      Elements of the TRMM Decision Context,   17      Cost,   18      Risk,   20      Findings,   22 3   ACHIEVEMENTS OF TRMM TO DATE   25      Introduction,   25      Effect of TRMM,   26      Uniqueness of TRMM,   27      Longevity and Status of TRMM Sensors and Spacecraft,   28      Contributions of TRMM to Research,   29      Contributions of TRMM to Operations,   32      Operational Community Just Beginning to Adopt PR Data,   39      Findings,   40

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Assessment of the Benefits of Extending the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission: A Perspective from the Research and Operations Communities - Interim Report 4   ANTICIPATED CONTRIBUTIONS OF TRMM   43      Introduction,   43      Anticipated Contributions when Controlled Reentry Is Still Possible,   44      Anticipated Contributions beyond the Fuel Point (In Addition to What Is Gained While Controlled Reentry Is Still Possible),   53      Conclusions,   58      Recommendation,   60     REFERENCES   61     APPENDIXES          A  Committee Biographies   69      B  Statement of Task   75      C  Workshop Agenda   77      D  Workshop Participants and Other Contributors   79      E  Letter from World Climate Research Programme/WMO to Administrator O’Keefe (NASA) and Dr. Yamanouchi (JAXA), July 6, 2004   81      F  Letter from Rep. Boehlert to Dr. Marburger, July 22, 2004   84      G  Letter from Rep. Lampson to President Bush, July 23, 2004   86      H  Letter from Vice Admiral Lautenbacher to Administrator O’Keefe, July 23, 2004   88      I  Letter from Administrator O’Keefe to Vice Admiral Lautenbacher, August 3, 2004   90      J  Abbreviations   93      K  Examples of Improvements in Tropical Cyclone Nowcasting Gained from TRMM   96