Polar Satellite Precipitation Data Center

What Is The Polar Satellite Precipitation Data Centre (PSPDC)?

SSM/I Satellite

The Polar Satellite Precipitation Data Centre constitutes part of NASA's contribution to the GPCP. Physically located at Goddard Space Flight Center the PSPDC acquires satellite microwave measurements from operational satellites as well as correlative information (e.g., available ground truth measurements and atmospheric temperature and water vapor soundings) to produce estimates of rainfall rate over the oceans, using a project-approved algorithm. This centre is also responsible for maintanence and upgrade of the algorithms and the promotion of research and development of precipitation algorithms. Specific functions of the centre are:

  • Acquire the data tapes of SSM/I Level I brightness temperatures.
  • Process the SSM/I tapes and compute monthly brightness temperature histograms for each 2.5° latitude by 2.5° longitude box, for all channels and for both vertical and horizontal polarizations.
  • Produce global monthly microwave rainfall estimates for each 2.5° latitude by 2.5° longitude box, using a project-approved algorithm. Initially, rainfall estimates are produced over oceans only. The effort will be extended to include global (land and ocean) estimates when improved algorithms become available.
  • Accumulate monthly rainfall estimates on magnetic tapes for 3-month periods.
  • Prepare written documentation on any problems encountered in the acquisition of data and the computation of satellite rainfall estimates, and on any modifications to algorithms or changes in procedures.
  • Prepare copies of magnetic tapes of monthly rainfall estimates and documentation and ship to the GPCP Geosynchronuous Satellite Precipitation Data Centre (GSPDC) and the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) within six weeks after the close of the 3-month period under consideration.
  • Store the histogram data and the rainfall estimates.
  • Represent the GPCP Working Group on Data Management issues.
Last Update: September 14, 2015
Research Scientist: Dr. Si Gao, AOES/GMU
Please send questions and comments to: Prof. Long S. Chiu