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HIGH-LATITUDE WINDS FROM MOLNIYA ORBIT a mission concept for NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program. Lars Peter Riishojgaard Global Modeling and Assimilation Office/ Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center. Mission overview.

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HIGH-LATITUDE WINDS FROM MOLNIYA ORBITa mission concept for NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program

Lars Peter Riishojgaard

Global Modeling and Assimilation Office/

Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center

mission overview
Mission overview
  • Fly a geostationary-class atmospheric imager in a Molniya orbit
  • Aim is to demonstrate capability of time-continuous coverage of atmospheric imagery and winds for all of the northern hemisphere (“GOES to the pole!”)
  • Scientific heritage provided in part by GOES/Meteosat, in part by the MODIS winds
  • Mission can help fill the “water vapor gap” between MODIS and NPOESS (VIIRS FM4)
  • Potential for a substantial future upgrade to the GOS
  • Proposal being developed by the Goddard Space Flight Center for NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder program

Molniya Orbit Imager, Multitemp 2005, Biloxi MS, 05/17/2005

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Primary science application: High-latitude winds
    • Known shortage of high-latitude wind observations
    • Mid-latitude forecast busts often have high-latitude origins
    • (Winds from MODIS shown to have positive impact especially on sub-par forecasts)

Molniya Orbit Imager, Multitemp 2005, Biloxi MS, 05/17/2005

status of satellite wind observations
Status of satellite wind observations
  • No operational satellite winds beyond 55-60 deg latitude
  • Polar winds from MODIS (until 2008)
    • Data latency is problematic; 4 to 6 hours after real time
    • Image refresh problematic; 15 minutes is optimal, MODIS: ~100 minutes
    • No water vapor channel on VIIRS (until at least 2015)
    • Latitudinal coverage gap between MODIS and GEO winds
  • => Need for “geostationary-type” imagery over high-latitude regions; Molniya Orbit Imager is a good candidate

Molniya Orbit Imager, Multitemp 2005, Biloxi MS, 05/17/2005

molniya orbit characteristics
Molniya orbit characteristics
  • Highly eccentric Kepler orbit
    • Apogee height 39750 km (geostationary orbit height ~36000 km)
    • Perigee height ~600 km
    • Inclination 63.4 degrees
    • Orbital period ~11h 58m (half a sidereal day)
  • Location of apogee w.r.t. Earth is fixed and stable!
  • Platform in quasi-stationary imaging position near the apogee for about two thirds of the duration of the orbit
  • Used extensively by USSR (to a lesser degree by the US) for communications purposes
  • First suggested for meteorological applications by Kidder and Vonder Haar (1990)

Molniya Orbit Imager, Multitemp 2005, Biloxi MS, 05/17/2005

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Example orbit (Molniya 3-53); all areas N of solid line visible from western cusp

Molniya Orbit Imager, Multitemp 2005, Biloxi MS, 05/17/2005

additional applications for molniya imagery
Additional applications for Molniya imagery
  • Nowcasting for aviation, shipping, fishery, exploration users
  • Volcanic ash monitoring (aviation safety)
  • Polar lows and other intense/rapid weather systems
    • Nowcasting/forecasting
    • Development and life cycle
  • Global change
    • Arctic is a sensitive region and an early indicator of e.g. climate change
  • Sea ice extent and monitoring
  • … possibly others (Multi Temp 2005 ?)

Molniya Orbit Imager, Multitemp 2005, Biloxi MS, 05/17/2005

high level mission requirements
High-level mission requirements
  • High temporal (15 minutes) and spatial (1 km VIS, 2 km IR) resolution imagery for all regions of the northern hemisphere for multitemporal applications and derived products
    • a spacecraft in Molniya orbit is the most efficient single-satellite complement to the geostationary systems to achieve this goal
    • Full-disc view every 15 minutes within 60% of apogee
    • Special events rapid-scan capability: 1000 x 1000 km in one minute
  • Nominal 3-year mission duration (goal is 5 years: 2010-2015)
    • Nominal end of life for MODIS is 2008; no water water channel on VIIRS until 2015 (earliest possible date); 2010 launch strongly desirable
  • Real-time “operational” dissemination of images and derived products

Molniya Orbit Imager, Multitemp 2005, Biloxi MS, 05/17/2005

mission implementation studies
Mission implementation studies
  • Overall mission design based on series of concurrent engineering studies by the Integrated Design Capability at Goddard
  • Key IDC results:
    • Mission is technically feasible and classified as “low risk”
    • Total costs of three-year mission: $212M
  • Space segment
    • Instrument vendor selected
    • RFI for spacecraft issued on 04/22 through by the Rapid Spacecraft Development Office at Goddard
  • Ground segment
    • NESDIS is helping to draft plans for data processing chain and has indicated possibility of ground support (Fairbanks station)
    • Finland has indicated possibility of ground support (Sodankyla station; data processing)

Molniya Orbit Imager, Multitemp 2005, Biloxi MS, 05/17/2005

instrument
Instrument
  • Raytheon selected as partner for baseline ESSP mission
    • Design draws heavily on JAMI, a geostationary imager launched in February 2005 on the Japanese MTSAT-1R satellite
    • Main differences are:
      • Scan mode (software change)
      • Data processing (software change)
      • Channels (new filters, different operating mode)
      • Radiation environment (minimal impact)
    • Flight heritage (low risk)
    • Performance meets requirements in almost all areas

Molniya Orbit Imager, Multitemp 2005, Biloxi MS, 05/17/2005

molniya orbit imager deployed configuration goddard imdc
Molniya Orbit Imager(deployed configuration; Goddard IMDC)

S/C Buss

Ø1.0m x 2.25m

65 kg propulsion

Solar Array

4.0 m² shown

2.98m² required

Dual axis drive

Y

Instrument ACE box

X

Dual Axis Comm antenna

Ø0.5m

Active cooler

Instrument Package

Instrument Thermal radiator

Dewar

Z

science team
Science Team
  • Lars Peter Riishojgaard, UMBC, PI
  • Bob Atlas, GSFC, Simulation/impact experiments
  • Dennis Chesters, GSFC, Instrumentation, mission
  • Ken Holmlund, EUMETSAT, Algorithm development
  • Jeff Key, NESDIS/ORA, Data processing
  • Stan Kidder, CIRA, High-latitude applications
  • Paul Menzel, NESDIS/ORA, Cloud applications
  • Jean-Noël Thépaut, ECMWF, Global NWP applications
  • Chris Velden, CIMSS/UW, Algorithm development
  • Tom Vonder Haar, CIRA, Satellite meteorology

Molniya Orbit Imager, Multitemp 2005, Biloxi MS, 05/17/2005

summary
Summary
  • Molniya Orbit Imager to be proposed to NASA as a pathfinder for high temporal and spatial resolution imagery for regions beyond reach of the geostationary sensors
  • Numerous applications, both scientific and operational
    • Primary initial thrust is numerical weather prediction; many other fields in Earth Science can benefit
    • Data from this mission are directly applicable to 6 of the 9 (and indirectly to all 9) GEOSS Societal Benefits areas
  • The mission concept is steadily maturing; there is still time to influence this
  • The mission is a prime candidate for national (e.g. NOAA, DoD) and international (e.g. ESA, EUMETSAT, NWS) collaboration

Molniya Orbit Imager, Multitemp 2005, Biloxi MS, 05/17/2005