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NPOESS ERA Microwave Imager . Polar Max Silver Spring, MD October 26, 2006. CMIS Replacement Trade Study Background (1/2). NPOESS Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) of June 5 Called for termination of the CMIS development

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npoess era microwave imager

NPOESS ERA Microwave Imager

Polar Max

Silver Spring, MD

October 26, 2006

cmis replacement trade study background 1 2
CMIS Replacement Trade Study Background (1/2)

NPOESS Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) of June 5

  • Called for termination of the CMIS development
  • Directs development of a competition for a new Microwave Imager/Sounder (MIS)
  • Target for the new Microwave Imager/Sounder is the second EMD satellite – (C2)

CMIS Replacement trade study was organized by the NPOESS IPO

  • Determine the best acquisition strategy for the replacement CMIS
  • Form a plan for going forward
cmis replacement trade study background 2 2
CMIS Replacement Trade Study Background (2/2)

Evaluate each EDR that was driving the CMIS design

  • Legacy Imaging
  • Sea Surface Wind Direction
  • Atmospheric Sounding
  • Soil Moisture and Sea Surface Temperature (Low Frequency channels)

Define sensor trade space

  • Ten sensor configurations spanning SSM/I to CMIS capability

Evaluate each part of the sensor trade space

  • Independent cost estimates of industry
  • Industry procurement strategy vs. Government procurement strategy

Additional information was needed from potential industry suppliers

  • Request for Information was drafted and will be sent to industry
  • Goal of updating our assumptions and planning for a new microwave imager sounder development

Microwave Imaging Applications: SSMIS, WindSat, SSM/I, TMI

CMIS Replacement (NPOESS Microwave Imager) Trade Study

Acquisition Strategy for the NPOESS Era Microwave Imager

microwave imager sounder design drivers
Microwave Imager/Sounder Design Drivers

Imaging (SSM/I)

  • Atmospheric Water / Clouds
  • *Sea Surface Wind Speed
  • Sea Ice
  • Rain/Precipitation

Sea Surface Wind Direction (WindSat)

Temperature and Moisture Profiles / NWP (SSMIS)

  • 50/60-GHz and 166/183-GHz measurements using conical-scan geometry

Sea Surface Temperature and *Soil Moisture (AMSR + WindSat)

  • 6- and 10-GHz V- and H-pol channels

* EDRs with KPP attributes

soil moisture
Soil Moisture

Soil Moisture Determined from AMSR Following Passage of Major Late Winter Storm

Front (S. Chan, JPL) and precipitation map developed by NOAA Climatic Data Center.

windsat data comparison
WindSat Data Comparison

WindSat Data Comparison with NCEP Forecast Model Showing Detection (Analysis by R. Atlas, NOAA AMOL, Ocean Sciences Conference, February 2006).

NCEP analysis January 6

WindSat Surface Wind retrievals

in the North Atlantic show the presence

of paired cyclonic vortices not captured

until the following day by the National

Center for Environmental Prediction

(NCEP) forecast analysis.

NCEP analysis January 7

sea surface temperature i
Sea Surface Temperature (I)

[RIGHT] The cold wake was not seen by the visible/infrared

AVHRR imager (right) due to areas of persistent rain and

cloud cover (white patches) over the 3-day period.

[LEFT] A cold wake (blue region near the white circles)

was produced by Hurricane Bonnie on 24 to 26 August 1998,

as seen by the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI)

White dots: Hurricane Bonnie’s daily position as it moved northwest from 24 through 26 August.

Gray dots: Hurricane Danielle as it moved northwest from 27 August through 1 September.

Danielle crossed Bonnie’s cold wake on 29 August and its intensity dropped. Cloud cover prevented AVHRR from observing this sequence, however, TMI was able to measure characteristics of the surface.

sea surface temperature ii
Sea Surface Temperature (II)

Courtesy of

Remote Sensing Systems

Monthly averages for three climate state variables:

1) Sea Surface Temperature (SST),

2) Lower Tropospheric Temperature (LTT),

3) Total Atmospheric Water Vapor (WV)

The seasonal cycle has been removed to reveal the inter-annual variability

Continuity of Data Records is Critical for Global Climate Studies

cloud liquid water and precipitable water
Cloud Liquid Water and Precipitable Water

Atmospheric Water Vapor: 3-days ending 20060404

AMSR-E Cloud Liquid Water: 3-days ending 20060404

Water Vapor: 0 15 30 45 60 75 mm

Liquid Water: 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 mm

Global maps of total Precipitable Water and Cloud Liquid Water are produced from AMSR data on the Aqua satellite and from SSM/I and SSMIS on DMSP

These datasets have value for weather forecasts and models of the energy and water cycles.

Precipitable Water Vapor is considered critical for data continuity for GEOSS.

Only microwave sensors can provide estimates of Cloud Liquid Water.

precipitation rate
Precipitation Rate

Rain rate (mm/h) at 2 km height from TMI. Squall line south of Japan. (From Aonashi and Liu, JAM, 2000).

Rain Rate


Measurements of precipitation rate are valuable for tactical maneuvers,

maritime navigation and fisheries dynamics.

TMI provides rain rate measurements over the tropics.

The addition of 166- and 183-GHz channels adds capability to

measure snow and small ice.

impact to nwp from loss of data by type ecmwf

Global degradation

Ten years ago? TOVS NESDIS retrievals, AMV, more but lower quality radiosondes

Impact to NWP From Loss of Data by Type (ECMWF)

Impact of Microwave Data on NWP Has Significantly Increased

After Saunders, R., et. al., “Exploitation of Satellite Data at the UK Met Office,”

use of npoess and microwave edr products

Key EDRs (*) or Group

Civil Application

Military Application

CMS (MIS) Role

Atmospheric Profiles: Temperature*, Moisture*

Improved weather forecasting

More reliable forecasts for mission planning

Provides all-weather atmospheric profiles

Cloud Imagery*, Cloud Products, Precipitation Products

Nowcasts, weather events

Aircraft operations, tactical planning, target visibility

Provides precipitation and related cloud products

Sea Surface Wind*,

Sea Height/Wave Parameters

Shipping safety, port/beach operations, site selection

Aircraft carrier and amphibious operations

Provides sea surface wind speed/direction

Sea Surface Temperature*, Sea Height/Wave Parameters, Ocean Color

Fisheries, pollution tracking, El Nino/La Nina forecasts

Mine clearing, anti-submarine warfare, special operations

Provides all weather sea surface temperature

Soil Moisture*, Land/Vegetation Products

Agriculture, water and land use management

Mobility, trafficability, cover assessment

Provides soil moisture

Aerosols, Dust, and Ash Products

Aviation hazards, atmospheric research

Aviation hazards, target visibility

Not applicable

Ozone Column and Profile Products

Ozone monitoring, depletion, mechanisms

Ozone is related to stratospheric turbulence hazardous to UAVs

Not applicable

Energy Balance, Radiation Products

Improved weather forecast, climate models

Improved weather forecast

Key input to net heat flux product

Climate Relevant Products

Monitoring, change, prediction

Interest in medium range weather changes affecting battlefield

Supplements surface, atmosphere, and cloud data products

Space Environment Products

Research, power grid and communication disruption

Space weather, EMI, sensor damage

Not applicable

Use of NPOESS and Microwave EDR Products

Summary of Civil and Military Applications of NPOESS Data Products

cmis replacement trade study highlights
CMIS Replacement Trade Study – Highlights

Soil Moisture Key Performance Parameter (KPP)

  • Evaluation of Soil Moisture utility based on availability of 6-GHz, 10-GHz and 19/18-GHz measurements

Considerations for microwave sounding

  • Utility for Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP)
  • System reliability for delivering temperature and moisture profile KPPs

Cost relationship of channel selection and reflector size

  • 6-GHz / larger reflector: Soil Moisture, Sea Surface Temperature
  • Polarimetric channels: Sea Surface Wind Direction
  • 50 to 60-GHz channel suite with 166/183-GHz channels: Atmospheric Temperature and Moisture Profiles
  • Sensor and Reflector Size relationship to cost
    • More room – less cost – bigger sensor?

Acquisition strategy

  • Use models of similar successful sensor developments
soil moisture16
Soil Moisture



[Right] Regions where Soil Moisture retrieval can be

performed with the addition of a 6-GHz (and 10-GHz)

measurement capability. Regions indicated by all

areas that are green include regions of moderate

vegetation and exclude only dense vegetation and

forested regions).

[Left] Current DMSP capability using SSM/I or SSMIS

with the lowest channel frequency of 19.35-GHz.

Areas shaded in green indicate regions where the

legacy sensor is capable of detecting soil moisture,

essentially areas of bare soil

Addition of 6- and 10-GHz channels substantially increases the value of

Soil Moisture measurements from the microwave imager

ecmwf ssmis assimilation trials
ECMWF: SSMIS Assimilation Trials

Southern Hemisphere

Anomaly Correlation

500hPa height

  • Pre-processed data:
  • 40% flagged
  • limited coverage
  • tuning ongoing
  • T sounding channels only
  • 0.5K obs errors




Graeme Kelly


500hPa height


After Saunders, R., et. al., “Exploitation of Satellite Data at the UK Met Office,” Microrad ’06, San Juan Puerto Rico.

temperature and moisture profile data reliability
Temperature and Moisture Profile Data Reliability

System reliability analyses indicate atmospheric temperature and moisture profile

measurement capability is needed on MIS or additional ATMS need to be added

to orbital planes where CMIS was the only microwave sensor previously manifested

reflector size required by edr thresholds
Reflector Size Required by EDR Thresholds

Reflector size (~sensor spatial resolution) and horizontal cell size (measurement resolution)

relationship for selected microwave EDR threshold requirements.

The Horizontal Cell Size

(HCS) is based on the

lowest primary channel

frequency required for the


Vertical bars indicate the ~reflector size necessary to meet the threshold spatial resolution for each EDR.

Horizontal lines show the reflector sizes for each of the class of options within the trade space.

Any vertical bar that extends above the specific horizontal line implies that the spatial resolution

achieved by that sensor will not meet threshold HCS requirements for the EDR

other acquisition models
Other Acquisition Models

Sensor Development Models

  • Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI)
    • Reasonable cost; successful mission
    • Launched November, 1997 and still flying and providing data
  • WindSat Polarimetric Radiometer
    • Reasonable cost; successful mission
    • Launched January 6, 2003 and still flying and providing data

Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI)

  • New and improved TMI
  • Sensor-based specification
  • Mini-competition to finalize sensor concepts
  • RFP and source selection
  • ~48 month build

Characterized by complete technical and science support;

“EDR” performance and analysis kept within the Government

status of acquisition strategy definition
Status of Acquisition Strategy Definition

Key aspects of the MI acquisition strategy plan (proposed)

  • Sensor-based requirements specification
  • Science Algorithm development managed by the IPO; IDPS will handle only EDRs
  • MI sensor will be GFE to NGST

Microwave Imager plan forward:

  • Draft a Request for Information (RFI) to Industry in order to update our industry-based cost and risk estimates
  • Evaluate responses
  • Target decision in January 2007 on roles of Government Laboratory vs. Industry build of FU1, 2 and 3

Draft Request for Information (RFI) is nearly complete

  • Requests cost and risk information concentrating on the middle of the acquisition trade space (1.2 m to 1.8 m)
activities and planning
Activities and Planning

What class of microwave sensor can be built for NPOESS?

  • Evaluation of the RFI industry responses will help determine target sensor configuration
  • Complete evaluation at the end of CY 2006
  • Decision on RFP expected ~January 2007

Scenarios for Microwave Imager Science Algorithms

  • Sensor will be GFE
  • Science Algorithms managed by the IPO including
    • IGS; University, Government Labs
    • Industry
  • Centrals responsible for Sci2Ops
  • NGST and IDPS receive EDRs and develops cross sensor products
    • Removes direct Microwave Imager performance responsibility from NGST
  • Path forward is still flexible
possible mi development schedule 1 2
Possible MI Development Schedule (1/2)

Develop RFI and evaluate affordability and contract structure

  • Input from legal/contracting
  • Decide on affordable sensor scope : GMI –> WindSAT –> CMIS
  • Address ‘growth potential’
  • Process will start once the RFI is distributed: 1Q FY07

Sensor Specification Development (Industry Option)

  • Organize a specification development team (Payloads Core)
    • Relatively small core team with extended set of specialized contributors
  • De-scope the CMIS specification [2Q FY07 - 3Q FY07 ]
    • Joint IPO/NRL/Aero/MIT/NGST team
    • Industry capabilities (alignment of industry capability with spec)
    • Algorithm (Science) support - IGS and industry (RSS/AER)
  • Formulate a study contract with industry [ 3Q FY07 – 4Q FY07 ]
    • Competition (2 – 3 Month period of performance)
    • Each participant briefs sensor concept at the end of the study (one day)
possible mi development schedule 2 2
Possible MI Development Schedule (2/2)

Algorithm Specification and Science Code Development

  • Algorithm Strategy definition [ 1Q FY07 – 2Q FY07 ]
    • Consensus achieved on development strategy
  • Algorithm strategy definition determined prior to A-level MI sensor spec.
  • Analysis supporting MI specification development [2Q FY07 – 1Q FY08]

MI Sensor Development (Industry or Government-Industry) (TBD)

  • RFP Development [ 1Q FY08 ]
  • Proposal Evaluation and award [3Q FY08 – 4Q FY08]
  • Baseline Developed: 2Q FY09
  • SRR (3QFY09)
  • PDR (1QFY10)
  • CDR (1QFY11)
  • Delivery (3QFY14)
  • Margin: ~2 years

The replacement trade study considered EDR performance, Cost and Schedule from several perspectives

Terminating CMIS and restructuring the way NPOESS does business for the CMIS replacement will be a challenge

Restructuring is a means to address and mitigate previous procurement risks

An acquisition strategy decision for the NPOESS Microwave Imager is expected by January 2007

Microwave imager is a key part of NPOESS!

sea ice concentration and ice edge from ssmis
Sea Ice Concentration and Ice Edge from SSMIS

Northern Hemisphere

Ice Edge

Southern Hemisphere

Ice Edge

cmis replacement trade study still in progress
CMIS Replacement Trade Study – Still in Progress

Overview and background on microwave imager data

Channels required to make the measurements

  • Sensor characteristics required
  • Sensor design required to accommodate capability

Defined a sensor trade space

  • Ten separate configurations: [SSM/I to CMIS]

Developed independent cost estimates

Estimated cost compared to capability

  • 6-GHz / larger reflector: SM; SST measurements
  • Polarimetric channels: Sea Surface Wind Direction
  • 50 to 60-GHz channel suite with 166/183-GHz channels: Atmospheric Temperature and Moisture Profiles

Additional consideration for microwave sounding

  • Reliability

Acquisition strategy

  • Request for Information (RFI)
cmis sensor
CMIS Sensor

Low Frequency Reflector

High Frequency Reflector

Cold Sky Reflector

Warm Load

Low Frequency Feeds

High Frequency Feeds

cmis channel set and characteristics
CMIS Channel Set and Characteristics


*Polarizations: V=Vertical, H=Horizontal, P=+45 degrees,

M =–45 degrees, L=Left-hand Circular, R=Right-hand Circular