The overarching goal for this effort is to mature concept ideas for a spaceborne microwave snow water equivalent (SWE) instrument for a future opportunity. This overarching goal will be achieved through a set of smaller tasks. The first step of the project will be to narrow down scientific needs based on previous studies and define instrument requirements. Existing data from SWE Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Radiometer (SWESARR) will be analyzed to define the minimum necessary observables to satisfy the science needs, as it provides 6 active (tri-band dual-polarization radar) and 3 passive (tri-band single polarization radiometer) observations. Once the concept design of the microwave instrument is defined, it'll be improved through an instrument design laboratory. The final instrument design will be further analyzed to assess how well it addresses the scientific needs.More »
“Snow in mountain regions contributes to water supplies for almost one-sixth of the world’s population (e.g., snowmelt supplies 85 percent of Colorado River water).” Yet, “measurements of accumulated snow on the ground, constitute an important unsolved problem in the hydrology and water resources in most of the world.” states the 2017 decadal survey. Accurate SWE measurements would improve the water management, as well as leading the way to better understand impacts of a changing climate to water resources. This project can benefit a future earth explorer mission for SWE as recommended by the decadal survey. At implementation stage, commercial sector might be an active partner as there are many commercial SAR satellites being developed in the frequency bands of interest for SWE.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Greenbelt, Maryland|
This project is about developing a mission concept for snow water equivalent using microwave remote sensing. Our team worked internally and side-by-side the mission proposal team for a Goddard concept. As a result we have achieved TRL6 in most of the areas of the concept though some aspects are at TRL 5 with plans to reach TRL6 in time for the mission.
The purpose of the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Internal Research and Development (IRAD) program is to support new technology development and to address scientific challenges. Each year, Principal Investigators (PIs) submit IRAD proposals and compete for funding for their development projects. Goddard’s IRAD program supports eight Lines of Business: Astrophysics; Communications and Navigation; Cross-Cutting Technology and Capabilities; Earth Science; Heliophysics; Planetary Science; Science Small Satellites Technology; and Suborbital Platforms and Range Services.
Task progress is evaluated twice a year at the Mid-term IRAD review and the end of the year. When the funding period has ended, the PIs compete again for IRAD funding or seek new sources of development and research funding, or agree to external partnerships and collaborations. In some cases, when the development work has reached the appropriate Technology Readiness Level (TRL) level, the product is integrated into an actual NASA mission or used to support other government agencies. The technology may also be licensed out to the industry.
The completion of a project does not necessarily indicate that the development work has stopped. The work could potentially continue in the future as a follow-on IRAD; or be used in collaboration or partnership with Academia, Industry, and other Government Agencies.
If you are interested in partnering with NASA, see the TechPort Partnerships documentation available on the TechPort Help tab. http://techport.nasa.gov/help