OLYMPEX

The Olympic Mountain Experiment, or OLYMPEX, is a NASA-led field campaign, which will take place on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State from November 2015 through February 2016. The goal of the campaign is to collect detailed atmospheric measurements that will be used to evaluate how well rain-observing satellites measure rainfall and snowfall from space. In particular, OLYMPEX will be assessing satellite measurements made by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Core Observatory, a joint mission by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which launched in 2014.

For more information: http://pmm.nasa.gov/olympex

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Broadcast-quality Media

  • Flight Crew on DC-8
    2015.11.13
    Footage of the research and flight crew on board the DC-8.
  • DC-8 in Flight
    2015.11.13
    The Olympic Mountain Experiment, or OLYMPEX, is a NASA-led field campaign, which will take place on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State from November 2015 through February 2016. The goal of the campaign is to collect detailed atmospheric measurements that will be used to evaluate how well rain-observing satellites measure rainfall and snowfall from space. In particular, OLYMPEX will be assessing satellite measurements made by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Core Observatory, a joint mission by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which launched in 2014. This is a selection of b-roll of the DC-8 in flight over the Olympic region during the field campaign.
  • OLYMPEX Field Campaign B-Roll
    2015.11.11
    The Olympic Mountain Experiment, or OLYMPEX, is a NASA-led field campaign, which will take place on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State from November 2015 through February 2016. The goal of the campaign is to collect detailed atmospheric measurements that will be used to evaluate how well rain-observing satellites measure rainfall and snowfall from space. In particular, OLYMPEX will be assessing satellite measurements made by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Core Observatory, a joint mission by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which launched in 2014. This is a selection of b-roll that captures the scientists and instruments at work in Washington State.

GPM Animations

  • GPM Core Spacecraft Beauty Passes
    2013.10.31
    A variety of animated beauty passes of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core spacecraft.
  • GPM Constellation
    2012.05.28
    Nine U.S. and international satellites will soon be united by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, a partnership co-led by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). NASA and JAXA will provide the GPM Core satellite to serve as a reference for precipitation measurements made by this constellation of satellites, which will be combined into a single global dataset continually refreshed every three hours.

    While each partner satellite has its own mission objective, they all carry a type of instrument called a radiometer that measures radiated energy from rainfall and snowfall. The GPM Core satellite carries two instruments: a state-of-the-art radiometer called the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) and the first space-borne Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR), which sees the 3D structure of falling rain and snow. The DPR and GMI work in concert to provide a unique database that will be used to improve the accuracy and consistency of measurements from all partner satellites, which will then be combined into the uniform global precipitation dataset.

    In this animation the orbit paths of the partner satellites of the GPM constellation fill in blue as the instruments pass over Earth. Rainfall appears light blue for light rain, yellow for moderate, and red for heavy rain. Partner satellites are traced in green and purple, and the GPM Core is traced in red.

    The GPM Core observatory is currently being built and tested at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. It is scheduled to launch from Tanegashima space center in Japan in early 2014.

  • Near Real-time IMERG Precipitation
    2015.03.31
    The global IMERG precipitation dataset provides rainfall rates for the entire world every thirty minutes. This remarkable dataset is created by combining precipitation measurements from 10 international satellites: GPM, TRMM, GCOM-W1, NOAA-18, NOAA-19, DMSP F-16, DMSP F-17, DMSP F-18, Metop-A, and Metop-B Although the process to create the combined dataset is intensive, the Global Precipitation Measurement team creates a preliminary, near real-time data set of precipitation within about a day of data acquisition. The animation on this page shows the most recent week or so of that preliminary data.
  • Atmospheric River Reaching California
    2015.07.30
    Atmospheric rivers are narrow corridors or filaments of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere that account for most of the pole-ward transport of water vapor around the globe. Atmospheric rivers consist of narrow bands of enhanced water vapor transport, typically along the boundaries between large areas of divergent surface air flow, including some frontal zones in association with extratropical cyclones that form over the oceans. Atmospheric rivers play a central role in the golbal water cycle. They are the major cause of extreme precipitation events (which may couse severe flooding) in many mid-latitude, westerly coastal regions of the world, including the west coast of North America, western Europe, and the west coast of North Africa. This project illustrates an atmospheric river that developed between 9th and 12th of Dec. 2014, streching across Hawaii to California based on water vapor data and IMERG precipitation data. The animations show the IMERG precipitation data over the white, cloud-like water vapor. Heavy precipitation is shown in shades of red while lighter rains are shown in greens (see the color bar below). In the animation above, the time step (the period) between two consecutive frames represents a quarter of an hour. In the animations below, the time step between two consecutive frames represents half hour.
  • Rainfall Accumulation Across U.S.
    2015.07.30
    NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission launched on Feb. 27, 2014. It is a collaboration between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and acts as the standard to unify precipitation measurements from a network of 12 satellites. The result is NASA's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM data product, called IMERG, which combines data from all 12 satellites into a single, seamless map. The map covers more of the globe than any previous precipitation data set, allowing scientists to see how rain and snow storms move around nearly the entire planet. As scientists work to understand all the elements of Earth's climate and weather systems, and how they could change in the future, GPM provides a major step forward in providing the scientific community comprehensive and consistent measurements of precipitation.

Edited Features

  • OLYMPEX Wrap Up
    2016.01.19
    A look at some of the highlights of the 2015-16 OLYMPEX field campaign for GPM with Ground Validation Manager Walt Petersen (NASA) and Principal Investigator Robert Houze (University of Washington).
  • OLYMPEX Profiles: Joe Zagrodnik
    2015.12.01
    Video profiles of researchers and scientists in the field during the OLYMPEX field campaign (2015-2016). From November 10 through December 21, NASA and university scientists are taking to the field to study wet winter weather near Seattle, Washington. With weather radars, weather balloons, specialized ground instruments, and NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory, the science team will be verifying rain and snowfall observations made by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission on a NASA-led field campaign, The Olympic Mountain Experiment, or OLYMPEX. This is Rachael Kroodsma's profile on YouTube. This is Joe Zagrodnik's profile on YouTube.
  • OLYMPEX Profiles: Rachael Kroodsma
    2015.12.01
    Rachael Kroodsma

    For complete transcript, click here.

  • Researchers Gear Up For OLYMPEX
    2015.11.10
    From Nov. 10 through Dec. 21, NASA and university scientists are taking to the field to study wet winter weather near Seattle, Washington. With weather radars, weather balloons, specialized ground instruments, and NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory, the science team will be verifying rain and snowfall observations made by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission on a NASA-led field campaign, The Olympic Mountain Experiment, or OLYMPEX. For more information: http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-heads-to-pacific-northwest-for-field-campaign-to-measure-rain-and-snowfall

More GPM Resources

  • GPM Resource Gallery
    Gallery
    The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission is an international network of satellites that provide the next-generation global observations of rain and snow. Building upon the success of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the GPM concept centers on the deployment of a "Core" satellite carrying an advanced radar / radiometer system to measure precipitation from space and serve as a reference standard to unify precipitation measurements from a constellation of research and operational satellites. Through improved measurements of precipitation globally, the GPM mission will help to advance our understanding of Earth's water and energy cycle, improve forecasting of extreme events that cause natural hazards and disasters, and extend current capabilities in using accurate and timely information of precipitation to directly benefit society. GPM, initiated by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as a global successor to TRMM, comprises a consortium of international space agencies, including the Centre National d'√Čtudes Spatiales (CNES), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), and others. The GPM Core Observatory launched from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan, at 1:37 PM EST on February 27, 2014.

    For more information and resources please visit the Precipitation Measurement Missions web site.

Previous Field Campaigns

  • NASA Wraps Up Cold Season Campaign for GPM
    2012.03.17
    For six weeks in Ontario, Canada, scientists and engineers lead a field campaign to study the science and mechanics of falling snow. The datasets retrieved will be used to generate algorithms which translate what the GPM Core satellite "sees" into precipitation rates, including that of falling snow. Ground validation science manager Walt Petersen gives a summary of the GCPEx field campaign. Field campaigns are critical in improving satellite observations and precipitation measurements.
  • NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory Flight Path Jan 19, 2012
    2012.01.31
    NASA is flying an airborne science laboratory through Canadian snowstorms for six weeks in support of a difficult task of the upcoming Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission: measuring snowfall from space. GPM is an international satellite mission scheduled for launch in 2014 that will provide next-generation observations of worldwide rain and snow every three hours. It is the first precipitation mission designed to detect falling snow from space. NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory flew this flight path on Jan 19, 2012 in support of NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement Cold-season Precipitation Experiment (GCPEx) snow study. The GCPEx field campaign will help scientists match measurements of snow in the air and on the ground.
  • NASA Airborne Cold Weather Experiment Measures Falling Snow
    2012.01.10
    NASA is flying an airborne science laboratory through Canadian snowstorms for six weeks in support of a difficult task of the upcoming Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission: measuring snowfall from space. GPM is an international satellite mission scheduled for launch in 2014 that will provide next-generation observations of worldwide rain and snow every three hours. It is the first precipitation mission designed to detect falling snow from space.