Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) is an international satellite mission designed to provide next-generation observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours. The U.S.-based National Aeronautics and Space Admin. (NASA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will launch a “Core” satellite, which will carry advanced instruments that reportedly will set a new standard for precipitation measurements from space. It also will serve as a reference to standardize precipitation measurements from an array of other international satellites operated by the U.S., the European Union, Japan, India and, eventually, Russia, China and Brazil. The goal is to more accurately quantify when, where and how much it rains or snows around the world.
Ultimately the GPM mission will help advance our understanding of the earth's water and energy cycles and improve the forecasting of extreme events that cause natural disasters.