Prof. V. Chandrasekaran
Temporal Experiment for Storms and Tropical Systems - Technology Demonstration (TEMPEST-D) mission to enable future nanosatellite constellation missions
The TEMPEST-D in-space technology demonstration mission will reduce the risk, cost and development time of a future constellation of 6U-Class nanosatellites observing the temporal evolution of clouds to the onset of precipitation. TEMPEST-D provides passive millimeter-wave observations using a compact instrument that fits well within the 6U-Class nanosatellite architecture. TEMPEST millimeter-wave radiometers with five frequencies from 89 GHz to 182 GHz penetrate into the cloud to observe key changes as precipitation begins or as ice accumulates inside the storm.
A full TEMPEST constellation mission would enable study of the conditions controlling the transition from non-precipitating to precipitating clouds using high-temporal resolution observations. Knowledge of cloud processes is essential to our understanding of climate change and disaster mitigation. Uncertainties in the representation of key processes that govern the formation and dissipation of clouds and, in turn, control the global water and energy budgets lead to substantially different predictions of future climate in current models.