Mission Specification
The InternISS-RapidScat ational Space Station Rapid Scatterometer (ISS-RapidScat) mission was launched on 20 September 2014 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida with the primary goal of measuring ocean surface wind vectors, calibrated to a 10 meter reference height, as a continuation of the QuikSCAT climate data record, and as a demonstration of the ability to cost-effectively re-use existing hardware, originally designed and manufactured for test purposes, as an operational space flight Earth remote sensing mission in support of fundamental scientific research of Earth's weather, oceans, and coupled climate system. After successfully being mounted and properly calibrated on the ISS, the RapidScat instrument began providing its first set of calibrated, science-quality measurements on 3 October 2014. As a bi-product of the low inclination orbit of ISS, RapidScat is in a unique position to provide measurements that are asynchronous with respect to the solar day cycle of the Earths; this translates to RapidScat having the unique capability (in contrast to all other past and present space-borne scatterometers) of observing diurnal and semi-diurnal variability over seasonal time scales. The ISS-RapidScat mission is particularly blessed to have contemporaneous measurements from QuikSCAT (albeit limited due to QuikSCAT's fixed antenna position) as a way to ensure consistently calibrated measurements to ensure accurate observation and continued study of the coupled Earth climate system. The PO.DAAC functions as the primary archive and distribution center for the RapidScat data produced directly by the ISS-RapidScat Science Data Systems (SDS) team at JPL.

Platform/Instrument Specification
  • Highest Expected Altitude: 435 km
  • Lowest Expected Altitude: 375 km
  • Inclination: 51.6°
  • Orbit Period: 90 minutes
  • Maximum Latitude of Spatial Coverage: 56° North and South of Equator
  • Period of Full Spatial Coverage: 48 Hours (between specified latitudes listed above)
  • Antenna Specs:
    • 0.75-meter-diameter rotating dish
    • dual-pencil beam
    • 18 rotations per minute
    • Operating Frequency: 13.4 GHz (Ku-band)
    • Chirp Rate: 250 kHz/ms
    • inner beam: HH polarized, 49° incidence angle
    • outer beam: VV polarized, 56° incidence angle
    • inner beam swath width: 900 km
    • outer beam swath width: 1100 km
    • inner beam ground-range resolution: 0.79 km
    • outer beam ground-range resolution: 0.73 km
    • inner beam azimuth resolution: 15.5 km
    • outer beam azimuth resolution: 17.3 km