Global precipitation map using satellite-borne microwave radiometers by the GSMaP project: Production and validation

Takuji Kubota, Shoichi Shige, Hiroshi Hashizume, Kazumasa Aonashi, Nobuhiro Takahashi, Shinta Seto, Masafumi Hirose, Yukari N. Takayabu, Tomoo Ushio, Katsuhiro Nakagawa, Koyuru Iwanami, Misako Kachi, Ken'ichi Okamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

511 Citations (Scopus)


This paper documents the production and validation of retrieved rainfall data obtained from satellite-borne microwave radiometers by the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP) Project. Using various attributes of precipitation derived from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite data, the GSMaP has implemented hydrometeor profiles derived from Precipitation Radar (PR), statistical rain/no-rain classification, and scattering algorithms using polarization-corrected temperatures (PCTs) at 85.5 and 37 GHz. Combined scattering-based surface rainfalls are computed depending on rainfall intensities. PCT85 is not used for stronger rainfalls, because strong depressions of PCT85 are related to tall precipitation-top heights. Therefore, for stronger rainfalls, PCT37 is used, with PCT85 used for weaker rainfalls. With the suspiciously strong rainfalls retrieved from PCT85 deleted, the combined rainfalls correspond well to the PR rain rates over land. The GSMaP algorithm for the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) is validated using the TRMM PR, ground radar [Kwajalein (KWAJ) radar and COBRA], and Radar Automated Meteorological Data Acquisition System (AMeDAS) precipitation analysis (RA). Monthly surface rainfalls retrieved from six microwave radiometers (GSMaP_MWR) are compared with the gauge-based dataset. Rain rates retrieved from the TMI (GSMaP_TMI) are in better agreement with the PR estimates over land everywhere except over tropical Africa in the boreal summer. Validation results of the KWAJ radar and COBRA show a good linear relationship for instantaneous rainfall rates, while validation around Japan using the RA shows a good relationship in the warm season. Poor results, connected to weak-precipitation cases, are found in the cold season around Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2259-2275
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Microwave radiometer
  • Precipitation
  • Rain-rate retrieval
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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