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warn_icon.gif IMPORTANT MESSAGE Jul 24, 2015    Why do my Data Holdings look different?    

Accessing your data through the GES DISC web site may seem a little unfamiliar to you to these days, but we can assure you, your data is all still available. The location of the data in the online archive has not changed.

The GES DISC has implemented a new interactive interface to make finding data easier than ever. We've added features like searching by keywords, filtering by criteria such as measurements, processing level and spatial resolution, and sortable data columns so now you can fine tune your search results. To get you started we put together a Help document to introduce you to the new interface. If you have any questions about the new design please contact us using the Feedback link in the upper right-hand corner or contact the GES DISC Help Desk by sending email to

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) designed to monitor and study tropical rainfall.

Instruments onboard the TRMM satellite

Basic Information

Launch Date
November 27, 1997
Circular, non-sun-synchronous, with an inclination of 35 degrees to the Equator.
Orbit Altitude

350 km (1997/11/27 - 2001/08/08)

403 km (2001/08/24 - present)

Altitude Change
During the period of 2001/8/7 to 2001/8/14, the average operating altitude changed from 350 km to 403 km (referred to also as TRMM Boost).


Below are overview descriptions of the instruments on the TRMM satellite:

Visible Infrared Radiometer (VIRS)
The VIRS (of NOAA AVHRR heritage) is a five-channel, cross-track scanning radiometer operating at 0.63, 1.6, 3.75, 10.8, and 12 um, which provides high resolution observations on cloud coverage, cloud type, and cloud top temperatures.
TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI)
The TMI (of DMSP SSM/I heritage) is a multichannel passive microwave radiometer operating at five frequencies: 10.65, 19.35, 37.0, and 85.5 GHz at dual polarization and 22.235 GHz at single polarization. The TMI provides information on the integrated column precipitation content, cloud liquid water, cloud ice, rain intensity, and rainfall types (e.g., stratiform or convective).
Precipitation Radar (PR)
The PR, the first of its kind in space, is an electronically scanning radar, operating at 13.8 GHz that measures the 3-D rainfall distribution over both land and ocean, and define the layer depth of the precipitation.

Further information on these instruments may be found on the TRMM Instruments Web page.

Latest News

IMERG near-real-time data showed three tropical storms and typhoons spinning in the western Pacific Ocean on July 7, 2015.
Oct 01, 2015 - Near-Real-Time IMERG Early and Late Run Datasets Available at GES DISC

IMERG: Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) Mission

+ Read More…
Giovanni-4 serves NASA Earth science data and interdisciplinary research with a multitude of analytical options, faster performance, and portability to other NASA data centers. Giovanni-4 will soon be available as open source software.
Sep 01, 2015 - Giovanni-4 takes center stage at the NASA GES DISC

Faster, more capable data exploration system replaces the previous version (Giovanni-3)

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MODIS image of the tropical Atlantic Ocean, June 24, 2009. Saharan dust and the ITCZ cause hemispheric asymmetry for aerosols and clouds, as described by Kishcha et al. Gray areas are gaps between observational swaths.
Aug 31, 2015 - July and August 2015 issues of The Giovanni News are online

July issue features summaries of six research papers using Giovanni; August issue discusses dust & color palettes

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"Data Rods" provide a way for hydrologists and meteorologists to easily use data acquired by NASA satellites.
Aug 06, 2015 - “Data Rods” from the NASA GES DISC

Transforming satellite observations of Earth into temporal data for specific locations

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This visualization of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data for June 17, 2013 shows the heavy rainfall in northern India that contributed to the Kedarnath flood and landslide disaster.
Jul 30, 2015 - Giovanni publications update, January-June 2015

Data system employed for a wide variety of Earth science research using NASA data

+ Read More…

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Last updated: May 27, 2010 04:35 PM ET