Proposal Title: GOALS: GPS-Based Oceanographic and Atmospheric Low-Earth Orbiting Sensor
This task will be performed under the NASA Earth Science Enterprise Instrument Incubator Program. It incorporates analytical studies, instrument development, and field experiments for GOALS, a new space flight instrument. GOALS will simultaneously provide a powerful, integrated suite of data from its GPS sensor for measurement of properties of the ocean surface and atmosphere, and for global ocean altimetry. GOALS combines GPS data from low-Earth orbiters (LEOs) obtained from up-looking and limb-sounding antennas with a rich set of measurements derived from tracking GPS signals reflected off the ocean surface, using a new phased array antenna. The integrated GOALS ocean and atmospheric data sets will significantly contribute to the principal objectives in the Office of Earth Science Scientific Research Plan for Seasonal to Interannual Climate Variability and Prediction, while also providing key data sets needed to carry out OES Scientific Research Plans for Long-Term Climate/Natural Variability and Change, and for Natural Hazards Research. The new LEO GOALS instrument could provide an order of magnitude faster ocean coverage than conventional ocean altimeters on Topex/Poseidon class satellites, at a small fraction of the cost. GOALS has the potential to dramatically enrich science return from low-Earth remote sensing with its multi-faceted science products, while dramatically lowering the cost and size of the scientific instrument payloads. Our objectives include raising the technology readiness level for this instrument from TRL 2-3 up to TRL 6. Note that some portions of the GOALS project will enable a partial evaluation of TRL 7 through our analysis of data from the flights of opportunity on two flight experiments which are being funded outside the IIP.