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GCOM-W Project


The Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM) is a satellite project that aims to globally observe the Earth’s environmental changes over a long period of time from space. The GCOM-W “SHIZUKU” will take charge of observations related to the water cycle in this mission.

The Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer2 (AMSR2) on board the GCOM-W satellite observes the changes in cryosphere – sea ice, ice sheets and snow cover – where signs of climate change are prominent. It also observes the changes in sea surface temperature, precipitation and water vapor associated with atmosphere ocean interactions, such as El Niño. In addition, this project observes ocean winds and soil moisture in order to quantitatively monitor the water and energy exchange between the atmosphere, ocean and land, which are indispensable for understanding climate changes. The observed data is also used as input data for the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP). The information of water vapor in the atmosphere and sea surface temperature are also used as input data for the numerical weather prediction system of the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Satellites with Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer, AMSR

Satellites Main sensors Observation period
Global Observing SATellite for Greenhouse gases and Water cycle (GOSAT-GW) Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 3 (AMSR3) JFY2023- (Scheduled)
Global Change Observation Mission – Water
Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) 2012-
(in operation)
Aqua (satellite)
*Joint mission of Japan, USA, and Brazil
Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS (AMSR-E) 2002-2011
Advanced Earth Observing Satellite “MIDORI-II” (ADEOS-II) Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) 2002-2003

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