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64 Satellite-Based Estimation of Precipitation Using Microwave Sensors

Part 5. Remote Sensing

  1. George J Huffman

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa055

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Huffman, G. J. 2006. Satellite-Based Estimation of Precipitation Using Microwave Sensors. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 5:64.

Author Information

  1. Science Systems and Applications, Inc. and NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Laboratory for Atmospheres, Greenbelt, MD, US

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


Satellite-borne sensors provide critical input to estimating precipitation over the vast majority of the Earth's surface that lacks adequate in situ observing systems. This article reviews the legacy of sensors, satellites, and data archives that have accrued throughout the Space Age, and that largely governs the precipitation estimates that are available to the hydrological community, both currently and over the long term. Tables of publicly available, quasi-global, satellite-based precipitation data sets are introduced, examples are provided, data quality is considered, and future prospects are outlined. One major theme throughout the article is to raise the key issues that users should consider in determining whether a particular set of precipitation estimates is appropriate for their particular application.


  • precipitation;
  • satellite;
  • remote sensing;
  • microwave;
  • infrared;
  • algorithm;
  • climatology