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Under support from NASA/TRMM, a major ground validation program, known as TRMM/Brazil, will be carried out in Amazonia from 1 November 1998 to 28 February 1999. This program will focus on the dynamical, microphysical, electrical and diabatic heating characteristics of tropical convection in this region. Data collected in the program will be used in part to validate products from the TRMM satellite as it repeatedly overflies this region. This field program presents an enormous opportunity to address several NSF-based scientific objectives in the study of tropical convection in this region. Indeed, the characteristics of convection in this climatically-important region are only poorly known. We are requesting partial support for the S-pol radar from NSF for use in TRMM/Brazil. NASA intends to pay for a significant portion of the S-pol radar deployment costs. This Science Overview details the science to be carried out in association with several funded or pending NSF proposals. This research will capitalize on NASA-funded deployments of a second Doppler radar, atmospheric sounding systems, multiple aircraft, a lightning location and detection network, raingauges and a profiler. The NSF investigators consider this project to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to study tropical convection in Amazonia, and to compare the characteristics of convection in this region to other regions in the tropics and mid-latitudes. TRMM/Brazil will be conducted in parallel with the wet season component of the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia.