NASA Building Hurricane Forecasting Microsatellites

Posted: Aug 22 2015, 5:53am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

NASA Building Hurricane Forecasting Microsatellites
  • NASA building Hurricane hunting microsatellites!

The microsatellites called CYGNSS will be able to predict and keep track of Hurricanes.

About 10 years ago Hurricane Katrina hit the continental US. The Hurricane brought death and destruction of unseen magnitudes. NASA is now building satellites to avoid the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in future.

The current project by NASA will manufacture microsatellites. The satellites will be able to observe hurricanes from space. The microsatellites will also be able to predict hurricane along with their movement.

The microsatellites are being called CYGNSS. CYGNSS stands for Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System. The project involves eight microsatellites working together in a group. The satellites will be able to look into the inner core of an active storm.

The CYGNSS mission successfully passed two major NASA reviews earlier this summer. This clearsg the way for integration, testing and preparation of the microsatellites for flight.

“These reviews were a major milestone for CYGNSS, marking the end of the detailed design and planning stages of the mission and the beginning of flight hardware assembly,” said Chris Ruf, CYGNSS principal investigator at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “We are now in the last phase of the mission prior to launch and the beginning of a new era in hurricane observations.”

Engineers begin construction of the first of eight microsatellites for NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. Communication antennas, attitude control, GPS receiver, and other instrumentation will be installed on the satellite frame in the coming weeks. Credits: SwRI

The satellites system will also be able to predict tropical storms such as cyclones, typhoons etc. CYGNSS will measure winds along the ocean’s surface. The measurements will to estimates of the direction wind currents.

The satellites will also provide images of the storm every few hours. Meteorologists will especially benefit from the satellites system. As they will consistently be able to observe storms.

A single satellite can only provide images days apart. Scientists will be able to track the storms on hourly bases. Any major changes in the storm’s direction or momentum will also be caught before-hand.

The project is still in its initial stages. According to NASA the satellites are just being assembled. The testing of the satellites will start in 2016. Each satellite will weigh about 6 pounds.

The measurements of the satellites will be 20in x 25in x 11in. the objective is to launch the CYGNSS in late 2016. So by the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season the satellites will be functional.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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