NASA Small Satellites Set To Observe Changing Earth

Posted: Nov 9 2016, 3:59am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
NASA Small Satellites Set to Observe Changing Earth
TROPICS, a new NASA Earth-observing mission announced this year, will study the insides of hurricanes with a constellation of 12 CubeSats. Credits: MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • NASA’s Small Satellites or Smallsats will Observe the Earth’s Weather in a Better Way

NASA’s small satellites are a part of a project that will allow the earth’s weather to be gauged in a better way.

NASA will be sending off a voluminous convoy of small satellites into orbital motion around the earth. The function of these will be to gauge the climate and weather in a more thorough manner.

The changing trends of the weather, which is becoming more and more erratic, will be analyzed. What the resultant effects on the earth are of this thing called climate change will also be studied on an intensive basis.

“NASA is increasingly using small satellites to tackle important science problems across our mission portfolio,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

“They also give us the opportunity to test new technological innovations in space and broaden the involvement of students and researchers to get hands-on experience with space systems.”

The series of small satellites have been collectively nicknamed “smallsats”. They are a next generation type of special technology. The details regarding these smallsats were released yesterday and soon they will be sent off into orbit around the earth.

The deadline lies a couple of months in the future. These smallsats are handy for a few reasons. The biggest of these is that they are very economical.

By keeping the prices down, NASA is spending its budget on other things such as research. Also other agencies and experts can test the weather patterns using these smallsats without getting a dent in their budgets and wallets respectively.

“NASA is expanding small satellite technologies and using low-cost, small satellites, miniaturized instruments, and robust constellations to advance Earth science and provide societal benefit through applications,” said Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division in Washington.

NASA might test these smallsats as a part of its main mission which is due to take place in December. These tiny instruments will be utilized to test areas of the earth that are most likely to come under the sway of hurricanes.

This will aid in the building of prediction methodologies and technologies. Weather control is a part and parcel of the future of meteorology. NASA will also be testing the smallsats in regions where tropical cyclones are the norm.

There is another NASA mission that will employ CubeSats in its repertoire. These will explore the harmful effects of greenhouse gases in today’s global environment.

This will elucidate the deleterious effects of climate change. Also means of offsetting the negative points of pollution via novel means of environmental renewal will be looked into.

"The affordability and rapid build times of these CubeSat projects allow for more risk to be taken, and the more risk we take now the more capable and reliable the instruments will be in the future," said Pamela Millar, ESTO flight validation lead.

“These small satellites are changing the way we think about making instruments and measurements. The cube has inspired us to think more outside the box."

Other technologies will also be brought into consideration for similar purposes.

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