NASA's CYGNSS Satellite Constellation Begins Public Data Release
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 30, 2017
On May 22, NASA's Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) began regular production of its science data products - measurements of ocean surface wind speed and roughness - with public release of these data facilitated by the NASA Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC).
The production and distribution is timed to coincide with the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season on June 1.
CYGNSS - a constellation of eight microsatellite spacecraft launched into low inclination, low-Earth orbit over the tropics on December 15 - will make frequent measurements of ocean surface winds in the tropics, with a primary objective of monitoring the location, intensity, size, and development of tropical cyclones.
The ability of the CYGNSS constellation to track the development of surface winds in a major storm is demonstrated by preliminary measurements made during its flyover of Tropical Cyclone Enawo on March 6, as the system approached Madagascar with surface winds in excess of 100 mph.
"Successive spacecraft in the constellation observed Enawo over a period of several hours just before it made landfall on Madagascar," explained Chris Ruf, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Michigan and CYGNSS Principal Investigator.
"During the flyover, four of our eight spacecraft were operating in science mode and we managed to capture important elements of the size and structure of the storm."
According to Ruf, the other four spacecraft were still undergoing engineering commissioning activities. "Those activities are now largely complete and, as we enter the Atlantic hurricane season, we expect to have all eight of them available for science observations. This will effectively double our sampling and coverage."
The CYGNSS mission is led by the University of Michigan. The Southwest Research Institute led the engineering development and manages the operation of the constellation. The University of Michigan Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering department leads the science investigation, and the Earth Science Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate oversees the mission.
Bocharov Ruchey, Russia (Sputnik) May 24, 2017
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the remote sensing technologies must be used to boost the Russian defense and security, develop the economy and social sphere, and increase the quality of the state's governance. The number of operating Russian remote sensing satellites orbiting the Earth will reach 15 by 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. Currently, a ... read more
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