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NASA building next-gen hurricane forecasting satellites

NASA building next-gen hurricane forecasting satellites

NASA is building new satellite technology that should dramatically improve forecasting for hurricanes and tropical storms.

NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) consists of eight microsatellites that will allow scientists to better measure wind speeds near the inner core of a hurricane from space, using both direct and reflected signals from GPS satellites.

As the CYGNSS and GPS satellites circle Earth, their interaction will provide a new image of wind speeds over the entire tropics. The combination of CYGNSS and GPS satellites will allow NASA to collect images of wind speed every few hours, which will improve the forecasting and tracking of hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones. Before CYGNSS, NASA used a single satellite that delivered  a new image only every few days.

The CYGNSS passed two critical NASA reviews, and now the microsatellites are being tested and prepared for flight. The mission is scheduled to launch late next year, with operations beginning during the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

Posted by Derek Major on Aug 26, 2015 at 10:59 AM


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