NASA Launches Satellites To Measure Hurricane Winds
On Wednesday at 8:20 a.m. NASA will launch an aircraft similar to a commercial airliner carrying a Pegasus rocket to about 40,000 feet. The rocket will be propelled into space where it will release eight small satellites into orbit for better hurricane predictions.
The mission is a first-of-its-kind. It will deploy satellites that will work to measure near-surface ocean winds in hurricanes, typhoons and other tropical cyclones around the globe.
The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System’s, or CYGNSS, goal is to improve hurricane intensity forecasts, which is more difficult and less accurate than forecasting the path of a storm.
The reason it is so difficult is because of the lack of wind observations int he ocean. Meteorologists knew the path of a storm because there are satellites that are constantly monitoring the location of the clouds and rain from the storms, but couldn’t ever see the winds underneath the storm’s clouds.