Monday, February 09, 2009

NOAA: polar-orbiting satellite launched

A new NOAA polar-orbiting environmental satellite was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and is now circling the globe every 102 minutes taking images and measurements to support NOAA’s efforts to forecast and monitor the environment. NOAA-19 joins NOAA-18 and one European environmental satellite already in polar orbit.

carries seven scientific instruments, including two search and rescue instruments and a data recording system. Unique with this satellite is a new data collection system that will relay meteorological, oceanographic data – even track migration patterns of wildlife – to help researchers improve their study of Earth’s environment.

Data from NOAA-19 will support several NOAA programs, including:

• Weather analysis and forecasting
• Climate research and prediction
• Global sea surface temperature measurements
• Atmospheric soundings of temperature and humidity
• Ocean dynamics research
• Volcanic eruption monitoring
• Forest fire detection
• Global vegetation analysis
• Search and rescue operations.


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