Wednesday, October 28, 2009

MODIS Satellite Data to Enhance XMWX Product to Track Fish

WorldWinds, Inc. and the NASA Short–term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT) at the Marshall Space Flight Center have enhanced a product to track favorable conditions of certain pelagic fish species. The daily Chlorophyll–a composite product uses data from NASA’s MODIS satellite and has been applied in the XMWX commercial weather product which provides live, site-specific atmospheric and oceanographic information to motorists, boaters, outdoorsmen, commercial mariners, and emergency personnel allowing them to make more informed decisions while saving time and fuel.

Mariners are among those most in need of reliably available, quality meteorological and oceanographic information. The difference between reliable, quality data and otherwise can have a huge impact on completing a job, having a successful research cruise, the efficient use of fuel, safety, or enjoyable recreation. The equipment needed to receive and display the data, a small antenna, with embedded receiver, and a display device, can be installed in any type of home or vehicle. This weather data is available anywhere in the continental United States and up to 600 miles offshore in coastal US waters. An accompanying GPS option also makes it possible for users to plot their own position on the interface map, showing their movements in relation to storms and other features.

To provide mariners with all of the needed aspects of meteorological and oceanographic data, WorldWinds and partners WxWorx ( and XM Satellite Weather, developed a suite of data products, dubbed XMWX, that includes: current in–situ measurements; sea surface temperature; significant wave height, period, and direction; current and forecasted wind, sea level pressure, and visibility; cloud cover mosaic; marine zone forecasts, additional in–house proprietary data, including FishBytesTM, and other pertinent information.

Funding and support for this project is from the NASA SPoRT group at Marshall Space Flight Center. WorldWinds has made this data available to the public. Data is posted to the public web site within one hour of the daytime MODIS/Aqua collection and can be accessed at:

WorldWinds presented the results of the project at OCEANS ’09 Conference. The project is also included in the upcoming October issue of NASA’s Spinoff magazine.


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