HIRAD identified an area of heavy rains and and likely strong winds in Hurricane Ingrid by measuring surface wind speeds and rain rates using its rectangular antenna to track activity on the ocean’s surface.
Data from the real-time HIRAD data stream from the Hurricane Ingrid flight on Sept. 15. The greenish-blue and yellow area near Mexico suggests rain and strong winds in Hurricane Ingrid. The dark red across north Florida is because land appears much warmer than ocean at microwave frequencies.
Image Credit: NASA
NASA's Global Hawk 871 is the over-storm Global Hawk that carried HIRAD on a flight over Hurricane Ingrid on Sept. 15 as the storm moved through the extreme southwestern Gulf of Mexico and traveled west-northwestward along Mexico's east coast.
Along with HIRAD, Global Hawk 871 also carried the High-altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler or HIWRAP, the High-Altitude Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit Sounding Radiometer or HAMSR and the Airborne Detector for Energetic Lightning Emission or ADELE instrument.
Late on Sept. 14, Ingrid had strengthened into a hurricane. At 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 15 the center of Hurricane Ingrid was located near latitude 22.56 north and longitude 95.8 west, about 135 miles/220 km east of Tampico, Mexico. Ingrid was moving toward the west-northwest at 6 mph/ 11 kph. Maximum sustained winds were near 75 mph/ 120 kph.
On Sept. 15, the HIRAD instrument scanned Hurricane Ingrid from its perch on NASA Global Hawk 871. "HIRAD data definitely saw most of the strong wind and heavy rain on the northern and eastern sides of Hurricane Ingrid in the area generally near 23 degrees north latitude and 95 degrees west longitude," said Daniel J. Cecil, the Principal Investigator for the HIRAD instrument at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
HIRAD data provides "brightness temperature data" that is color-coded by Cecil and his team to indicate areas of falling rain and possible moderate-to-strong surface winds.
The antenna on HIRAD makes measurements of microwaves emitted by the ocean surface that are increased by the storm. As winds move across the surface of the sea they generate white, frothy foam. This sea foam causes the ocean surface to emit increasingly large amounts of microwave radiation, similar in frequency or wavelength, but much lower intensity, to that generated within a typical home microwave oven. HIRAD measures that microwave energy and, in doing so, allows scientists to deduce how powerfully the wind is blowing. With HIRAD’s unique capabilities, the two-dimensional structure of the surface wind field can be much more accurately determined than current operational capabilities allow. HIRAD was developed at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.TRMM image of Ingrid
There is a difference between the HIRAD and TRMM data. "HIRAD uses lower frequencies than TRMM, and measures surface wind speed in addition to rain rate," said Cecil. HIRAD gives a higher resolution rain mapping. "By being on an airplane, HIRAD can fly across a storm several times with the exact track being chosen; a satellite like TRMM will only cross the storm occasionally and its track cannot be adjusted."
There are a couple of other differences between TRMM and HIRAD data. TRMM covers a much larger viewing area than HIRAD and TRMM provides information about vertical cross-sections of storms in addition to horizontal maps. TRMM has been observing storms since 1997 from its orbit around the Earth and HIRAD gathers data from an airplane within ~24 hour long flights.
For more information about the storm history and how NASA satellites captured it, visit Ingrid's story history on the NASA Hurricane page: http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/ingrid-atlanticgulf-of-mexico/
For more information about NASA's HS3 Mission, visit: www.nasa.gov/HS3Rob Gutro
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica
26.10.2016 | University of California - Irvine
Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere
25.10.2016 | American Geophysical Union
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences