The field campaign, called NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses 2006, runs from Aug. 15 to mid-September in the Cape Verde Islands, 350 miles off the coast of Senegal in West Africa. This campaign is a component of a much broader international project, called the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses, aimed at improving the knowledge and understanding of the West African Monsoon.
Researchers will use satellite data, weather station information, computer models and aircraft to provide scientists with better insight into all the conditions that enhance the development of tropical cyclones, the general name given to tropical depressions, storms and hurricanes. This research will help hurricane forecasters better understand the behavior of these deadly storms.
"Scientists recognize the hurricane development process when they see it, but our skill in forecasting which weak system will intensify into a major cyclone is not great," said Edward Zipser, mission chief scientist, of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. "That is why NASA and its partners place a high priority on obtaining high-quality data for weak disturbances, as well as those already showing signs of intensification."
For hurricanes to develop, specific environmental conditions must be present: warm ocean waters, high humidity and favorable atmospheric and upward spiraling wind patterns off the ocean surface. Atlantic hurricanes usually start as weak tropical disturbances off the coast of West Africa and intensify into rotating storms with weak winds, called tropical depressions. If the depression continues to intensify and reaches wind speeds of at least 39 mph, they are classified as tropical storms. Hurricanes have winds greater than 73 mph.
To study these environmental conditions, researchers will use NASA's DC-8 research aircraft as a platform for advanced atmospheric research instruments. Remote and on-site sensing devices will allow scientists to target specific areas in developing storms. Sensors on-board the aircraft will measure cloud and particle sizes and shapes, wind speed and direction, rainfall rates, atmospheric temperature, pressure and relative humidity.
The campaign will use extensive data from NASA's fleet of earth observing satellites, including the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission, QuikSCAT, Aqua, and the recently-launched Cloudsat and CALIPSO. These advanced satellites will provide unprecedented views into the vertical structure of the tropical systems, while the field observations will help validate data from the new satellites.
To better understand the physics of hurricanes, researchers are seeking answers to questions about hurricane development, air currents and the effects of dust on clouds.
During the field campaign, scientists hope to get a better understanding of the role of the Saharan Air Layer and how its dry air, strong embedded winds and dust influences cyclone development. The layer is a mass of very dry, often dusty air that forms over the Sahara Desert during the late spring, summer, and early fall and usually moves out over the tropical Atlantic Ocean.
As part of looking at the Saharan Air Layer, scientists want to better understand dust's effect on clouds. Some evidence indicates that dust makes it more difficult for rain to form. Cloud models need to account for any such effect, so measurements of cloud droplet concentrations and size in clean ocean air and dusty air from the Sahara need to be made.
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
A promising target in the quest for a 1-million-year-old Antarctic ice core
24.05.2018 | University of Washington
Tropical Peat Swamps: Restoration of Endangered Carbon Reservoirs
24.05.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences