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.
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
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite measured rainfall in Hurricane Ingrid on Sept. 15 at 10:27 p.m. EDT and found some heavy rainfall (red) around its center. Mexican states are labeled on this image.
Image Credit: SSAI/NASA
Later that night, NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite passed over Hurricane Ingrid at 10:27 p.m. EDT and confirmed some heavy rainfall north and east of its center. In those areas, rain was falling at a rate of 2 inches/50 mm per hour. Hurricane Ingrid made landfall in La Pesca located in northeastern Mexico on Monday, Sept. 16.
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/HS3
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Rob Gutro | Source: EurekAlert!
Further information: www.nasa.gov
More articles from Earth Sciences:
An earthquake or a snow avalanche has its own shape
20.12.2013 | Aalto University
NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Bruce still wide-eyed
20.12.2013 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Swimming microengines made from platinum and iron are highly efficient in removing organic pollutants from water using hydrogen peroxide.
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have developed a new method for the active degradation of organic pollutants in solution by using swimming microengines.
The mobile microcleaners consist of an outer iron and an inner platinum layer, thereby combining two functionalities. Hydrogen peroxide, which must be ...
A 12-year study of massive stars has reaffirmed that our Galaxy has four spiral arms, following years of debate sparked by images taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope that only showed two arms.
The new research, which is published online today [17 December] in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, is part of the RMS Survey, which was launched by academics at the University of Leeds.
Astronomers cannot see what our Galaxy, which is called the Milky Way, looks like because we ...
In collaboration with the University of Basel, an international team of researchers has observed a strong energy loss caused by frictional effects in the vicinity of charge density waves.
This may have practical significance in the control of nanoscale friction. The results have been published in the scientific journal Nature Materials.
Friction is often seen as an adverse phenomenon that leads to wear and causes energy loss. Conversely, however, too little friction can be a disadvantage as well – ...
A new type of transistor that could make possible fast and low-power computing devices for energy-constrained applications such as smart sensor networks, implantable medical electronics and ultra-mobile computing is feasible, according to Penn State researchers.
Called a near broken-gap tunnel field effect transistor (TFET), the new device uses the quantum mechanical tunneling of electrons through an ultrathin energy barrier to provide high current at low voltage.
Penn State, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and IQE, a specialty wafer manufacturer, jointly presented their findings at ...
The team of Johannes Zuber at the IMP in Vienna, Austria, managed to overcome remaining key limitations of RNA interference (RNAi) - a unique method to specifically shut off genes.
By using an optimized design, the scientists were able to inhibit genes with greatly enhanced efficiency and accuracy. The new method facilitates the search for drug targets and improves the interpretation of experimental results.
The IMP will make this „RNAi toolkit“ available to researchers. Results of the study are published in ...
20.12.2013 | Materials Sciences
20.12.2013 | Life Sciences
20.12.2013 | Life Sciences
19.12.2013 | Event News
11.12.2013 | Event News
10.12.2013 | Event News