Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Satellite visualization tool for high-res observation accessible from anywhere with internet access

THOR-Online available for examining of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite data remotely

A paper published in the February issue of Computers & Geosciences, describes a case study in which an earth-observing satellite tool, the Tool for High-Resolution Observation Review (THOR), using minimal coding effort, is converted into a practical web-based application, THOR-Online. In addition, a 3D visualization technique is also described in this paper.

Initially only operable from a desktop computer, with the approach outlined in the study, THOR is now accessible online from NASA's Precipitation Processing System website. This allows researchers to remotely examine the 15-year archive of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite data. Efforts to improve THOR have been on-going since the 1997 launch of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite, which carries first space-borne radar capable of observing detailed three-dimensional structure of regions of precipitation inside of storm clouds.

"The 3D display technique can be used to make features of, for example, a hurricane, visually accessible even to those without technical training in meteorology," explained Owen Kelley, author of the study. "The TRMM satellite observed Hurricane Sandy a day before its U.S. landfall affecting New Jersey and New York, among other states. Using this technique, TRMM 3D images of the storm's overflight and other tropical cyclones during the final months of 2012 could be made available through NASA Hurricane Resource Page ("

"Addressing an important problem at intersection of the geosciences (remote sensing, hydrology, meteorology) and computer sciences, this article is a poster child example of what we aim to publish in Computers & Geosciences," explains Jef Caers Co-Editor-in-Chief of Computers & Geosciences. "It uses modern computer science paradigms such as the World Wide Web, code re-use and practical graphical user interfaces to address an important geoscience problem."

The approach outlined in the paper may be of interest to other organizations responsible for earth-observing satellites that have custom desktop visualization tools which may need to be converted to online applications for broader usage, or that have 3D datasets that require the development of an interactive visualization tool.

The paper "Adapting an existing visualization application for browser-based deployment: A case study from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission" can be found at:

The THOR-Online application described in the study can be found at:

Notes for editors

"Adapting an existing visualization application for browser-based deployment: A case study from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission" by Owen A. Kelley, appears in the Computers & Geosciences 51 (2013) 228-237 published by Elsevier; the article is available online on ScienceDirect.

Full text of the article is available to credentialed journalists upon request; contact

About Computers & Geosciences

Computers & Geosciences publishes high impact, original research at the interface between Computer sciences and geosciences. Publications should apply modern computer science paradigms, whether computational or informatics-based, to address problems in the geosciences.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier's online solutions include ScienceDirect, Scopus, Reaxys, ClinicalKey and Mosby's Nursing Suite, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite and MEDai's Pinpoint Review, which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world-leading provider of professional information solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Media contact

Tobias Wesselius
+31 20 485 3870

Tobias Wesselius | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Navigating the unknown
09.10.2015 | The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

nachricht Theoretical computer science provides answers to data privacy problem
08.10.2015 | National Science Foundation

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Reliable in-line inspections of high-strength automotive body parts within seconds

Nondestructive material testing (NDT) is a fast and effective way to analyze the quality of a product during the manufacturing process. Because defective materials can lead to malfunctioning finished products, NDT is an essential quality assurance measure, especially in the manufacture of safety-critical components such as automotive B-pillars. NDT examines the quality without damaging the component or modifying the surface of the material. At this year's Blechexpo trade fair in Stuttgart, Fraunhofer IZFP will have an exhibit that demonstrates the nondestructive testing of high-strength automotive body parts using 3MA. The measurement results are available in a matter of seconds.

To minimize vehicle weight and fuel consumption while providing the highest level of crash safety, automotive bodies are reinforced with elements made from...

Im Focus: Kick-off for a new era of precision astronomy

The MICADO camera, a first light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), has entered a new phase in the project: by agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding, the partners in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, have all confirmed their participation. Following this milestone, the project's transition into its preliminary design phase was approved at a kick-off meeting held in Vienna. Two weeks earlier, on September 18, the consortium and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is building the telescope, have signed the corresponding collaboration agreement.

As the first dedicated camera for the E-ELT, MICADO will equip the giant telescope with a capability for diffraction-limited imaging at near-infrared...

Im Focus: Locusts at the wheel: University of Graz investigates collision detector inspired by insect eyes

Self-driving cars will be on our streets in the foreseeable future. In Graz, research is currently dedicated to an innovative driver assistance system that takes over control if there is a danger of collision. It was nature that inspired Dr Manfred Hartbauer from the Institute of Zoology at the University of Graz: in dangerous traffic situations, migratory locusts react around ten times faster than humans. Working together with an interdisciplinary team, Hartbauer is investigating an affordable collision detector that is equipped with artificial locust eyes and can recognise potential crashes in time, during both day and night.

Inspired by insects

Im Focus: Physicists shrink particle accelerator

Prototype demonstrates feasibility of building terahertz accelerators

An interdisciplinary team of researchers has built the first prototype of a miniature particle accelerator that uses terahertz radiation instead of radio...

Im Focus: Simple detection of magnetic skyrmions

New physical effect: researchers discover a change of electrical resistance in magnetic whirls

At present, tiny magnetic whirls – so called skyrmions – are discussed as promising candidates for bits in future robust and compact data storage devices. At...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing healthcare and sustainably strengthening healthcare systems

01.10.2015 | Event News

Conference in Brussels: Tracking and Tracing the Smallest Marine Life Forms

30.09.2015 | Event News

World Alzheimer`s Day – Professor Willnow: Clearer Insights into the Development of the Disease

17.09.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Unexpected information about Earth's climate history from Yellow River sediment

09.10.2015 | Earth Sciences

Single atom alloy platinum-copper catalysts cut costs, boost green technology

09.10.2015 | Life Sciences

Indefatigable Hearing

09.10.2015 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>