International Space Station RapidScat (ISS-RapidScat) is in orbit and working!


On September 21, ISS-RapidScat was launched into space  on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, and it was unpacked and assembled with the space station’s robotic arm on September 29–30. On October 1, it was powered up to start several weeks of calibration and checkout activities. Using uncalibrated data, here is an image of  hurricane Simon, taken at 7:10 p.m. local time on October 3, 2014. For comparison, here is a MODIS image of Simon from late morning, October 5, 2014, showing the storm off Baja California:Simon_tmo_2014278

The scatterometer appears to be working, and we look forward to seeing its data in the wind forecasts once the instrument is calibrated (Material adapted from the Earth Observatory, Rapid Response for a New Wind Instrument )


About Seelye Martin

Seelye Martin received his Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Johns Hopkins University in 1967 then spent two years as a research associate in the Department of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1969 he took up a position in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington where he is now an Emeritus Professor. Beginning in 1987, he taught courses on remote sensing of the oceans. Professor Martin has been involved with passive microwave, visible/infrared and radar ice research since 1979, and has served on a number of NASA and NOAA committees and panels involving remote sensing and high latitude processes. He has made many trips to the Arctic for research on sea ice properties and oceanography. From 2006-2008, he worked at NASA Headquarters as Program Manager for the Cryosphere, where he also served as program scientist for the ICESat-1 and ICESat-2 missions. After leaving Headquarters, from 2009 -2012, he worked in a variety of roles for the NASA high-latitude IceBridge remote sensing aircraft program. For this work, in 2012 he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal.
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