Vital Hurricane-Warning Satellite In Danger Of Failing | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Oshkosh Day One

Oshkosh Day Two

Oshkosh Day Three

Airborne 07.21.16

Airborne 07.22.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Oshkosh Day One

Oshkosh Day Two

Oshkosh Day Three

Airborne 07.21.16

Airborne 07.22.16

Tweet Us The Coolest Things You See @OSH16!
#OSH16Coolest!

It's Alive!: AirVenture 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

It's Alive!: AirVenture 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

 

Sat, Jun 16, 2007

Vital Hurricane-Warning Satellite In Danger Of Failing

Replacement Not Expected Until 2016 At Earliest

A weather satellite launched in 1999 that plays a key role in making accurate hurricane predictions is in danger of failing at any moment. A replacement was originally due to be launched in 2009, but has been bumped to 2016.

NASA's Quick Scatterometer (QuickScat) satellite provides essential data on wind speed and direction over an ocean. The SeaWinds microwave radar on the satellite measures near-surface wind speed and direction in all weather and cloud conditions over Earth's oceans.

Should it fail, the accuracy of two-day forecasts could suffer by as much as 10 percent and three-day forecasts by 16 percent, according to the Associated Press. This could mean difficult and expensive choices would have to be made.

"We would go blind. It would be significantly hazardous," said Wayne Sallade, emergency manager in Charlotte County, hard hit by Hurricane Charley in 2004.

A spokesman for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said data from other satellites, though less accurate, would be utilized should QuickScat be lost.

Bill Proenza, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said authorities "may have to err on the side of caution" in forecasting hurricane activity in event of the satellite fails.

"That means more people disrupted, and more impact on the economy," he said. "We have to err on the side of the protection of life. And that's how we would handle it.

Emergency managers have been informed of the issue. Not being able to rely on forecasts will make their decision making process that much more difficult, they said, such as hospital evacuations. Unreliable forecasting would mean a wider area to evacuate. It is estimated the cost of an evacuation is roughly $1 million per mile coastline.

So, why not go ahead and replace it? Why take the chance? NOAA administrator Conrad Lautenbacher blamed technical and budget problems for the setback in a letter to a Florida congressman, according to the AP.

The cost of a replacement satellite is being estimated in the neighborhood of $400 million. Even if someone were to hand NOAA the money, it would take at least four years to build.

QuickScat's major problems began last year when a transmitter used to send information to Earth about every 90 minutes failed. The satellite is now working on a backup transmitter.

Robert Gaston, who works with QuickScat at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said it is not known just how long the backup with last -- maybe years, maybe not. Oh, and there won't be any warning that it's getting ready to fail, either.

Just in time for hurricane season.

FMI: www.noaa.gov

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 07.26.16-Oshkosh Day 2: Solar Impulse, Sun Flyer, Stemme S-12

Also: AEA $$Giveaway$$, LAM Aviation, Able Flight, Jack Pelton On Aero-Medical Reform We start our report this morning with something that has very little to do with the EAA AirVen>[...]

ONE Aviation Provides Singular Support For Coverage of AirVenture 2016!

ONE Aviation: Let’s Fly Together ONE Aviation delivers innovative access to general aviation by bringing together a line of products suited to the missions and budgets of ind>[...]

It's ALIVE! 2016 AirVenture Innovation Preview Program Debuting RIGHT NOW!

Get The EARLY Inside Details On THE Most Exciting NEW Innovations And Product Announcements From OSHKOSH... The staff of EAA and the Aero-News Network are pleased to announce that >[...]

Only Sporty's!!! Sporty's Pilot Shop Helps ANN Cover Oshkosh 2016!

Sporty's Pilot Shop Is A Pivotal GA Resource! Sporty’s Pilot Shop was founded over 50 years ago by a flight instructor, and ever since has been for pilots and by pilots. Hal >[...]

Aspen Avionics, True Innovators, Present OSH2016 Special Event Coverage!

OSH2016 Sponsor: Always-Innovative Aspen Avionics Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aspen Avionics specializes in bringing the most advanced display and sensor technology from the >[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC