Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Professor Chris Ruf Interviewed About Upcoming CYGNSS Mission

Posted: December 1, 2016

Professor Chris Ruf Interviewed About Upcoming CYGNSS Mission

CLaSP Professor Chris Ruf was interviewed this past week for USA Today on the subject of the upcoming CYGNSS hurricane satellite mission launch. The article gives an overview of the University of Michigan-led mission, and talks about utilization of GPS signals to help climate scientists better understand what's happening at the core of a tropical storm.  

An excerpt from the article:

"Though hurricane track forecast accuracy has improved in the past few decades, there have been few advances in intensity forecast accuracy, experts say. This mission is specifically targeted to investigate how and why hurricanes rapidly strengthen.

"'Using GPS technology, the satellites will be able to peer through rain and clouds to determine the wind speed just above the surface of the ocean by measuring the ocean roughness,' said Chris Ruf, a University of Michigan professor and the principal investigator for the mission. Previously, this weather data had only been available from hurricane hunter airplanes sent out to analyze the storms.

"'This will allow us to understand how hurricanes grow and predict how strong they'll be,' [Christine] Bonniksen (NASA program executive for CYGNSS) said. The eight satellites will orbit around the world in 95 minutes and will be sending back data 24/7.

"'CYGNSS will do what existing satellite technology can't in terms of measuring wind speeds inside hurricanes to improve our ability to predict these deadly storms,' said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate."

Follow this link to read the full article.

 

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