Space

June 19, 2012

NASA selects low cost, high science Earth venture space system

NASA has selected an ocean wind study proposal led by the University of Michigan from among 19 submitted to the agency’s Announcement of Opportunity for small spaceflight investigations of the Earth system.

The proposed mission will make accurate measurements of ocean surface winds throughout the life cycle of tropical storms and hurricanes, which could help lead to better weather forecasting.

The competitively-selected proposal, the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, is led by Principal Investigator Dr. Chris Ruf of the University of Michigan, and includes partnerships with the Southwest Research Institute of Texas, Surrey Satellite Technology of Colorado and NASA Ames Research Center.

It is the second award, and first award for space-based investigations, in the Earth Venture-class series of rapidly developed, cost-constrained projects for NASA’s Earth Science Division. The award will be funded during the next five years for $151.7 million. The cost includes initial development, launch, deployment and data analysis.

The mission will use a constellation of small satellites that will be carried to orbit on a single launch vehicle. The CYGNSS data will enable scientists, for the first time, to probe key air-sea interaction processes that take place near the inner core of the storms, which are rapidly changing and play large roles in the genesis and intensification of hurricanes. The CYGNSS measurements also may provide information to the hurricane forecast community.

Once in orbit, CYGNSS’s eight micro-satellite observatories will receive both direct and reflected signals from Global Positioning System satellites. The direct signals pinpoint CYGNSS observatory positions, while the reflected signals respond to ocean surface roughness, from which wind speed is retrieved.

“The CYGNSS mission is both a scientific and a programmatic advance for NASA’s Earth science and applications program,” said John Grunsfeld, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate associate administrator in Washington. “CYGNSS will provide vital science data on tropical cyclones, and the CYGNSS team will advance our ability to obtain high-quality Earth science data through smaller, more affordable space systems.”

The Earth Venture missions are part of NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder program. The small, targeted science investigations complement NASA’s larger research missions. In 2007, the National Research Council recommended NASA undertake these types of regularly solicited, quick-turnaround projects. The previous Earth Venture award was for five airborne investigations all of which are progressing well with initial data being collected. The first Announcement of Opportunity in the Earth Venture-Instruments series was issued earlier this year, and proposals are now under review.

The Earth Venture program is expected to continue with awards at regular intervals for investigations using cutting edge instrumentation carried on airborne platforms, on small space missions, or as secondary instruments or hosted payloads on larger platforms. NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., manages the Earth System Science Pathfinder program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The missions in this program provide an innovative approach to address Earth science research with periodic windows of opportunity to accommodate new scientific priorities.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Orbital completes third cargo delivery mission to ISS

Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the world’s leading space technology companies, announced Aug. 18 the successful completion of its third cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station in the past 10 months, including the initial demonstration flight completed in October 2013 and the first two operational missions under the company’s $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply...
 
 

NASA selects Texas State University to provide educator professional development

NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project has awarded approximately $15 million in a new, five-year cooperative agreement to Texas State University at San Marcos to provide educator professional development using NASA-related science, technology, engineering and math content. The selection is in response to an Education Opportunities in NASA STEM ñ Educator Professional D...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA/SAO/CXC/R. Margutti et al

NASA’s Chandra Observatory searches for trigger of nearby supernova

Photograph courtesy of NASA/SAO/CXC/R. Margutti et al NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is helping determine what caused SN 2014J, one of the closest supernovas discovered in decades. By comparing X-ray data taken before and a...
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA to investigate climate impacts of Arctic sea ice loss

NASA photograph NASA’s C-130 aircraft will carry scientists over the Arctic starting this month from northern Greenland and Fairbanks, Alaska. A new NASA field campaign will begin flights over the Arctic this summer to st...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of Andrew Westphal, UC Berkeley

Stardust team reports discovery of first potential interstellar space particles

Photograph courtesy of Andrew Westphal, UC Berkeley The largest interstellar dust track found in the Stardust aerogel collectors was this 35 micron-long hole produced by a 3 picogram mote that was probably traveling so fast tha...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s NuSTAR sees rare blurring of black hole light

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech The regions around supermassive black holes shine brightly in X-rays. Some of this radiation comes from a surrounding disk, and most comes from the corona, pictured here as the white light at ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>