Satellite Platform For Estimating Tropical Cyclone Surface Winds

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A satellite platform works to provide support for the infrastructure and instruments in a space mission. In the space industry, it's being used to ensure communication between satellites and ground segments. Also, this technology ensures that spacecraft have enough power to function. In other words, satellite platforms technology ensures satellite data collection and transmission. These data can be used for all sorts of purposes, from navigation to monitoring natural disasters. Here, we will discuss how space platforms help detect cyclones to monitor tropical storms.


How do satellites detect cyclones?

Satellites measure the temperature at the sea surface, taking altimetry measurements. They estimate the heat potential of tropical cyclones, which is very important when forecasting storm intensity. Meteorologists use advanced spacecraft, computers, and weather data to track how tropical cyclones develop. It's difficult to forecast a tropical cyclone since a storm might suddenly change its course or weaken. Space platform electronics carefully measure these changes and send data back to Earth. Without space platforms, we would not be able to determine how a cyclone would affect the ground. Failing to do so could have catastrophic consequences for society, transportation systems, properties, and even human lives.


How do satellites monitor tropical storms?

Let's see how satellites issue tropical cyclone forecasts by looking at historical databases and forecast centre practices. Spacecraft identify tropical cyclone winds by employing software that solves algorithms. We obtain satellite observations after these algorithms have been solved. If we don't monitor tropical storms, we can't take care of our planet, and we will lose lives. Satellites that monitor tropical storms and cyclones help measure how much damage inundations and winds might cause, too. They measure wind speeds in rain to predict just how long the weather remains calm. However, we are still far from assembling the most efficient satellite platforms for estimating tropical cyclone surface winds and tropical cyclone estimation. Still, there have been major advances in this area.


How does tropical storm monitoring work?

Modern spacecraft can track tropical cyclones with fitted instruments. A satellite flies over tropical cyclones, locating the storms within 200 miles of the radar station. After its launch, a satellite provides numerical forecast models and provides useful information regarding cyclones. They use sensors that detect the ground temperature, wind speeds, and humidity, while spacecraft software works with algorithms for remote sensing.


Where are weather spacecraft placed?


Satellites Detect Cyclones

Spacecraft placed in geostationary orbit (GEO) frequently observe large domains and atmospheric changes. Europe, China, Japan, and South Korea compete to build the most advanced spacecraft platforms for weather forecasting and monitoring. Later on, this spacecraft and corresponding platforms that carry all required scientific tools provide measurements through channels that employ higher observing frequencies and spatial resolutions. Weather monitoring spacecraft advances atmospheric science in many different ways. We use advanced space platforms working with particular sensors for higher prediction accuracy.


Are all satellite platforms designed the same?

A spacecraft platform employs many advanced technologies, but their purpose varies significantly on the satellite type. Most platforms carry measurement equipment necessary to forecast weather while monitoring the environment. However, any spacecraft platform will also carry equipment to ensure a connection with the ground segment, batteries, and thrusters to perform in-orbit maneuvers. Depending on platform type, some of them may also employ polar-orbiting microwave sensors such as sounders and imagers. Microwave imagers work as frequency sensors that measure surface properties and how various atmospheric water phases measure surface properties. Such spacecraft can be used not only for cyclone prediction but also for ocean monitoring.


Latest Cyclone Monitoring Mission Examples

Satellite platforms have seriously evolved over time, and we now see an increase in cyclone monitoring missions to predict cyclones and alleviate their consequences. For example, in June 2022, NASA deployed another six satellites for monitoring and studying tropical cyclones. The major advantage of the TROPICS mission is that these satellite use compact yet highly advanced platforms that ensure wider area coverage and more frequent data transmission to the ground stations. 

Another major development in today's satellite platforms for Earth and, more specifically, cyclone monitoring is that they can be placed in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) rather than geostationary ones. This significantly reduces mission costs because LEO is lower than GEO. More importantly, the latest advances in satellite platform technology allow the creation of smaller, more cost-effective platforms that ultimately accomplish the same tasks as large GEO satellites. 

The bottom line, the space platform market does not stand still ” 21st-century space tech is becoming smaller and more affordable. Still, regardless of the actual space platform size, we need these satellites to predict cyclones and analyze how the weather will be so that we can predict natural disasters. Our planet's space exploration methods might depend on how we predict the weather down here on Earth. 

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