Researchers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, United States, have been investigating the connection between wild fires and droughts in sub-Saharan Africa using satellitedata from NASA’s NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer and the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission.
The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R), recently launched by NASA, is the first in a sequence of highly advanced geostationary weather satellite to serve the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Extreme events like heavy rainfall, storms or hurricane activate landslides. Unstable soil surface conditions can make heavy rains act as the triggering point for mud, rocks and/or debris to move down from mountains and hillsides. These mass movements cause unexpected human and economical losses. Heavy rainfall is the most common cause for landslides although earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, erosion, collapse of groundwater reservoirs, ice melt can also cause them.
The Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurment or IMERG released through NASA GES DISC, is a global rainfall dataset providing precipitation rates for the whole planet every half hour. Estimating the amount of accumulated rainfall for any region over a period of time is possible using IMERG.
The International Space Station (ISS) is celebrating 16 years of space living. The station was built with the contribution of space agencies from 15 countries between 1998 and 2011. The first crew from the Russian Federation and the United States arrived in the station on 02 November 2000. According to ESA, the station weights almost 400 tonnes and has more than 820 cubic metres of pressurised space - enough room for its crew of six persons and a vast array of scientific experiments.
A wildfire called Erskine started on 23 June 2016 in California due to an unknown cause. It burnt 18,368 hectares of forest and 250 structures in the southwest of the United-States, causing the death of two people.
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, based in Pasadena, California is developing a new network of space-based sensors called FireSat in collaboration with the private company Quadra Pi R2E, which is based in San Francisco, California. The new sensors are designed to improve the detection of wildfires. FireSat is expected to be launched by June 2018.
On January this year NASA launched the Soil Moisture Active Passive Satellite (SMAP) to map global soil moisture. However, the aircraft lost its radar instrument and stopped transmitting information on July 7, because of a problem with a high-power amplifier. The passive radar and radiometer tools were designed to complement each other and overcome some limitations.