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Weather and environmental satellite crowd sourcing: Two new apps

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)‘s academic companion, the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed two free of charge mobile apps that bring the capacity to see and capture satellite information to mobile users’ fingertips. The apps received improvement support from NOAA and NASA.

The SatCam app for iOS devices permits mobile users to capture observations of sky and ground situations at the similar time that an Earth observing satellite is overhead. The WxSat (quick for Weather Satellite) app, for iOS and android, displays and animates full-resolution, genuine-time climate satellite data. WxSat leverages the SSEC Information Center holdings to provide worldwide coverage for visible, infrared, and water vapor channels.

How SatCam Operates

When users capture a SatCam observation and submit it to the SatCam server, it assists to verify the high-quality of the cloud merchandise that are produced from satellite information. In return for the observation submission, SatCam sends users the satellite image that was captured at their location. The SatCam software program supports NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites as nicely as the NOAA/NASA Suomi-NPP satellite. SatCam photos help SSEC to excellent the cloud mask products that are applied to information collected from the satellites. Cloud mask indicates whether or not a provided view of the Earth is obstructed by clouds or aerosol and can be misinterpreted when cloud temperature is also equivalent to ground temperature.

“SatCam is a terrific instance of a citizen science app that enables any individual with an iPhone to enable enhance the data products from instruments onboard 3 flagship Earth science missions,” mentioned Steve Graham, a senior outreach specialist for International Science and Technologies, Inc. at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. He has also been the outreach coordinator for the Aqua mission (formerly PM-1) since March 2000.

How WxSat Functions

Geostationary and polar orbiting weather satellites, like Suomi-NPP, constantly capture observations of the earth. Information from these satellites are acquired by the SSEC Data Center which has one of the most extensive collections of actual-time and archived climate satellite information in the planet. WxSat blends these photos into single hourly global composites for 3 diverse products (Visible, Infrared, and Water Vapor) and is updated just about every hour at 36 minutes previous the hour.

The names of the diverse photos in the WxSat app refer to the parts of the electromagnetic spectrum from which the satellite sensors are sampling. The three most widely applied atmospheric channels are the visible, infrared, and water vapor. NOAA forecasters combine information and facts from the three sorts of pictures to predict weather, monitor forest fires, ice flows, ocean currents, and lengthy term climate patterns from a worldwide viewpoint that only satellites can supply.

These SSEC apps are freely readily available to all interested users. To download and understand more about the SatCam and WxSat apps, pay a visit to: