New wind sensor for International Space Station to watch tropical storms

By on October 21, 2014

International Space Station has new tools to track tropical storms. (Credit: NASA)


A new instrument designed to measure winds and track tropical storms has been installed on the International Space Station, Spaceflight Now reported.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule brought the Rapid Scatterometer to the ISS in September. Known also as the ISS-RapidScat, the instrument uses a 100-watt antenna that spins around 20 rpm to bounce microwave signals off the surface of the ocean, providing data on wind speed and direction. The scatterometer is mounted to the outside of the station’s European Space Agency Columbus module.

The $26 million instrument is made of spare parts from a satellite built in the 1990s. Howard Eisen, ISS-RapidScat project manager, said that the use of recycled parts saved NASA over $300 million.

Image: International Space Station has new tools to track tropical storms. (Credit: NASA)

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