Published July 5, 2012
The universities received a $151.7 million award to lead a team that will design, launch and operate the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System. The system will consist of eight small satellites that will be carried into orbit on a single launch in order to improve tropical cyclone and extreme weather prediction.
S.C. State is set to receive $400,000 over six years by participating in the program.
“This will allow us to observe and understand the complete life cycle of storms and, thereby, understand the thermodynamics and radiation that drive their evolution,” said Christopher Ruf, principal investigator on the project and professor at the University of Michigan. “Our goal is a fundamental improvement in hurricane forecasting.”
Students and faculty at S.C. State will participate in the project through undergraduate research. About two students at any given time will be helping with data analysis on the project.
Donald Walter, professor of physics, and Steven Katzberg, a former NASA visiting professor at S.C. State and now a retired research engineer, will lead the local effort.
“This mission represents a culmination of research in which I have been engaged since 1996,” Katzberg said. “It is always satisfying to see research turned into practical reality, especially since I was fortunate enough to have helped create this new remote sensing technique.
“The use of ‘nano’ satellites and the GPS system means the taxpayer is getting much more bang-for-a-buck in the space technology being developed to save lives and protect property from hurricanes,” Katzberg added.
Walter said the partnership is a great opportunity to participate in leading research in atmospheric science.
“We are happy to have Steve contribute to the science and to allow our students to engage in research that is both exciting and will directly impact the lives of South Carolinians through better hurricane prediction,” Walter said.