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NASA, New Zealand partner to collect climate data from commercial aircraft

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 25, 2020
NASA is partnering with the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand Space Agency, Air New Zealand and the University of Auckland to install next generation Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reflectometry receivers on passenger aircraft to collect environmental science data over New Zealand.
Air New Zealand
Climate and ecology   Air New Zealand
The program is part of NASA's Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) mission, a constellation of eight small satellites, launched in 2016, that use signals from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites that reflect off Earth's surface to collect science data.

The CYGNSS satellites orbit above the tropics and their primary mission is to use GPS signals to measure wind speed over the ocean by examining GPS signal reflections off choppy versus calm water.

This allows researchers to gain new insight into wind speed over the ocean and will allow them to better understand hurricanes and tropical cyclones.

In addition to its primary over water research capabilities, scientists have discovered that the CYGNSS technology is also capable of collecting valuable measurements over land, including of soil moisture, flooding, and wetland and coastal environments.


 

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