Community Blogs

Community Blogs
 

Included below is a feed of the latest blog posts created by the GLOBE Community. To view a tutorial on how you can create a blog click here 

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"With its antenna now spinning at full speed, NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory has successfully re-tested its science instruments and generated its first global maps, a key step to beginning routine science operations next month." Read more HERE! Brian


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Hello reader! My name is George Duffy! I am a graduate student from the University of Urbana Champaign, and I am excited to begin sharing my experience as a GPM graduate researcher of with you. My research focuses on snow, or more specifically, snowfall retrieval. Technically, the GPM satellite doesn't measure precipitation, it measures radar echoes from its Dual Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) and radiation from it's General Microwave Imager (GMI). It's up to us to develop algorithms that can retrieve precipitation information from these radar images. It's also...


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The term “won in a landslide” is particularly troubling to me because when a landslide happens, the kind that I study at least, there are seldom “winners”. My research looks at how rainfall interacts with the environment to cause natural disasters like flooding and landslides. Knowing where, when and how much rain or snow is falling is key to understanding where we may have extreme events that can impact people. If you consider where we get a lot of rainfall, like some of our tropical regions… ...and combine that with areas that have the right factors to cause a landslide, such as steep...


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So, now that we have a satellite in space called SMAP, why is the data from the spacecraft so important? SMAP will help: Monitor Drought Predict Floods Assist Crop Productivity Improve Weather Forecasting Linking Water, Energy, and Carbon Cycles Read more HERE


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To find our where the SMAP spacecraft is, at any time in relation to my school, you can check on the SMAP Orbit Calculator Tool! As you might have noticed in the SMAP Block Pattern Soil Moisture Protocol document, we recommend that measurements be taken and collected around 9:00am local time.  This is due to the SMAP spacecraft's 6am and 6pm local time equator crossings.  In order to have optimal SMAP comparison/validation data, it is vital to take your measurements as close to the 9am local time as possible. Any questions, please contact me at Brian.A.Campbell@nasa.gov Cheers...


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Hi, my name is Anna Wilson. I moved to Asheville, NC in the summer of 2004, just before several floods caused by tropical storms left me without power for more than a week. This spurred my previously casual interest in the weather to become an obsession that eventually prompted me to go back to school. Here I am with a PARSIVEL disdrometer (an instrument that measures the size and velocity of particles that pass through its sampling area), after I completed my bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science and started working towards my PhD in Environmental Engineering: (photo credit: Daniel...


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Hi Everyone, This past week and a half has been rather quiet as we performed two orbital maneuvers. The first maneuver placed the spacecraft at an altitude closer to its final orbit. The second one slightly adjusted the inclination of the orbit to ensure that SMAP goes over the equator at approximately 6:00 am and 6:00 pm every day, which are the ideal times to obtain our science measurements. For those of you wondering how SMAP maneuvers around, the spacecraft contains a single pressurized propellant tank carrying 81 kilograms (179 pounds) of hydrazine. The spacecraft adjusts its orbit...


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As you know, SMAP will be giving us unprecedented soil moisture data from around the Earth. But, did you know that SMAP is also looking at frozen soil?  Check out the article link below to learn more about this measurement and how it aligns to our better understanding of our ecosystem and climate change. "Let It Go! SMAP Almost Ready to Map Frozen Soil" SMAPtastic, Brian


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Hey All, We just finished up a two-day GLOBE Train-the-Trainer Workshop at the GEMS World Academy in Chicago, Illinois. Trainers from across the USA came to learn about several NASA Earth Science Missions and their affiliation with GLOBE and associated protocols.  Those missions are Cloud Satellite (Cloudsat), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), and Landsat. On the SMAP side of things, we had a bit of a tough time digging out soil samples for the SMAP Block Pattern Soil Moisture Protocol due to snow/ice cover and partially frozen soil*. ...


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Hi Everyone, This past week has been smooth sailing as we tested both of our instruments, the radar and the radiometer. The radar’s high power transmitter was turned on as the spacecraft was flying over the North Atlantic and then over Greenland. The telemetry data looked great and the signals received clearly showed the transition from ocean to land (yay!). There were some biases with the data that still need to be worked out, however everything is working and we will have a better sense of the quality of the radar data once the antenna starts spinning. During this past week we also...


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Fresh off the recent successful deployment of its 20-foot (6-meter) reflector antenna and associated boom arm, NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory has successfully completed a two-day test of its science instruments. The observatory's radar and radiometer instruments were successfully operated for the first time with SMAP's antenna in a non-spinning mode on Feb. 27 and 28. The test was a key step in preparation for the planned spin-up of SMAP's antenna to approximately 15 revolutions per minute in late March. The spin-up will be performed in a two-step process after...


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WOW! If you are not amazed by this GPM Data Visualization loop, you should be! (www.youtube.com/embed/ILNC7IdyWVU?enablejsapi=1&rel=0) Earth SySTEM is an approach to STEM Education that utilizes the current and future technological infrastructure of satellite imagery, remote sensing, and computer visualizations, and data archives in the study of Earth as a System.   So the question becomes, besides being pretty pictures, what else can students do with these types of satellite images, remote sensing and computer visualizations? There are many investigations that you can engage...


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Hi Everyone, The major milestone this past week was the deployment of the reflector antenna/boom assembly (RBA), which refers to a 5-meter (~16 foot) long boom that holds a 6-meter (~20 foot) diameter antenna at the end of it. For launch the RBA was folded against the spacecraft to fit within the launch vehicle fairing. The boom and antenna together weigh 58 kilograms (127 pounds). Yes, super light for something that size. The boom is a carbon composite structure, made of multiple layers of carbon fiber cloth that are impregnated with a special resin, then baked to create a structure...


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Last Friday, February 27th, was the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission Core Observatory, and coinciding with that event, released its first global map of rainfall and snowfall, covering the period from April 2014 to September 2014. The data map combines measurements from 12 satellites and the GPM Core Observatory, which serves to unify the data from all the satellites, like the lead violin in an orchestra tuning the rest of the instruments.  The result is NASA's Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM data product, called IMERG,...


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Hi Everyone, A lot has happened since my last posting. The mission operations team has been hard at work testing the spacecraft and learning its intricacies. Having a new satellite in space is like driving a new car, it takes a little while to learn how it behaves and reacts. This past week we’ve been testing subsystems and making sure that temperatures and voltages are within range. Also, we have transitioned the spacecraft to point directly at the ground (nadir). While not everything has behaved as expected, the team has addressed some minor yet unexpected issues quickly and is making...


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WOW, WOW, WOW! Early Saturday morning, January 31, 2015, everything was a GO for the SMAP launch except the high altitude winds were too strong to proceed. Everyone was on edge and ten minutes before the scheduled launch time things turned for the better. The wind situation was deemed “green” and it was safe to continue. Whew! The launch itself was an exhilarating experience. As the countdown reached the final two seconds there was a sudden boom, followed by a bright yellow/orange glow and a white cloud that mushroomed to the sides of the rocket. SMAP soared into the sky much faster than I...


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I was born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  If you’re unfamiliar with this extreme northern region of Michigan, it is meteorologically famous for its snow.  Lots of snow.  Insane amounts of snow.  Sled-from-your rooftop piles of snow (see below image). Driving a car in this winter wonderland is difficult since pavement is merely a rumor on most streets from November through April.   While snow provides many anxious driving moments, it is also cherished for creating breathtaking winter landscapes and for providing a wide variety of winter outdoor...


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Chances are that if you are reading this blog you are interested in bringing the exciting world of satellites and remote sensing into your classroom. Over the past five decades NASA and NOAA have archived satellite imagery and datasets and there is high interest in educators using these resources from both agencies. However, the challenge to the precollege community over the years has been one of both acquiring the technical skills to retrieve such imagery and data, and having the computer power to acquire and store such large files. The good news is that while aerospace engineers and...


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We're just over two weeks in to the campaign, and I wanted to give a shout out to those schools who have so far entered data. Some of them are entering data from multiple sites at their school to have so many data points in two weeks. Keep up the good work, and more updates coming soon! School Name City State/Country Data Entries February 1st through 15th Sumarska i drvodjeljska skola Karlovac Croatia 29 Lourdes Public Charter School Scio Oregon, USA 20 OS Banija Karlovac Croatia 20 Anyksciu raj. Troskunu K....


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The SMAP team would like to give a shout out to the schools in Trinidad and Tobago, Croatia, and Oman that have already started taking measurements with the SMAP Block Pattern Soil Moisture Protocol. We are excited to compare GLOBE student data to the SMAP spacecraft data, once the spacecraft starts taking soil moisture. The SMAP spacecraft is currently working on the phase when we raise the antenna boom and unfurl the collecting dish. Thank you and keep the soil moisture data coming! Brian


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Hi Everyone, The Thursday before the launch of SMAP was a day of much anticipation and excitement. We were ready to go, but high upper winds caused the cancellation of the launch four minutes before lift-off.  You might be wondering how we monitor wind conditions at high altitudes (in this case, thirty four thousand feet). We do it by sending up weather balloons ahead of time to make these measurements where the rocket will be flying. The last balloon data came down just minutes before launch indicating that the winds exceeded conditions for a safe launch. Afterwards, inspections to...


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The Palmyra Cove Nature Park is a 250 acre open space in New Jersey. The park is located on the Delaware River about 7 miles north of Philadelphia, PA. You can check the site out by using Google Earth … (40 N, 75 W). There are various land cover types, resulting in varying ecosystems within the park. There is a tidal cove (with wetlands), forest, river/beach, and an Army Corps of Engineers dredge cell. The South Jersey/Eastern Pennsylvania/Delaware region, known as the Delaware Valley, is an interesting and often tricky forecast region, even for the National weather Service (NWS). It has...


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Hi Everyone, My name is Erika Podest, and I am a scientist at JPL working on the SMAP mission. I’ll be writing about SMAP’s debut into space and providing updates during this exciting time. Welcome to my first post! As a child growing up in tropical Panama and enjoying its exuberant nature, I always had a love for the environment. I went from playing in nature to studying it, and focused my research on the use of satellites to study Earth. As a doctoral candidate, I did part of my research as an intern at JPL, and this opportunity led me to ultimately become a scientist at JPL. As I was...


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Weather fascinates people and it is something we talk about every day.  It is interesting to note that we mostly complain about the weather: too cold, too hot, too wet.  For some reason, we do not acknowledge the weather when there is a sunny and comfortable day to do outdoor activities.  We get quickly disappointed if the weather does not meet the forecast, especially if the forecast was sunny but precipitation falls from the sky.  First, what is precipitation? Precipitation is defined as any product of condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under...


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So, what if I told you that the water you drink today is the same water dinosaurs drank over one hundred million years ago? Yep, the same amount of water has been circulating the globe in what we call “The Hydrologic Cycle” (also known as the Water Cycle). But don’t worry, you will not catch some dinosaur-disease by drinking it. Water in the Hydrologic Cycle has the ability to evaporate from the land and ocean surfaces and travel large distances as water vapor, only to fall down on the ground as precipitation (rain and snow). The same water later travels on the surface as streams and rivers...


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Introduction: The Global Precipitation Measurement Mission and GLOBE Student Field Campaign by Kristen Weaver, GPM Education Specialist My original topic for this introductory blog was going to be how to participate in the field campaign, but those details are well covered in the "How to Participate" section. For any technical questions, the GLOBE Support Team is always helpful, or for other questions about the campaign you can get in touch with me and/or the rest of the GPM Education Team here. So that taken care of, the question becomes: Why should you contribute data to the GPM-GLOBE...


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There have been 28 schools that have entered data associated with the GLOBE Surface Temperature Field Campaign for a total of 782 observations. The number of observations for a school is in parenthesis. Al-Fath Secondary School at Abha, Saudi Arabia Brazil High School, Tinidad and Tobago (18) – Thank you Mr. Ali Camanche Elementary School, Iowa, USA Chartiers-Housgon Jr./Sr. High School, Pennsylvania, USA (8)– Thanks Gary Chia-Yi Girls Senior High School, Taiwan (9) Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies, Illinois, USA, 8 different sites (41) Feng-Shan Senior High School, Taiwan ...


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My passion towards Global Precipitation Measurement Mission started when I visited GPM Clean Room at Goddard Space Flight Centre in August 2013 during 18th GLOBE Annual Partner Meeting in Maryland, United States. Having received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through University of Toledo, Ohio to participate in the event gave me reasons to maximize the opportunity. As a scientist from Nigerian Space Agency, this opportunity gave a rare privilege to contribute to the development of Environmental Education (EE) in my resource-constrained country and the world at large. ...


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Hi GLOBE surface temperature enthusiasts. The first week of the GLOBE Surface Temperature campaign (plus a couple days) is over. I took at look through all of the data that has been submitted so far. The field campaign looks to be a great success again. I greatly appreciate all of your hard work. 17 schools have entered data so far from 4 countries.   The number of observations for a school is in parenthesis. Sekundarschule Uzwil, Switzerland (2) – Thanks Markus Shazar Intermediate School, Israel (12) Al-Fath Secondary School at Abha, Saudi Arabia (2) Princeton Middle School,...


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Citizen science is scientific research conducted by amateur or nonprofessional scientists. Formally, citizen science has been defined as "the systematic collection and analysis of data; development of technology; testing of hypotheses; and the dissemination of the resulting information by researchers on a primarily avocational basis. When students do science, it is citizen science. This is true when students take measurements and report their data or analyze data taken by themselves and others. It is particularly true when they complete research projects by reaching evidence-base...


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