Cambridge, MA—Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. (AER) is directly supporting operational monitoring and use of scatterometer data from QuikSCAT, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) new ocean-observing satellite, by having one of its own scientists work at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Since January, Mr. Mark Leidner, senior research associate in AER’s Numerical Weather Prediction Group has been writing calibration/validation software and conducting forecast impact studies with data from NASA's SeaWinds scatterometer at ECMWF in support of the QuikSCAT mission.
ECMWF is a European weather forecasting organization funded by 18 European countries. Mr. Leidner works closely with the ECMWF’s Satellite Data Assimilation group, where data from European and American scatterometers are used to greatly enhance the observation and forecasting of hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones.
The SeaWinds on QuikSCAT mission is a "quick recovery" mission to fill the gap created by the loss of data from the NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT), when the satellite on which it was flying lost power in June 1997. QuikSCAT is scheduled to launch from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a Titan II vehicle in early summer 1999, and will continue to collect important ocean wind data that was begun by NSCAT in September 1996. The SeaWinds instrument on the QuikSCAT satellite is a specialized microwave radar that measures near-surface wind speed and direction under all weather and cloud conditions over Earth's oceans.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is funding AER’s efforts in this mission. Mr. Leidner’s work is expected to continue through until December.
Founded in 1977, Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. is an award-winning environmental research and consulting company with demonstrated expertise in remote sensing, satellite meteorology, numerical weather prediction, radiation and climate, circulation diagnostics, atmospheric chemistry, air quality and risk assessment, mathematical modeling, planetary sciences, atmospheric sounding and systems engineering. In addition to its Cambridge, MA headquarters, AER has offices in Washington, D.C.; San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA; Hong Kong, and Beijing.