- Published February 03, 2014
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Dialing in the accuracy of satellite weather forecasting is the goal behind basic research into raindrop size and shape being done at UAH by a UAH doctoral student who is also an atmospheric scientist in the NASA Pathways Intern Employment Program.
Patrick Gatlin says his work measuring the height and width of raindrops using ground instruments provides an accuracy baseline that is then scaled up to ground radar and then to satellite measurements. He is co-author of a paper on the topic (Tokay, Ali, Walter A. Petersen, Patrick Gatlin, Matthew Wingo, 2013: Comparison of Raindrop Size Distribution Measurements by Collocated Disdrometers. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 30, 1672–1690; http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-12-00163.1).
"That's really the whole purpose of measuring raindrops, is for remote sensing purposes," Gatlin says. Scaling up accuracy from a small sensor on the ground to large sections of the Earth being observed from space requires very accurately calibrated instruments. "Our ability to correctly depict rainfall using a sensor in space is closely tied to knowing how precipitation varies, right down to the individual raindrop and snowflake size."
- Published January 31, 2014
- Hits: 408
Students at UAH will gain real-world experience through internships and the university will do cooperative research with meteorological company Baron Services Inc. following the signing of a memorandum of understanding on Friday.
"This is an excellent opportunity for UAH students to work with Baron Services, a world leader in radar remote sensing," said Dr. Sundar Christopher, professor and chairman of the UAH Dept. of Atmospheric Science and associate director of the Earth System Science Center. "This will further strengthen research collaborations between our two organizations."
UAH internship candidates will be selected by a faculty liaison in cooperation with Baron Services, and faculty may participate as resource persons in the internship on a limited basis. Select Baron Services employees will collaborate in developing student assignments and training activities and will instruct, evaluate and supervise the student. Baron Services will report student progress and performance to UAH.
- Published January 30, 2014
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UAH will have a major presence at the 2014 American Meteorological Society (AMS) annual meeting in Atlanta during the first week of February.
About 50 UAH faculty members, scientists and students are scheduled to participate in the conference, presenting 50 talks and posters on research in UAH's Earth System Science Center (ESSC) and the Department of Atmospheric Science, and with research collaborators.
Research topics to be presented range from using lightning counts for forecasting severe weather to air pollution monitoring, climate change and developing specialized computer applications for tracking weather events.
"This is an excellent opportunity for the department and ESSC to show the work we are doing here at UAH," said Dr. Sundar Christopher, chairman of UAH's Atmospheric Science Department.
- Published January 14, 2014
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A new laboratory in UAH's Earth System Science Center is giving students opportunities to gain research experience in areas as diverse as archaeology from space, and learning which biological samples might try to take over the world if the power to their hermetically sealed freezer goes off for several days.
About a dozen students in Earth system science and atmospheric science are working on research projects this semester through the new Human Dimensions, Discovery and Decision Making (HD3) lab.
Amanda Weigel, for instance, is using satellite data and information about hurricanes from the past 150 years to study archaeological sites in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula to determine which sites might be at greatest risk from storm-related damage.
- Published December 13, 2013
- Hits: 1054
Beneath the Guatemalan rainforests, hidden from mankind for more than a millennium, lie remains of the once vast kingdom of the Maya.
A pair of scientists from The University of Alabama in Huntsville will be in Guatemala next week to test whether a camera carried aloft by a tiny, battery-powered helicopter might one day help uncover lost Maya ruins.
Dr. Robert Griffin, an assistant professor of Earth system science at UAH, and graduate student Casey Calamaio will spend three days testing a multi-spectral camera during brief flights of a radio-controlled helicopter over Maya ruins at Tikal and Yaxha. They will use the images - similar to those from Landsat but in much higher resolution - to look for signs of the types of plant stress frequently seen in trees growing over archaeological sites in Central America.
- Published December 12, 2013
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A series of satellite images composited by a UAH graduate student so they track the growth and disappearance of an algal bloom in a Guatemalan lake was chosen for publication by the company that created the software she used for the project.
Africa Flores, who will soon graduate with a masters of science degree in Earth system science, developed an algorithm that uses hyperspectral data from NASA's EO-1 satellite to measure and track changes in aquatic chlorophyll as a proxy for water quality in Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. This method can be transferred to study other lakes and large rivers in the region, where water quality information is otherwise scarce.
- Published December 10, 2013
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If recent news that UAH researchers observed the largest gamma ray burst ever has you nervous about getting blasted into extinction by a massive burst from space, the UAH researchers have good news.
The chances of Earth being fried by a burst are exceedingly rare. In fact, say Dr. Rob Preece, doctoral candidate J. Michael Burgess and Dr. Michael S. Briggs, Earth was actually at the center of the hit from April's big gamma ray burst, which they picked up on equipment aboard the Fermi Space Telescope that UAH and partners NASA/MSFC and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany designed and tested.
- Published December 03, 2013
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A UAH programming team's Health24 product that translates prescription drug information into any language so it is accessible to immigrant populations has won the Popular Choice Award at the America's Datafest global competition.
"We are all very excited and proud to have won the Most Popular Award in Americas Datafest," said project lead Josh Jones. "The positive feedback we received shows us that this is an application people think would be useful, and this definitely motivates us to invest more development time to improve it."
The UAH team grabbed the most online votes to win the Popular Choice Award. The team previously won the America's Datafest grand prize in regional competition at Auburn, earning it $1,000 from Alabama Media Group and the opportunity to compete for the global prize.
Team members Josh Jones, Jarrod Parkes, James Parkes, Mini Zeng, Prabhash Jha and Ha Giang built a set of products they call Health24 that can translate medical labels and information. It includes a list of popular medicines sorted by common symptoms, translatable into any language; a searchable database of medicines that lists interactions; and a translation tool that works from photos of medicine instructions.
- Published December 03, 2013
- Hits: 446
The future of academic rocket propulsion research will be discussed when academic leaders in propulsion attend the second National Institute of Rocket Propulsion Systems (NIRPS) workshop at UAH Dec. 16-17.
University representatives from across the nation will discuss what government needs and wants when it invests in universities for academic propulsion research and how universities can support the workforce needs of the field.
The NIRPS workshop is co-chaired by Dr. Robert Frederick, director of the UAH Propulsion Research Center and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Shankar Mahalingam, dean of the UAH College of Engineering and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. It is sponsored by the UAH Office of the Vice President for Research, the UAH Office of the Provost, the UAH College of Engineering, and the UAH Propulsion Research Center.
- Published December 02, 2013
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A scientist at UAH has won a grant from Google to support developing a smart phone app to involve school children and the public in monitoring how our environment is changing.
The app, EnvEye (pronounced n-vie), will let camera-phone users track environmental changes in their own communities, as well as giving both researchers and government agencies a new tool for tracking such things as land use change and erosion.
The almost $36,000 grant will support a graduate student tasked with developing and field testing the phone application, said Dr. Udaysankar Nair, an assistant professor of atmospheric science at UAH.