﻿1 00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:01,961 Here’s a question, 2 00:00:01,966 --> 00:00:09,533 How does a group of satellites, each no more than a foot long, help improve forecasts for tropical storms and hurricanes? 3 00:00:09,533 --> 00:00:10,600 Let's take a look. 4 00:00:11,433 --> 00:00:15,700 Hurricanes are some of the most powerful and destructive weather events on Earth. 5 00:00:16,233 --> 00:00:24,000 The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the most brutal on record, producing a record-breaking 30 named storms. 6 00:00:24,700 --> 00:00:29,566 What’s more, a record-tying 10 of those storms were characterized as rapidly intensifying, 7 00:00:29,566 --> 00:00:34,066 some throttling up by 100 miles per hour in under two days. 8 00:00:34,400 --> 00:00:39,400 Many weather satellites will generally measure a storm only once every few hours, 9 00:00:39,400 --> 00:00:42,900 leaving gaps in coverage where a storm may quickly strengthen. 10 00:00:44,085 --> 00:00:48,288 To help fill this observation gap, NASA is launching TROPICS; 11 00:00:48,590 --> 00:00:54,759 a collection of 6 small satellites designed to make a big impact on our understanding of damaging storms. 12 00:00:55,566 --> 00:01:02,700 Their mission: to provide near-hourly observations of a storm's precipitation, temperature, and humidity, 13 00:01:02,700 --> 00:01:06,966 allowing scientists to better understand what drives a storm’s intensification. 14 00:01:07,466 --> 00:01:13,533 To achieve this, researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory developed a miniaturized microwave radiometer 15 00:01:13,533 --> 00:01:16,300 that’s about the size of a cup of coffee. 16 00:01:16,300 --> 00:01:24,566 This small instrument will measure storm strength by detecting the thermal radiation naturally emitted by the oxygen and water vapor in the air. 17 00:01:25,300 --> 00:01:31,566 As Earth’s climate continues to change, cost-effective, but powerful, satellites like TROPICS will be an 18 00:01:31,566 --> 00:01:38,200 important tool to help us better observe developments driving rapid changes in powerful storms. 19 00:01:38,431 --> 00:01:43,459 And help forecasters better predict – and prepare – for the weather ahead.