September 11, 2008
ESA Satellite Keeps Track of Ike
The European Space Agency said its Earth observation satellite Envisat is being used to help track Hurricane Ike as it travels across the Gulf of Mexico.
Knowing the strength and path of hurricanes is critical for issuing timely warnings, the ESA said, and satellites are key means of providing synoptic data on the forces that power such storms, such as cloud structure, wind and wave fields, sea surface temperature and sea surface height.
In the future, combined instantaneous wind speed, wave heights and surface velocity maps will be integrated into models to improve storm track and intensity, the space agency said.