A wildfire called Erskine started on 23 June 2016 in California due to an unknown cause. It burnt 18,368 hectares of forest and 250 structures in the southwest of the United-States, causing the death of two people.
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, based in Pasadena, California is developing a new network of space-based sensors called FireSat in collaboration with the private company Quadra Pi R2E, which is based in San Francisco, California. The new sensors are designed to improve the detection of wildfires. FireSat is expected to be launched by June 2018.
On January this year NASA launched the Soil Moisture Active Passive Satellite (SMAP) to map global soil moisture. However, the aircraft lost its radar instrument and stopped transmitting information on July 7, because of a problem with a high-power amplifier. The passive radar and radiometer tools were designed to complement each other and overcome some limitations.
NASA’s Earth observation Aqua satellite spotted the wildfires burning throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana states on August 23. One of the most important blazes was reported in the Okanogan Complex, in Washington State.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has released a high-resolutionvideo that simulates Hurricane Katrina’s movement across the Atlantic Ocean, then the Gulf of Mexico, and its final collision with the southern part of the United States.
Stunning images of the Atsani typhoon have been captured by CloudSat and Aqua satellites on August 19. The first space artifact passed near its eye and collected information about the inside of the typhoon through its cloud-penetrating radar.
Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have found that the ocean levels in Central and Eastern Pacific have increased between March and July 2015, which bears a resemblance to the conditions of the potent El Niño event of 1997-98. The research was carried out through altimetry measurements captured by the OSTM/Jason-2 satellite.