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  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (wrublewski2006 Chat Log)During this online chat, 53 questions were asked by 10 schools. There were 12 adults and 33 students involved in this chat.

    Hosted by Thomas Wrublewski of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    Dixon - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    What part do you play in the GOES-N system?

    I have been the lead NOAA person since 1997 that interfaces with NASA and other parts of NOAA to make sure that the NOAA requirements, primarily from the National Weather Service, are properly translated into procurement specifications for the spacecraft, launch services, and the new ground system components. I participate in request for proposals formulation, proposal evaluations, design reviews, periodic status reports, and review of configuration management changes that might be recommended.

    Janelle - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    Do you think that G.O.E.S. could have helped with last year's tsunami?

    GOES satellites receive tsunameter information transmitted from ocean buoys through its data collection system. NOAA processes this information and does send out warnings for tsunami conditions to those coutries that patrticipate. Having more buoys with tsunameters is the most important first step towards improving tsunami monitoring and certainly having GOES or other satellites to receive the signals in the affected areas would help. Countries also need to respond adequately to the warnings.

    Elizabeth - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    When will the GOES-N be in place?

    At the moment, Boeing plans to request b from the US Air Force a Cape Canaveral launch date on May 18, 2006 and it will take about 12 days to get the spacecraft to 90 degrees west longitude where Boeing will check it out for about 12 more days. Then NASA will spend about 6 months thoroughly checking out the spacecraft and fine tuning it for NOAA science and operations. NOAA plans to store GOES-N at 105 degrees west longitude until it is needed for operational service.

    Sydney - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    What kind of study did you do to prepare for working for NASA?

    In college at UMBC, I started as a Biology major and switched to a Geography major with physical geography and earth science teaching emphasis. After teaching mostly earth science for 4 years NOAA convinced me to work for them on POES and GOES instruments. They sent me to school for various things like more computer science, physics, engineering, more math, and remote sensing. By far most of the education has been on the job working with very smart people that answered my many questions.

    Mark Acherman - Chat Guest at Darlington El/Middle School from Darlington, Wisconsin asks:
    How does a GOES Satellite work? By that question, I mean how does any satellite work? I teach sixth graders and they really don't understand how satellites work? Most answers are they use radio signals. But how do the radio signals send back images to weather stations?

    Ed Koenig, a retired ITT engineer, wrote a booklet titled "How Do You Make a Weather Satellite" which JPL modified for us (see teacher's corner at www.scijinks.gov) and may be perfect for your class. They do not give me enough space here to do it justice. If you also do a web search on "NOAA NESDIS OSD GOES" you should find our web site that has a PDF brochure on "NOAA GOES-N,O,P -- The Next Generation" and the "GOES -N Data Book" which give more of the details for the advanced student.

    Elizabeth Russo - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Room opened by Moderator on 04/06/06 at 10:30.

    Elizabeth Russo - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Space Explorers would like to welcome Thomas Wrublewski as our host today. All of your questions will be viewed by a moderator. We will try to get through as many questions as possible during the chat period. Ask away!

    Ryan - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    What else do you work on at NASA?

    I assisted with the procurement of the new Solar X-Ray Imager that will fly on GOES-N. I have participated in an independent review team for the NPOESS Program. I spend some part of my time doing fun stuff for outreach and education like this chat, educational conferences, and working with others that are preparing posters and videos.

    Bryan - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    What does a meterologist do at NASA?

    I am not a meterologist, but those that are at NASA and NOAA do lots of things ranging from preparing local weathing forecasts, studinying severe events like tornado outbreaks like those this past week and hurricanes so that we might better be able to predict them and give more accuracte and timely warnings.

    Jamila - Guest Student at Idea from Tok, Alaska asks:
    What instruments and tools do you use to observe the weather conditions? How can you tell?

    Personally cloud and sky conditions, measures of relative humidity and temperature, and measuring air pressure with an aneroid barometer are good things to observe for making your own local weather forecast. We will be producing a cloud chart in the next few weeks for students and teachers. Tall dark cumulonimbus clouds with anvil shapes are good indicators of severe weather and thunderstorms that can include hail and tornadoes. Puffy separated cottonly looking cumulus clouds are good.

    Bill Nutt - Guest Teacher at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    How do know if the weather is going to change?

    Rapidly changing barometric air pressure is a good indicator of high or low pressure moving in. High thin cirrus clouds often preceded a storm by 12-24 hours as general rules of thumb.

    Stephanie - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    Did you always want to work for NASA even when you were a kid?

    When I was young I had no idea what I wanted to do. In college at UMBC it was stated that we should expect to have multiple jobs over our life and be ready for change.

    Daniel - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    Have you ever been in a spaceship at NASA?

    I have been in the Ariane V fairing that the Eurpoeans developed which is large enough to fit a school bus or my first house in. Flying in some smaller planes over thunderstorms has been enough thrill for me!

    Cathy Leu - Teacher at Eagle View from Unalaska, Alaska asks:
    How much advance warning do you think can be given to people to prepare them for natural disasters?

    It depends on the disaster. Earthquakes, tornadoes, and tsunamis need rapid warnings and responses. Thanks to GOES, POES, & DMSP satellites and ground radars we usually get days of warnings for hurricanes. Now we need to get people to prepare for them and heed the warnings. Newer technologies and science should improve the future warnings.

    Cindy Byers - Teacher at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    Does the POES monitor the amount of ice melting at the poles?

    Yes the AMSU instrumnets can tell if the ice is melting and even if it refreezes.

    Eric Hamilton - Guest Teacher at Hamilton School from Asheville, North Carolina asks:
    why does the weather channel get les reliable for every day forward they predict?

    The models are not quite as accurate since lots of variables can cahge over time. We do a lot better than we did just 30 years ago however.

    Cindy Byers - Teacher at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    How does the sounder work on the GOES satellite?

    The sounder has a visible channel or detector to sense or see clouds and other detectors that with the use of a filter wheel and optics can sense 19 other infrared wavelengths that can be used to determine atmospheric temperatures and some constituents like total ozone.

    Cathy Leu - Teacher at Eagle View from Unalaska, Alaska asks:
    Was there any satellite in place that predicted the intensity of hurricane Katrina?

    GOES-12 and several other satellites observed Katrina for quite some time. It did however rapidly intensify over a relatively short period prior to landfall. If you visit the National Hurricane Center web site archives you will see that they provided many days of very accurate information and forecasts.

    Cathy Leu - Teacher at Eagle View from Unalaska, Alaska asks:
    What causes the blackness in clouds when storms occur?

    Clouds contain water vapor and dust. Each drop of rain or snow is water vapor that has condensed usually onto a dust particle. So the dust, ice, water all block out the sunlight and appear dark.

    Cindy Byers - Teacher at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    What is the AMSU instrument?

    AMSU is a POES instrumnet that has microwave sensing capability so that it can see through and into clouds which visible and infrared instrumnets usually cannot. So it can better look at the severee weather below the clouds and detect rain rates or snow conditions. Future GOES need a microwave capability.

    Debra Van Dalen - Teacher at Hortonville Middle School from Hortonville, Wisconsin asks:
    Don't thesatalites currently in te GOES system monitor in real time? How is the GOES-N different?

    GOES-N has more capability in several areas. Most important is the extra power allows it to stay in operation when their is no sunlight and the ability to accurate locate phenomena on the ground will be at least 50% better and maybe 4 times better.

    Eric Hamilton - Guest Teacher at Hamilton School from Asheville, North Carolina asks:
    how do you tell the time in space?

    The satellite have their own clocks that are run by vibrating crystal oscillators, but we can also adjust them from the ground if they get to be too fast or too slow.

    Cindy Byers - Teacher at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    What is the expected life of a GOES satellite?

    GOES-N is designed for up to 5 years of storage in orbit and 5 years of operations or 2 years of storage and 8 years of operations so 10 years of life and over 13 years of fuel.

    Cindy Byers - Teacher at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    What rocket is used to launch GOES satellites?

    GOES-N will be launched from Florida on a new Delta IV (4,2) medium class rocket that has a 4 meter fairing and 2 solid starp on rockets that drop off after 100 seconds. GOES-N will be on the Delta IV for a long time and does not separate until about 4 hours and 20 minutes after liftoff so that we get maximum lift from the rocket towards 22,300 miles in space.

    Sam - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    Did you want to be an astronaut when you were younger.

    I think everyone does at some point, but quite a lot of differenct skills are needed to make any sopace program work. You do not have to be a science buff or mathematician or computer geek. If you are ionterested in space there are all kinds of associated careers that support each program.

    Leanne - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    What is the hardest part of your job?

    Hardest part is to break away at night when their is still more work to do, but it is important to keep a balance with work and family.

    Cathy Leu - Teacher at Eagle View from Unalaska, Alaska asks:
    Do yoou know the biggist storm that ever took place in Alaska?

    No sorry I do not.

    Mark Acherman - Chat Guest at Darlington El/Middle School from Darlington, Wisconsin asks:
    What are satellites made out of?

    Mostly light weight structural material like aluminum and grpahite epoxy.

    Cathy Leu - Teacher at Eagle View from Unalaska, Alaska asks:
    What major changes have been observed in the polar ice caps by POES?

    POES and DMSP satellites have observed latge chuks of ice the sixe of some states drop off and the US Navy Ice center routinely monitors their locations afterwards.

    Cindy Byers - Teacher at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    How much is 13 years of fuel, and what is the fuel that is used?

    The fuel is monomethylhydrazine with helium pressurant and nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer which weighs 3,674 lbs.

    Cathy Leu - Teacher at Eagle View from Unalaska, Alaska asks:
    Are there areas of the Earth where weather prediction is more difficult?

    There are ceratyinly areas of the earth that have similar weather every day like deserts are often dry and hot in the day and much cooler at night. Areas affected by moutains and lakes and ocean currents can be much more variable and harder to model and predict.

    Cindy Byers - Teacher at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    Where are the GOES satellites built?

    GOES-N was built in El Segundo, CA in Los Angeles by originally Hughes and now Boeing. The main instrumnets for scioence have been built in Ft. Wayne, Indiana; Waltham, Mass.; Columbia, MD; and Palo Alto, CA.

    Cindy Byers - Teacher at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    How many U.S. weather satellites are there?

    NOAA operate GOES, POES and DMSP satellites. We have GOES-9 (inactive),10,11(stored), &12, in geosynchronous orbit. DMSP and POES also have at least 2 each operational and see each spot on the earth twice a day.

    Cindy Byers - Teacher at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    How long do you think it will take the ice caps to melt if they continue to melt at the rate they are melting now?

    Lots of modeling yet to be done to accurately predict that and it is not conclusive as to whether this is a short term warming or indeed a longer term trend.

    Molly - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    How long have you been working with NASA?

    I have been working for NOAA since 1978 and have been at NASA/GSFC since about 1985.

    Elizabeth Russo - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    The chat room will be closing in approximately five minutes. At this time, we would like to thank everyone for joining us for this special event. We would especially like to thank Thomas Wrublewski for hosting our chat today.

    Cindy Byers - Teacher at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    How long does it take from design to launch for one satellite?

    GOES-N was designed in January 1998 and was ready for launchby December 2004. Less complicated communication satellites can be designed in built in about 4 years.

    Cathy Leu - Teacher at Eagle View from Unalaska, Alaska asks:
    Have satellites been damaged much by space debris?

    We have been fortunate, but one GOES appear to have seen some solar sail damage and I had the opportunity to see Westar 6 after the Shutttle retrieved it and it clearly had lots of impact marks on its solar array.

    Cindy Byers - Teacher at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    Do the satellites track large fires?

    The POES AVHRR instrumnets has a channel that uis very good at fire detction and monitoring as well as for volcanic eruptions and dust clouds.

    Eric Hamilton - Guest Teacher at Hamilton School from Asheville, North Carolina asks:
    what got you interested in working at nasa?

    The move from NOAA to being located at NASA was simply an opportunity for further career growth, more responsibility, and a bigger paycheck.

    Elizabeth Russo - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Please join us again on Tuesday, May 2, 2006 for a chat with Aerospace Architect Janis Connolly. During this chat, you will have an opportunity to discuss the design of the International Space Station.

    Elizabeth Russo - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    4/6/2006 11:29:24 AM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
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