A small NASA satellite offers an important insight into the structure of the storm and its various layers.
TEMPEST-D is no bigger than a cereal box and is cheap to load – but its capacity is remarkable. Above is a preview of Hurricane Dorian made by TEMPEST-D at four depths (with four different wavelengths). The colors represent the strongest rainfall within the storm: pink and red are the most intense, while green and blue are the least intense. In essence, the multiple vertical layers of the image above indicate where the strongest convective storms within a hurricane move into the atmosphere and can be used to study and predict the development of such storms.
After devastating the Bahamas and causes unprecedented. damage, Dorian seems to be sinking in, but returns to a Category 3 hurricane when it hits the North and South Carolina coasts on Thursday. Its evolution came as a surprise and the storm remained dangerous.
Unusual visualization can prove valuable in this kind of situation. TEMPEST-D technology is essentially a radio wave instrument capable of measuring rain and moisture in the clouds with remarkable precision ̵
By measuring the evolution of clouds from the time of precipitation, a satellite constellation can detect ongoing processes in the cloud and help limit the largest source of uncertainty in meteorological models (this could also be an important contribution to the large-scale climate models)
A fleet of such satellites could be used to track storms around the world, at a fraction of the cost of traditional satellites. This would improve our coverage of global storms and generate more accurate forecasts.