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  HISPASAT provides satellite coverage to NASA for its Severe Storm Mission

20th June, 2012.

The HISPASAT Group, was contracted by NASA to provide satellite communications in support of the Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel HS3 mission, using the Amazonas 2 satellite and NASA´s Global Hawk vehicles. This mission is specifically targeted to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean basin.

In the words of Carlos Espinós Gómez, CEO HISPASAT, “we are very pleased to participate with NASA in this very important mission using the Amazonas 2 satellite, one of our most advanced communications satellites, with Pan-American coverage including Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Since its launch at the end of 2009, Amazonas 2 offers the most innovative value added services that responds to growing demand for communications on the American continent”.

The HS3 mission is motivated by hypotheses related to the relative roles of the large-scale environment and storm-scale internal processes. HS3 addresses the controversial role of the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) in tropical storm formation and intensification as well as the role of deep convection in the inner-core region of storms. Addressing these science questions requires sustained measurements over several years due to the limited sampling opportunities in any given hurricane season.

The NASA Global Hawk vehicles used for this mission are ideal platforms for investigation of hurricanes, capable of flight altitudes greater than 60,000 feet and flight durations of up to 30 hours. HS3 utilized two Global Hawks, one with an instrument suite geared toward measurement of the environment and the other with instruments suited to inner-core structure and processes. Field measurements will take place for one month each during the hurricane seasons of 2012-2014.