[Offtopic] CloudSat is go!

Roland Gesthuizen rgesthuizen at gmail.com
Tue Apr 15 18:13:40 EST 2008

 Cloudsat mirror facing
We posted our first CloudSat images today as part of our participation with
the CloudSat mission <http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/education/>. This
time, the images we loaded actually corresponded to a real CloudSat flyover.
CloudSat is part of a constellation of satellites known as the A-Train that
was assembled in orbit on 1 June 2006.

An enthusiastic and dynamic student teacher, Tony helped me out with a Year
9 Research Science student along and a bunch of year 7 maths students. You
can view a slideshow<http://www.flickr.com/photos/plakboek/tags/cloudsat/show/>of
our cloud dance and images on the basketball court.

Some of the maths skills we covered included how to divide the sky up into
quadrants and measuring the percentage cloud cover. I smiled when the year 7
maths students kept glancing over their shoulders to see if they could spot
the inbound satellite train. The satellites fly in a nearly circular orbit
with an equatorial altitude of approximately 705 km so they don't have too
much to worry about.

The photographic images that we took help ground truth the "radar images"
taken from space. You can view them
Clouds exert an enormous influence on our weather and climate. This work
will help scientists better understand and improve climate models etc .. and
teach some Maths with IT ;-)

Regards Roland

(now back to paying attention at a gripping school meeting)

Roland Gesthuizen - ICT Coordinator - Westall Secondary College

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change
the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Mead
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