Hughes - Severe Storms Observing Satellite (SSOS aka StormSat)

Graham1973

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Hughes designed geosynchronous satellite optimised to study mesoscale phenomena such as tornados, squall lines and large convective systems. Had the satellite been built, the launch vehicle would have either been a Delta rocket or the Space Shuttle.

The STORMSAT spacecraft and its primary sensors, the Advanced Atmospheric Sounding and Imaging Radiometer (AASIR) and Microwave Atmospheric Sounding Radiometer (MASR), will be used to provide the data base to enhance understanding of mesoscale weather phenomena, The primary data provided by STORMSAT will be visible images, infrared images,infrared temperature and humidity sounding, and microwave temperature and humidity sounding. These data will be processed into visible and infrared pictures, vertical temperature and humidity profiles, and possibly precipitation estimates. These data are currently being provided by a combination of polar orbiting and geostationary satellites, but not with the time and/or space resolution needed for mesoscale observation.


Severe Storms Observing Satellite (STORMSAT), Final Report
 

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Byeman

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Graham1973 said:
Hughes designed geosynchronous satellite optimised to study mesoscale phenomena such as tornados, squall lines and large convective systems. Had the satellite been built, the launch vehicle would have either been a Delta rocket or the Space Shuttle.

Don't see any reference to a Delta rocket for launch, only that the MMS bus was design for Delta. The mass of the spacecraft is outside the capability of a Delta and would actually require a Titan IIIC.
 

blackstar

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Years ago I stumbled across a relatively small report in the NASA archives that I have since lost and it was an early 1980s proposal for a LEO weather satellite. I am trying to remember the name, but it was something like LOKI or LOFTI or something similar (note: I am aware that a satellite named LOFTI flew, I'm just saying that the name was something similar to that). I believe that it was intended to focus on storms, particularly hurricanes. If I remember correctly, it was based upon a DMSP/NOAA bus, but with a big deployable antenna on one end (all I remember is that it was odd looking). It may have been a follow-on to this proposal, but going to a low orbit to save money.
 

Graham1973

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Giving the report a more thorough skim than I did initially, one thing that is clear is that the idea seems to have been to merge the SSOS system and GOES from the second mission onwards.

While emphasis in this study was on the primary STORMSAT mission, some consideration was given to the follow-on mission and the impact on system, design due to extended mission requirements. The follow-on STORMSAT may be required to perform all of the functions currently provided by the operational GOES system...

'Snapshot' documents like this can be the most frustrating as it's very hard to find the documents covering what came before and after, especially after the 'Cry Wolfe' incident.
 

blackstar

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Graham1973 said:
'Snapshot' documents like this can be the most frustrating as it's very hard to find the documents covering what came before and after, especially after the 'Cry Wolfe' incident.

Yeah, that's always a problem with technical reports like this. You see a proposal, perhaps something that was even studied in detail, but you don't know the context. Were the people in charge seriously considering building it? How did it fit into the overall effort? Was it one-shot or were there other follow-ons?

Sometimes there are big projects that disappear without any visible trace. And then sometimes they might not get approved, but you discover that the work that people did on them ended up in other projects. And sometimes they even resulted in hardware that ended up flying on later projects.

NTRS is great for reports, and you can learn a lot from them, but it's really hard to tell the story without the memos and letters that are generated on a daily basis within an organization (and without conducting interviews with the people involved).
 

Graham1973

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Decided to double check the link in the OP and found that the document I linked to survived the NTRS purge. Unfortunately there does not appear to have been any further material on this project uploaded.
 

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