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Using the ocean surface wind speed and direction information extracted from the RADARSAT-1 data, the scientists at CSTARS are dramatically improving the accuracy of weather analysis and tropical storm forecasting.
Equipped with advanced RADARSAT-1 data reception and near-real-time processing capabilities, the station provides scientists with data within 30 minutes of reception -a capability that is crucial for hurricane forecasting work.
Researchers at CSTARS are also involved in several other initiatives that use RADARSAT-1 data. These include water level, environmental and volcanic monitoring.
CSTARS is monitoring the movement of active volcano craters in Central America and the Caribbean. One of the precursors to a volcanic eruption is ground deformation and displacement - typically subsidence (sinking of the land). Scientists will use RADARSAT-1 data to detect and measure minute vertical movements (of the order of mm) at the crater surface using a data technique called INSAR. By monitoring this area with RADARSAT-1, CSTARS can quickly assess danger and alert emergency crews in the event of imminent volcanic activity.
Source: RSI, June 10, 2004