NASA prepares PREFIRE mission to study Earth's polar region, see details. world News


Photo: Lorenz Heymann on Unsplash

Photo by Lorenz Heimann on Unsplash

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is ready with its new mission called Polar Radiant Energy in Far-Infrared Experiment (PREFIRE). The space agency will launch twin shoebox-sized CubeSats into separate polar orbits to study how heat is lost to space from Earth's farthest regions — the Arctic and Antarctic.

Space.com says one of the Prefire CubeSats, called “Ready, Aim, Prefire,” is expected to launch before May 22. The second satellite, known as “Prefire and ICE”, will be launched a few days after the first satellite.

The pair is designed to measure far-infrared radiation whose wavelength exceeds 15 microns. This radiation accounts for about 60 percent of the heat lost at the poles. “We've never measured this before,” said PREFIRE principal investigator Tristan L'Equier of the University of Wisconsin–Madison during a May 15 call with reporters. L'Ecuyer says PREFIRE will help scientists study how various properties at the poles, such as clouds, humidity and surface fluctuations between frozen and liquid states, contribute to the dissipation of heat lost to space. Contribute.


Prefire Mission: Here's everything you need to know

According to the US space agency, the CubeSat will investigate the amount of heat emitted into space from Earth's polar regions and how this heat affects our climate.

The CubeSat will use a thermal infrared spectrometer aimed at measuring heat in the form of far-infrared energy emitted by the Earth's surface and atmosphere into space.

CubeSats are poised to answer some important questions using a platform that costs less than full-size satellites.

Data from the PREFIRE mission will help scientists understand the greenhouse effect at the poles. It will investigate the ability of water vapor, clouds and other elements present in the atmosphere to trap heat and prevent it from spreading into space.

According to NASA, the data will be used to update climate and ice models and ultimately improve predictions of changes in sea level, weather, snow and ice cover in a warming world.

first published: 21 May 2024 | 2:45 pm First


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