CMS News

Satellite Seahawk-1

We are pleased to announce the first engineering test image of the Earth from space via SeaHawk-1. This true-color image of coastal California was captured by the HawkEye Ocean Color Imager on March 21st, 2019 on orbit at 588 km altitude. On March 22nd, it was downlinked via X-band radio to NASA Wallops ground station, and immediately transferred to NASA Goddard for processing. This is part of the ongoing activities during the commissioning phase of the recently launched SeaHawk-1 satellite.

UNCW Satellite Seahawk1 Earth Image 2If we focus on the chlorophyll a product (a proxy for algal concentration or ocean productivity) in Monterey Bay, you can see the nearly order of magnitude improvement in spatial resolution that SeaHawk/HawkEye (130 m) provides compared to MODIS Aqua (1 Km). Unfortunately, for this first image, we were not able to compare the results for the same day.

Faculty members from the Department of Physical Oceanography and the students from UNCW's Student CubeSat Lab participated in the joint telecon on Friday, when the first image was downlinked to the ground station at NASA Wallops. The UNCW CubeSat Lab is a newly formed student association that was born as a result of the genuine interest in the project by some students from UNCW's Master's Degree in Data Science. The students are now involved in several projects under the guidance of advisors from the Department of Physical Oceanography and the Data Science Program and will be presenting a poster at the upcoming NC Space Grant Student Symposium in April. (more)

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UNCW Satellite Seahawk1 Team