Weather Satellite Used to Track Whales and Birds

NOAA-N Prime satellite image

Press Image of Artistic rendition of NOAA-N Prime Satellite via Lockheed Martin

The NOAA-N Prime, the newest US weather satellite, has some interesting uses beyond just watching clouds pass across the sky. It also can use transmitters to collect sensor data...which means it will be able to track anything that has transmitters, including animals.

"We're interested in how the animals use their habitats and what are their migratory routes and destinations," said Alex Zerbini, who oversees NOAA's satellite tagging program on large whales. "We study animals in remote locations where the access for human beings is very difficult."

Beyond this, the satellite - scheduled to launch tomorrow morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California - can be used for search and rescue missions and a wide range of other tasks. More about the NOAA-N Prime can be found at Discovery News.
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