UAH and NASA sending up a new generation of satellites

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)- The University of Alabama in Huntsville(UAH) has teamed with NASA for an out-of-this-world research project. Together they will venture into a new generation of weather satellites. Researchers will review data from the satellites to monitor and predict severe weather.

They are working on 3 different projects, all are funded by NASA.  All three extend or expand lines of ongoing research in UAH's Atmospheric Science Department and the Earth System Science Center, exploring whether the study of lightning can improve the existing early warning system for severe weather while learning more about the basic structure and dynamics of powerful storms.

"It has been a project that we've proposed for 25 to 30 years," said Phillip Bitzer, who studies lightning at UAH.

These new satellites will allow researchers to better track storms which is very important for several reasons.

"Certainly for our area severe weather is a real big deal for us and particularly tornadic. These new instruments and the details that they provide will really help us get a better feel for when tornadoes produce and in general when severe weather is produced," Bitzer says.

Researchers and scientists in Huntsville designed the satellite and built it with some help from collaborators in California. Once the satellites are in space, scientists in Huntsville will analyze the data.

It is scheduled to launch in October of 2016.