Satellites See Wisconsin an SSEC exhibit at the Dane County Airport


The Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to offer an exhibition showcasing breathtaking snapshots of Wisconsin as seen by weather satellites flying hundreds of miles above the Earth. Discover examples of the information provided by the satellites and how scientists are able to take the observations and piece together our understanding of the Earth and its atmosphere.

Free and open to the public, the Satellites See Wisconsin exhibit will be available at the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wisconsin from 11 February to 10 September 2011.

The road to today’s weather satellite technology began in Madison, WI more than half a century ago. Verner Suomi, a University of Wisconsin professor of meteorology, along with Robert Parent, a University of Wisconsin professor of electrical engineering, began devising experimental meteorological instruments to be launched into space in the 1950s. On 13 October 1959 Suomi and Parent achieved a major milestone when the first successful meteorological experiment was launched on Explorer 7. Their radiometer made it into orbit and operated as envisioned. A full scale model of the satellite and instrument is on display in this exhibit.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has continued this tradition of innovation and technological advances in the area of satellite remote sensing. Scientists at the Space Science and Engineering Center remain world leaders in processing and analyzing satellite data, providing us with a better understanding of our oceans, land, and atmosphere.

This exhibit provides some examples of how satellites provide information, specifically information about Wisconsin. Take a new look at Wisconsin seasons, weather, lakes, and landscapes, including in 3-D.

And as hard as SSEC scientists are working on applications for today, the future of Earth observing is very much on their minds. Researchers are preparing for new satellite systems, from helping to determine the type of instruments and the capabilities that will fly onboard to conducting research on the impact of their new and improved measurements.

So come and see the beginnings with Suomi and Parent’s first successful meteorological experiment and a replica Explorer 7. See what satellites do for us today through images and a 3-D globe, and glimpse where scientists at SSEC are taking us tomorrow.

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