Iranian MIT Professor Builds NASA Satellite

Monday, May 26, 2008

An Iranian professor of MIT is to build one of the most historical satellites of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The project which envisages construction of a satellite for assessment of soil moisture and atmospheric variables has been resumed after a five-year standstill upon recommendation of US National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Dara Entekhabi has noted that during past years, which may reach two decades, assessment of soil moisture and related variables was mainly done using data recorded by satellites.

“However, those data are mostly used in meteorology and water engineering. After a few years, we have reached the conclusion that the information is not enough and we must think about manufacturing new satellites with multiple capabilities,” he said.

The Iranian professor of MIT also stated that after long studies, he has come up with plans for manufacturing a new satellite, which ended up in construction of SAMP.

The new technology uses microwaves with a frequency of 1.4 gigahertz.

The Iranian scientist also noted that existing technologies use such microwaves as infrared beams as well as visible light to study atmospheric variables.

“However, they are not suitable for determining moisture of soil because such waves are eliminated by atmosphere. But microwaves that are used by the new satellite are very sensitive and suitable for studying surface of the Earth without being affected by atmosphere,” he said.

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