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UM gets grants for satellite-based research in Asia-Pacific

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Miami, US: The University of Miami (UM) received a grant from the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) to expand its use of SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) in the Asia-Pacific Region. The new USD 1.15 million grant augments a previous USD 3 million grant received by the University for groundbreaking buoy deployment southeast of Taiwan designed to help better understand the interactions between the ocean and atmosphere during typhoons.

“This generous grant from the ONR will help us to greatly broaden the use of satellite imaging to measure the oceanic response during intense typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean,” said Dr. Hans Graber, professor of Applied Marine Physics at UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and Executive Director of CSTARS (Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing). “We hope that this data is valuable enough to improve tracking and make more accurate predictions of large typhoons which may help governments and first-responders in preparedness, as major Asian population centres respond to these situations.”

Among the activities funded through the new grant are:
– Ongoing work on the Impact of Typhoons On Pacific (ITOP) programme using UM’s state-of-the-art buoys
– Satellite observations of the surface signatures and properties of internal waves to understand their generation mechanisms and propagation paths
– Observations of ocean surface conditions over the coral reefs around the island of Palau, which is vulnerable to tropical storms, floods and bleaching events related to El Nino
– Planning and preparation for the Bay of Bengal monsoon experiment

“The work we are about to undertake will provide information that has the potential to impact hundreds of thousands of people, not only in Asia, but in Hawaii and on the west coast of the United States, as well,” added Graber.

Source: University of Miami