Hampton U’s new antenna pings weather satellites for public use

Photo courtesy: Hampton University. The area viewed by the satellite on this particular overhead pass is shown in green overlain on the map of North America. The infrared image, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on board NASA’s TERRA satellite, shows hurricane Matthew’s spiral cloud structure just entering the frame from the south.

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s Hampton Roads region now has one of the most advanced weather monitoring systems in the country.

Hampton University says it has installed a “direct broadcast antenna” that connects with weather satellites owned by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The school says the antenna will rival most weather channels and meteorologists. The information it collects will be publicly available.

That means residents can get real-time data on the area’s hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weather before or at the same time as many forecasters.

NASA helped fund the $5 million device, which was manufactured by Orbital Systems. The school says it’s one of just 10 such antennas in the country.