ARIZONA – A Mexican student will lead the first NASA-funded student mission to investigate the phenomenon of urban warming, using a satellite the size of a loaf of bread that will be launched this year.
Jaime Sanchez de la Vega, student at Arizona State University (ASU), said that as cities grow, the design and composition of materials in urban areas produce what is called the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHI), a phenomenon in which city structures increase surface temperatures.
“Cement and asphalt tend to retain heat from the sun and this increases the temperature significantly. It’s something that we want to mitigate with this study and see how it develops,” said the young man from San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora.
During the mission, he added, the satellite will capture thermal imagery of U.S. cities and the rest of the world from a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) through infrared remote sensing.