Distinguished Professor Yahya Rahmat-Samii receives the NASA Group Achievement Award, along with his colleagues at JPL, as a member of the RapidScat Antenna Team, “For the successful development and testing of an antenna assembly for the RapidScat payload on the International Space Station.” The award plaque was signed by the Honorable NASA Administrator, C. F. Bolden.
The RapidScat mission was successfully launched in September 2014 on a SpaceX Dragon vehicle. The instrument, assembled at JPL, has been observing ocean winds from the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS). It is the first scientific instrument to observe Earth’s winds from ISS at 200 miles above us. The antenna is attached to the exterior of ISS, rotates at 18 rpm and radiates dual beams with two orthogonal polarizations at Ku band. This was a very challenging design considering the fact that many safety issues had to be addressed for safe operation of this instrument aboard ISS. Many important scientific data has already been gathered by this instrument.