Posted July. 26, 2005 03:08,
Observing the Earth with a satellite, we can measure the soil moisture every three days, which enables us to foresee whether it will rain much or little or whether there will be any floods or droughts, says Dr. Kim Yun-jin, 46, at the jet propulsion laboratory of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Korean project manager of Hydros, a satellite that predicts natural disasters such as floods or droughts.
Hydros is scheduled for launch in September 2010. A total budget of $200 million (about 200 billion won) and over 100 personnel are involved in this project.
Kim is the first Korean to lead a NASA satellite project.
Currently, Kim is participating in the 25th annual International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) at COEX in Seoul, which continues until July 29. On July 27, Kim will make a presentation on Hydros.
Even when its heavily raining, Hydros is able to observe the Earth through the clouds. It can also figure out when the surface freezes and thaws, which will be useful in understanding global warming, explained Kim.
Kim visited Korea five years ago with a NASA team of some 20 researchers to test radar equipments to be installed in Hydros. He and other Korean scientists carried the device onto a plane and took pictures of the Byunsan Peninsula, downstream Nakdong River, and Jeju Island.
Kim said, We plan to analyze the satellite data with Korean researchers and closely study the spread of the Earths water resources.
After receiving his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Kim has worked at NASAs jet propulsion lab since 1989, leading several projects.
In 2000, he successfully directed a project attaching a radar device onto a spaceship and accurately measuring the landscape of the Earth. This achievement won him a special medal from NASA.
I enjoy delving into the cutting-edge areas at NASA, said Kim. After Hydros, I would like to take on a large scale project such as exploring Mars or Jupiter.