Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (CESSRST)
UTEP is a partner institution of CESSRST. A cooperative science center, CESSRST was established in 2016 through a national competition and is funded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The participating institutions are geographically distributed across the nation and enjoy a high enrollment of under-represented minority students. CESSRST builds on the successes of 15 years of NOAA funding for the Center for Remote Sensing Science and Technologies (NOAA-CREST) as a national leader in STEM workforce development and by supporting NOAA missions related to Earth Systems observations, monitoring through application of environmental satellites and ground-based remote sensing technologies.
The mission of the center is to educate, train and graduate a new generation of diverse and competent cadre of students, and to create a diverse and skilled workforce in NOAA mission-aligned STEM and social science disciplines through participation in state-of-the-art research.
JPSS Satellites View Historic 2021 Winter Storm in Texas
In February 2021, an historic winter storm shattered low-temperature records in much of the central and southern U.S. The temperature in Dallas reached 4°F on Feb. 15, the coldest the city had seen since 1989.
NESDIS’s Snowfall Rate product, which uses data from the ATMS instrument on NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP, tracked the intense snowstorm as it moved over Texas and into the Midwest on Feb. 15, 2021.
The storm crippled southern electric grids and left millions without power, especially in Texas, where grid failures were particularly severe. This resulted in rolling power outages throughout the state to conserve electricity. Many lost power for hours to days.
Using the VIIRS instruments’ Day-Night Band, NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP captured the differences in nighttime illumination of city lights in Houston, San Antonio and Austin.
JPSS Spots Power Outages in Texas Following Hurricane Harvey
The 2017 hurricane season was a brutal one for residents in Texas. Hurricane Harvey left significant trails of damage and destruction in its wake. Harvey made initial landfall along the Texas coast. Its slow movement and record-setting rainfall over the Houston metro led to widespread urban and river flooding over multiple days. The JPSS Program expeditiously mobilized resources, including imagery from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership or Suomi NPP. The imagery showed the changing light levels tied to power outages from these storms. Imagery (right) from the Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (DNB), captured before (August 23, 2017) and after (August 30, 2017) Hurricane Harvey’s landfall, shows changes in city light illumination associated with power outages. This imagery helped agencies such as FEMA and first responders monitor the storm from the first outage through the recovery stages. This imagery helped them determine where their equipment was needed the most, as well as to cross check against information power utility companies were receiving from other sources.