ITT Industries’ Technology Prepares for Hurricanes


Forecasters at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting another busy hurricane season with a higher-than average number of severe storms. To help protect people from the effects of these potentially deadly storms, ITT Industries continues to engineer critical...

...technologies for sensing and managing storms this hurricane season - from meteorological imagers and sounders that allow the National Weather Service to predict and monitor the course of a hurricane, to major utility pumps capable of removing millions of gallons of water per minute from storm-flooded areas.

Storm Sensing

ITT Industries builds geostationary and polar orbiting imaging and sounding instruments used by the NOAA to track severe weather patterns. Over the past thirty years, ITT's meteorological technology has been on every satellite used for this purpose. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), equipped with an Imager and Sounder, has become the backbone of the U.S. "Early Warning Weather System," allowing for improved weather forecasting.

The multispectral GOES Imager surveys the Earth on a continuous basis, allowing for increased sensitivity to detect temperature fluctuations, to measure variation in low-level moisture, and to track hurricanes from their inception.

The GOES Sounder utilizes improved sensors to collect and identify variations within the Earth's atmosphere using a scanning broad infrared spectrum. The Sounder features a larger number of spectral channels, higher spatial resolution, and increased sensitivity for high quality soundings allowing meteorologists to observe a greater number of details that indicate important atmospheric fluctuations.

"Throughout history we've witnessed innovations that affect our safety and save lives. In fact, every thirty seconds, images of hazardous storms are made available by this technology," said Chris Young, Vice President and Director, Commercial & Space Sciences, of ITT Industries Space Systems Division.

ITT Industries is currently developing an advanced instrument, the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), which will significantly improve data provided to weather forecasters by using ITT Industries' Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS). CrIS will track a vertical distribution of temperature, moisture, and pressure in the atmosphere helping in both short-term weather predictions and long-term forecasting.

Flood Control

Once a hurricane strikes, inland flooding can be the dangerous aftermath if the afflicted community is in a potential flood zone and the proper flood control systems are not in place. ITT Industries' pumps are installed in many regions across the country, including some of those areas hit worst by severe storms. In New Orleans and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, an area prone to hurricane-related flooding, ITT Industries has more than 50 vertical and horizontal pumps installed to combat flooding and move large volumes of water short distances. During Hurricane Georges, the vertical pumps removed 135,000 gallons per minute, while the horizontal pumps moved up to 500,000 gallons of water per minute.

"Municipalities need to be prepared for the worst in hurricane situations. Inland flooding accounts for a tremendous amount of property damage and a number of deaths each year," stated Bob Dietlmeier of ITT Industries' A-C Custom Pump Division. "ITT Industries' pumps can evacuate several million gallons of water, as we did in New Orleans. If it weren't for those flood control plants, the storm water would likely have caused major property damage." In flooded areas, dewatering pumps from Flygt and Marlow are necessary to clear sites from muddy water. Both Flygt and A-C Pump are relied on in municipal collection systems to prevent the water from overflowing into lakes and rivers, and to later move the storm water through the wastewater treatment plant. In fact, throughout the U.S. more than 250 flood control pumping stations equipped with huge submersible pumps from ITT Flygt are on duty competently protecting life and property.

In disaster areas fresh water distribution is frequently disrupted. ITT Industries can provide potable water through its mobile water treatment systems. Following the tsunami, ITT Industries deployed more than 80 water treatment units and ten reverse osmosis systems to the affected region. Each of the mobile water treatment systems deployed was capable of delivering 1,800 gallons of fresh water a day.

The official start of hurricane season is June 1 and many states are advising residents to begin preparation. The NOAA anticipates twelve to fifteen tropical storms possible. Of these, they predict seven to nine will escalate to hurricanes; three to five will be major hurricanes.

Source: ITT Inc.

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