A strange structure going up in a field in the Upstate had neighbors wondering what it could be. 7 On Your Side found out it’s a tool to help NASA scientists better forecast the weather.
We first got the call from Charlie Hannah, a local dentist who said that his son was leasing land to some farmers who had been approached by NASA.
Hannah’s son told us he leases the land to farmers Hank and Rosa Aikenback Acres. They were using the land for cattle and were approached by NASA AND NOAH and asked if researchers could put a weather research station there. He said he didn’t even really believe them at first.
“ I didn’t but once I talked to NASA they sent me some emails let me know what it looked like. It saw it and it was legit and they told me they were going to let kids come by,” said Hannah.
Hannah is also a 4th grade teacher and said it was important for him to let his kids learn from the research the NASA scientists were doing.
Researchers tell 7 On Your Side the project welcomes visitors after the launch on May 1. Scientists welcomed our camera Friday and told us the portable polarized radar device helps forecasters give better predictions about weather and weather patterns.
The signals are sent and received with the devicee and radar can help measure precipitation. Researchers said they chose Spartanburg so they could measure clouds near a mountainous area.
Scientist Manuel Vega said many visitors come up to the dish and ask what they’re measuring.
“Two people came up they thought we were looking for UFO’s or drones and stuff,” said Vega.
“Were here to measure rain and we try to encourage that they come visit us and see the real time images to see what we’re doing,” he said.
This dish was put up in just a couple of days and it travels around in large containers that are still positioned at the base. It will stay for 6 weeks researchers said and students will be welcomed.
Scientists said it was last in Iowa. Before that they had it in Oklahoma studying tornados and it’s also been set up in Africa measuring weather patterns.
Researchers said the dish is 30 meters wide and transmits up to 400 Kilowatts of power.