Gabriel Rios

Cohort Level: Cohort - IV

Career Goal: My career goals include, but are not limited to, the advancement of the understanding of small-scale convective processes, rapid intensification in tropical cyclones, and improving modeling of cyclogenesis.

Expected Graduation Date: May 31, 2022

Degree: M.E Mechanical Engineering

Research Title: Closing the Urban Surface Energy Budget using GOES-16 Satellite Data

Research Synopsis: The surface energy budget is critical to understanding the thermodynamics of processes within the atmospheric boundary layer. Urban agglomerations feature heterogeneous surface properties and anthropogenic activity that can significantly affect the boundary layer, resulting in localized effects (such as urban heat islands).

The continual improvement of satellites and remote sensing technologies has allowed for large amounts of data collection on small spatial and temporal scales. The GOES-16 satellite, operated by NOAA and NASA, is a geostationary satellite that provides high-resolution images at intervals on the order of minutes. The high resolution and small timescale allow for a wealth of information to be gathered for localized and transient phenomena.

By coupling these two ideas, the objective of my research is to support the closing of the surface energy budget using a combination of satellite data and ground weather observations to accurately and precisely estimate the sensible and latent heat fluxes of urban areas.