The James Webb Telescope and Infrared technology in renewable energy

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was launched recently in the culmination of many years of development and redesigns starting in 1996. This telescope is the successor to the highly influential Hubble Space Telescope which has been in service since its launch in 1990.

The new JWST has many more capabilities than the Hubble Telescope relying mostly on advanced infrared detection technology to collect data on the far flung corners of the universe!


Although the space telescope has little influence on renewable energy technology here on Earth, similar sensors used on earth orbiting satellites can be a great help in predicting weather patterns and wind speeds being a great help to renewable energy generation sectors.


Ordinarily, Meteorologists (professionals who predict the weather) will have access to visible images of the Earth complete with cloud cover during the day which can be used to predict weather patterns.


However, during the night the Earth and its weather patterns are no longer visible, leaving Meteorologists in the dark (literally!). This is where the infrared (IR) satellites come in! They are great at detecting things in the dark as they are based on thermal emissions of objects.


This also means the IR images can differentiate between hot and cold regions and clouds, a very useful attribute for predicting weather!


More accurate weather predictions are great for predicting the performance of wind turbines and therefore the power they can be expected to generate. Very useful for helping countries properly balance their power supplies!