Meet the MODIS: the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectoradiometer — or at least one of its antennas. The globe-shaped tower is actually a protective radome that covers an antenna that tracks two NASA satellites (Terra, launched in 1999, and Aqua, launched in 2004) to receive images of the entire surface of the earth, and it provides weather and climate data. The MODIS antenna stands on a 40-foot-tall tower atop the Atmostpheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences Building (called simply Meteorology when it was built in 1966). UW–Madison has been a leader in satellite meteorology since Verner Suomi was on the faculty (1948–86). Suomi’s radiometer experiment flew on Explorer VII — one of the first successful weather satellites. Suomi founded the UW’s Space Science and Engineering Center, which houses today’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, which in turn operates the MODIS antenna.
The art for the Badger Pride Wall was created for WAA by Madison illustrator Nate Koehler.