An antenna on Nasa’s ageing hurricane satellite, QuikSCAT, that helps forecasters measure hurricane winds has stopped working.

The 960kg satellite placed in a sun-synchronous orbit provided weather forecasts near coastlines using wind data in numerical weather and wave-prediction models and aided storm warnings and monitoring.

The spacecraft and scatterometer instrument are in good condition according to Nasa; however, QuikSCAT will be unable to continue its primary science mission if the antenna cannot be restarted.

The antenna spin is necessary to estimate wind speed and direction and form data necessary to obtain global sampling.

The satellite was originally built for a design life of two years.