FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 (COSMIC-2) Science Mission

Due to the success of COSMIC-1, U.S. agencies and Taiwan have decided to move forward with a follow-on RO mission (called FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2) that will launch six satellites into low-inclination orbits in 2016, and another six satellites into high-inclination orbits in 2018. U.S. agencies, lead by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are now actively partnering with Taiwan's National Space Organization (NSPO) to execute the COSMIC-2 program. The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) RO payload, named TGRS for TriG (Tri-GNSS) GNSS Radio Occultation System, is being developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and will be capable of tracking up to 12,000 high-quality profiles per day after both constellations are fully deployed. The U.S. Air Force is also partnering on COSMIC-2 and will provide two space weather payloads that will fly on the first six satellites: the RF Beacon transmitter and the Ion Velocity Meter (IVM) instruments. The COSMIC-2 mission will provide a revolutionary increase in the number of atmospheric and ionospheric observations, which will greatly benefit the research and operational communities.

With the continued operation of COSMIC-1 and the execution of the COSMIC-2 mission, radio occultation data will continue to be available to support research and operations for many more years to come. With nearly an order of magnitude more RO data expected to be available from COSMIC-2, unprecedented research opportunities will open up for hurricane analysis and prediction, Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), and climate processes, just to name a few.

COSMIC-2: Weather Forecasting and Space Weather Monitoring in the 21st Century
by Kendra Cook and Peter Wilczynski, 13 October 2010