FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC was launched into a circular low-Earth orbit from the Vandenberg Air Force Base April 15, 2006 and retired in 2020

COSMIC-1 Satellite

The data from COSMIC-1 have contributed significantly to a wide range of scientific investigation. The data set has lead to improved global weather forecasting, especially in data sparse regions including the oceans and near the poles. It has established a global climate change "thermometer" which has unprecedented long-term stability. FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC data probe many regions of the ionsophere, promising advances in Space Weather research that are expected to improve space weather forecasting capabilities.

COSMIC-1 has impacted many areas of scientific research including the following.


  • Demonstrates operational value for weather prediction
  • Investigates detailed global moisture distribution
  • Monitors tropopause, and lower stratosphere temperature profiles with high resolution
  • Provides all-weather data for joint analysis with other systems like GOES


  • Provides a global "self-calibrating" data set for climate monitoring and model test
  • Provides water vapor distribution, especially in the tropics
  • Studies of ozone depletion
  • Studies of troposphere/stratosphere exchange
  • Studies of volcanic effects


  • Demonstrates operational value for monitoring global electron density field
  • Demonstrates operational value for scintillation monitoring
  • Provides electron density fields for model testing and development
  • Develops predictive models
  • Magnetospheric studies of auroral oval


  • Provides data for gravitational field improvement
  • Provides data for possible GPS orbit improvement
  • Supports other missions like GRACE
  • Supports altimetric missions with ionospheric products

Links to COSMIC-1 data and further information: