Our Projects

Our Projects

Our Projects

  • COSMIC-1: Taking radio signals from the GPS as they pass through Earth's atmosphere.
  • COSMIC-2: Providing a revolutionary increase in the number of atmospheric and ionospheric observations.
  • Ground-based GPS: Generating near real-time estimates of atmospheric precipitable water-vapor.
  • Missions of Opportunity: Providing data to the Radio Occultation Community.
  • CDAAC: Processing raw Radio Occultation data into atmospheric profiles for several RO missions.
  • Science Applications: Improving weather forecasts, monitoring climate change, and enhancing space weather research.

Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC)


FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC (COSMIC-1), a joint U.S./Taiwan constellation of six low-Earth orbit satellites, was launched in 2006 to observe the Earth's atmosphere. COSMIC-1 is the first satellite system to provide near real-time global snapshots of the atmosphere. It produces about two thousand highly accurate profiles daily --- most occurring in data-sparse oceanic regions.

Although it was launched as a research system, COSMIC-1 has proven to have operational value. COSMIC-1 data have demonstrated great benefit for weather forecasting, with numerical weather prediction centers assimilating the data into their models and reporting positive impacts on forecasts. COSMIC-1 is also aiding predictions of hurricane track and intensity and contributing to upper atmospheric studies of the ionosphere and plasmasphere.


A COSMIC follow-on mission, FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 (COSMIC-2), is currently being executed and will place an operational system of 12 satellites into orbit: the first six in 2016 and the remainder in 2018.

COSMIC Data Analysis and Archive Center (CDAAC)

CDAAC is responsible for processing the science data received from COSMIC and other RO missions. The COSMIC data are currently being processed not long after they are received; approximately eightly percent of radio occultation profiles are delivered to operational weather centers within 3 hours of observation. CDAAC also processes the data in a more accurate post-processed mode within 8 weeks of observation.

Missions of Opportunity

With the goal of providing more data to the radio occultation community, CDAAC also processes data in near real-time and in a more accurate post-processed mode within 6 weeks of observation for the following other missions:

  • GPS/Meteorology (GPS/MET)
  • Communications/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS)
  • CHAllenging Mini-satellite Payload (CHAMP)
  • Satélite de Aplicaciones Científic (SAC-C)
  • Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and
  • The Meteorological Operational satellite programme/Global navigation satellite system Receiver for Atmospheric Sounding (Metop/GRAS).
  • The German TerraSAR-X mission (TerraSAR-X)

Ground-based GPS

The ground-based GPS program advances and supports GPS research in the Earth sciences. Its GPS Research Group, after pioneering GPS sensing of the atmosphere from the ground, is now advancing real-time GPS sensing of tropospheric and ionospheric structure. Guided by a consortium of research institutions using GPS satellites for precise surveying and other applications, the program offers support to scientific investigators. This support includes providing equipment, training, logistics, field support, technical support, and data analysis and archiving. Portable GPS equipment and emerging worldwide GPS networks are being used by supported investigators for earthquake, volcano, polar ice dynamics, weather, and climate research.