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

Due to the success of COSMIC-1, U.S. agencies and Taiwan decided to move forward with a follow-on Global Navigation Satellite System Radio Occultation (GNSS-RO) mission called FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2. The six COSMIC-2 satellites launched successfully on June 25, 2019 into low-inclination orbits. U.S. agencies, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Air Force (USAF) are partnering with Taiwan's National Space Organization (NSPO), UCAR, and others to execute the COSMIC-2 program. The GNSS-RO payload, named TGRS for Tri-GNSS Radio-occultation System, was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and will be capable of tracking more than 4,000 high-quality profiles per day (across the 6 satellite constellation). COSMIC-2 will also fly two space weather science payloads: a Radio Frequency Beacon (RFB) transmitter and an Ion Velocity Meter (IVM). 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.

Image courtesy of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

 

COSMIC-2 spacecraft image provided courtesy of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. Below is an illustration of the COSMIC-2 orbit configuration, provided courtesy of NSPO.

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The next figure shows daily geographic coverage provided by COSMIC-2. The locations of radio occultation profiles are shown in green, ground based radiosonde locations are in red.

 

COSMIC-2 radio occultation coverage

The operational COSMIC-2 Data Processing Center at UCAR will process raw COSMIC-2 data and disseminate environmental data records to the operational and research communities in near real-time. We will also produce products in post- and re-processing modes.

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COSMIC-2 utilizes a network of downlink stations to receive data and route them for processing. This network ensures that data are products made available in near-real time for use in numerical weather prediction and space weather analysis.

 

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Some interesting COSMIC-2 links: