A set of six ‘micro satellites’ was successfully launched this week, on June 25th. The satellites make up COSMIC-2 – or the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate-2. The COSMIC-2 mission comes after the success of COSMIC-1, and hopes to build on the original program.
The program will aid in research and forecast improvements, as COSMIC-2 will significantly increase the collection of data needed for these endeavors.
Atmospheric conditions such as temperature, pressure, density and water vapor will all be collected using COSMIC-2. This is the kind of data that can be used in weather models, which require starting conditions to produce forecast guidance. The best and most plentiful data will produce the best forecast, within the model’s capabilities.
COSMIC-2 will not only study weather conditions though, but will also monitor the effects of space weather. By collecting data on the ionosphere, COSMIC-2 will help us understand the impacts of solar flares and help us improve forecasts for these events as well.
According to NOAA, The COSMIC-2 satellites will have to undergo an early check-out, calibration, and validation process for approximately seven months before their data are declared operational.