COSMIC-2 also known as FORMOSAT-7, is the constellation of satellites for meteorology, ionosphere, climatology, and space weather research. FORMOSAT-7 is a joint US-Taiwanese project including National Space Organization (NSPO) on the Taiwanese side and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Air Force (USAF) on the US side. FORMOSAT-7 is the successor of FORMOSAT-3. The six satellites of the constellation were launched 25 June 2019 on a Falcon Heavy rocket. They reached their designated mission orbits in February 2021, after eighteen months of gradual orbital adjustments.This team of COSMIC satellites circles the equator at approximately 17,000 miles per hour and uses a technique called radio occultation to collect information on our planet’s atmosphere. Here’s how it works: Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites constantly send signals down to receivers on Earth, but those signals get distorted along the way because the density of Earth’s atmosphere changes with height. COSMIC-2 satellites can detect and measure any small bends in those signals before they are cut off by Earth’s horizon. The three-minute period before the radio signal is cut off is known as radio occultation, and that data are what gives scientists near real-time information about the Earth’s atmosphere including conditions such as: temperature, pressure, density and water vapor.
The goal of the KOMPSAT 5 (Korean Multi-purpose Satellite 5) or Arirang 5 project is to lead the development of the first Korean SAR Satellite using manpower and facilities from the KOMPSAT-3 program. It aims to support the national SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite demand and form a technology infrastructure to make inroads into the world space industry. KOMPSAT-5, which was developed since in the middle of 2005, was launched in 2014 and its payload is a X-band SAR a, which operates at Dawn-Dusk orbit between an altitude of 500 km to 600 km. It executes all weather and all day observations of the Korean peninsula during its five year mission using the SAR payload, unlike the optical KOMPSAT-1, -2 and -3 satellites. And in order to meet the urgent national needs for various SAR image information, the KOMPSAT-5 GOLDEN Mission will provide GIS (Geographical Information Systems), Ocean monitoring, Land management, Disaster monitoring, and Environment monitoring. The primary mission of the KOMPSAT-5 system is to provide high resolution mode SAR images of 1 meter resolution, standard mode SAR images of 3 meter resolution and wide swath mode SAR images of 20 meter resolution with viewing conditions of the incidence angle of 45 degrees using the COSI (COrea SAR Instrument) payload, for meeting GOLDEN mission objectives. The secondary mission of KOMPSAT-5 is to generate the atmospheric sounding profile and support radio occultation science using AOPOD (atmospheric occultation and precision orbit determination) secondary payload which is composed of a dual frequency GPS receiver and a laser retroreflector array (LRRA).
Paz (Spanish for "Peace") is a Spanish Earth observation and reconnaissance satellite launched on 22 February 2018. It is Spain's first spy satellite.The satellite is operated by Hisdesat.Paz was previously referred to as SEOSAR (Satélite Español de Observación SAR). For observational purposes, Paz uses a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to collect images of Earth for governmental and commercial use, as well as other ship tracking and weather sensors, which enables high-resolution mapping of large geographical areas at day and night. The X-band radar imaging payload operates at a wavelength of 3.1 centimetres (1.2 in), or a frequency of 9.65 gigahertz. The Paz satellite is operated in a constellation with the German SAR fleet TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X on the same orbit. The collaboration was agreed on by both Hisdesat and former European aerospace manufacturer Astrium, operator of the two other satellites. The high-resolution images will be used for military operations, border control, intelligence, environmental monitoring, protection of natural resources, city, and infrastructure planning, and monitoring of natural catastrophes. Originally, Paz was scheduled for launch from the Yasny launch base, Russia, in 2014, but this was delayed due to Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, resulting in an International Court of Arbitration legal battle between Hisdesat and Kosmotras. The US launch was estimated to cost around €53 million, cost partially reduced by the inclusion of several mobile internet satellites on the same flight.
CHAMP (CHAllenging Minisatellite Payload) is a German small satellite mission for geoscientific and atmospheric research and applications, managed by GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ). The payload includes an accelerometer, magnetometers, a GPS receiver, a laser retro reflector, and an ion drift meter. With its orbit characteristics (near polar, low altitude, long duration) CHAMP will generate for the first time simultaneously highly precise gravity and magnetic field measurements over a 5 years period. This will allow to detect besides the spatial variations of both fields also their variability with time. In addition CHAMP is a pilot mission for the pre-operational use of space-borne GPS observations for atmospheric and ionospheric research and applications in weather prediction and space weather monitoring. The 500 kg, triaxially stabilized spacecraft was launched by a Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 12:00 UT, along with two other satellites.
In 2014, commercial company Spire Global inaugurated the Lemur project with the launch of the Low Earth Multi-Use Receiver-1 (Lemur-1) prototype satellite on a Soyuz Rocket. The main objective of the mission was to demonstrate the satellite platform and support systems. Lemur-2 is a constellation of nano-satellites with 3U CubeSat platforms, designed to maintain up to 175 flight units. The program began in 2015 with the launch of four Lemur-2 nanosatellites, and a total of 156 flight units have been launched as of May 2022. Lemur-2 images are used to track maritime, aviation, and weather activity from space.
The FormoSat-3/COSMIC-1 (Formosa Satellite 3 / Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate), is an international collaborative project between NSPO (National Space Program Office) of Taiwan and UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) of the United States of America. Initiated in December 1997, the project will launch a LEO constellation of six microsatellites to collect atmospheric remote sensing data for operational weather prediction, climate, ionospheric (space weather monitoring), and geodesy research. NSPO is the prime sponsor and owner of the satellites. UCAR, located at NCAR in Boulder, CO, is primarily sponsored by NSF (National Science Foundation). Other partners in the project include JPL, NRL, USAF, NOAA, CWB (Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan), industry from both countries, universities, and other research organizations from the US, Taiwan, and other countries. The overall objective of FormoSat-3/COSMIC-1 is to extend the low-cost research approach of refractive GPS radio occultation measurements (to derive important weather and climate research parameters, including atmospheric temperature, moisture, and pressure), that began with the GPS/MET instrument on Microlab-1 (launch April 3, 1995), to the next step by testing the ability of a constellation of six "ROCSat-3/COSMIC microsatellites with GPS/MET heritage" to provide the data needed to fully evaluate the impact of this promising new observational tool. A goal is also to demonstrate the utility of atmospheric/ionospheric limb soundings in operational weather prediction, space weather monitoring and space geodesy. In addition to carrying an advanced version of the JPL-developed GPS receiver for occultation measurement, each satellite will carry two tiny, simple secondary instruments (tri-band-beacon and photometer) which synergistically enhance the accuracy and utility of the ionospheric observations. A global data collection network and operations center will process space and ground observations and deliver products to users in real-time for operational impact studies.