The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have announced that it will boost the amount of radio occultation soundings provided to weather forecast models.
At this point, the agency obtains more than 2,000 soundings per day from its satellites and the ones owned by international partners.
In an ambitious move, NOAA plans to boost this number to an impressive 20,000 soundings per day according to a statement made by a representative at a Meteorological Society conference.
It is thought that the second Constellation Observing System could provide a large number of soundings for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC), launched as a U.S.- Taiwan initiate.
COSMIC-2 includes six satellites that generate more than 4,000 soundings per day, and it will likely reach 5,000 daily soundings soon.
The difference appears to remain quite significant, but NOAA also has the option to use private contracts.
NOAA Plans To Boost Radio Occultation
In 2018, GeoOptics, PlanetIQ, and Spire Global gained contracts for the second Commercial Weather Data Pilot. The results haven’t been discussed, but a report could arrive towards the end of January.
However, there are still some challenges that need to be taken into account when commercial data is used, primarily since NOAA is used to work with data provided by its satellites and those controlled by international patterns.
Private companies have been quite busy with expanding radio occultation constellation and verifying the potential of new technologies.
PlanetIQ will launch its first small radio occultation satellite with the help of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The constellation should be filled out at an accelerated pace as the company plans to place up to 20 satellites by 2022.
GeoOptics has stated during the conference that the Cicero satellites operated by the company deliver more than 500 high-quality occultations per day.
The first Cicero satellite was launched in 2018. During the same conference, Spire Global showcased data collected by its satellites, which sport advanced bistatic radars.