New satellites launched to improve forecasting


A mission of six new satellites have been launched from America’s Cape Canaveral, promising to provide significantly more accurate weather predictions in tropical and sub-tropical zones.

The COSMIC-2 program is expected to provide significantly improved forecasting for the nation’s tropical zones, including providing better storm forecasting in the country’s north.

Bureau of Meteorology Chief Data Officer Dr Anthony Rea, said the Bureau is pleased to be playing a role in the international effort.

"The Bureau's technical experts will be working closely with our international partners to ensure the successful deployment of the COSMIC-2 satellites and monitoring them from the Bureau's ground station in Middle Point, Northern Territory," he said.

"The Bureau has a large network of ground stations from which we can send and receive signals from satellites. This enables us to make a valuable contribution to international space missions, such as COSMIC-2. In the case of COSMIC-2 we will be sending commands to the satellites as well as downlinking real-time data."

The satellites, flying on the U.S. Air Force’s Space Test Program-2 mission, are known as the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC-2). The launch is the culmination of years of planning and cooperation between agencies including the Bureau of Meteorology, the Taiwan National Space Organization (NSPO), NASA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and many others.