An artist's rendering of the COSMIC-2A satellite in orbit above the Earth.

COSMIC-2 satellite (Image credit: Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.)

COSMIC-2 is a 6 satellite constellation that will provide operational and research users with the next-generation of Global Navigational Satellite System Radio Occultation (GNSS-RO) data. NOAA is partnering with the U.S. Air Force (USAF), Taiwan’s National Space Organization (NSPO), and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) on this satellite program.

GNSS-RO data are collected by measuring the changes in a radio signal as it is refracted through the atmosphere, allowing derivation of temperatures and moisture in atmosphere’s layers and electrons in the ionosphere.

A diagram showing how signals from GPS satellites are affected by Earth's atmosphere as the COSMIC satellite is in different position along the track of its orbit above Earth.


  • Weather forecasting
  • Space weather monitoring
  • Climate change trending

COSMIC-2 is an interdisciplinary satellite mission that significantly advances numerical weather prediction (NWP), space weather monitoring, and climate monitoring. COSMIC-2 data products are accurate and provide high vertical resolution atmospheric measurements in the tropics and sub-tropics (from 40° S to 40° N). These data improve forecasting skill and more specifically produce positive impact on the prediction of track and intensity of tropical cyclones from genesis to landfall. In addition, COSMIC-2 monitors ionospheric climatology, improves physical models, and contributes to understanding the coupling between the lower and upper atmosphere.

A four part image that shows how the increased number of satellites in the COSMIC-2 system will result in many more occultation measurements over a three hour period.  The first and second parts show the orbits of COSMIC-1 and COSMIC-2 overa three hour period.  The third and fourth images show the distribution of occultation measurements around the world over the same period for COSMIC-1 and COSMIC-2.

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Go to COSMIC-2 Web Site

Teaching resources for the science behind the COSMIC satellites