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COSMIC-2 Spacecraft

Image at NESDIS
Credit: COSMIC-2 in the cleanroom before launch. (SSTL)

Satellite Components

Each COSMIC-2 satellite, which is approximately between the size of a standard kitchen oven and a refrigerator, carries the following instruments:

  • Tri-Global Navigation Satellite System Radio Occultation Receiver (TGRS) *
    • This receiver provides high-quality cross sections of the atmosphere. It remotely senses temperature, pressure, moisture, and lightning formation in the atmosphere from space. It also measures electron density and flashes of light produced by the passage of particles through the upper atmosphere, a phenomenon known as scintillation.
  • Ion Velocity Meter (IVM) **
    • This instrument measures ion velocity in the upper atmosphere - a key metric for space weather predictions as well as ion concentration, composition and temperature. Measuring these parameters helps detect the effects of geomagnetic and solar storms within our atmosphere.                  
  • Radio Frequency (RF) Beacon **
    • This instrument measures total electron content in Earth’s upper atmosphere to monitor space weather.


* Developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

** Provided by the U.S. Air Force