NOAA launches six new satellites to improve weather prediction models

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, launched the second generation of 6 micro-satellites yesterday.

The Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, or COSMIC-2, is made up of 6 satellites and will act as a continuous source of data for forecasters and meteorologists around the world.

COSMIC-2 will orbit Earth and collect data for weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and research on space’s weather.

COSMIC-1 was launched in 2006, and also sent out 6 satellites into space.

Jim Yoe, a Physical Scientist with the National Weather Service says 5 of those satellites have stopped working, and the one still functioning only works part-time.

Yoe tells KTSM that COSMIC-2 will improve prediction models for many reasons, one reason being the new and improved satellite receiver called the TRI-G.

“The TRI implies there are three sources of global navigation satellite systems that are used as transmitters to feed it, that’s the GPS system,” says Yoe.

COMIC-2 will give out three-times as much data than COSMIC-1 did.

“The receiver has been improved since COSMIC-1, so we get a better signal into the deepest part of the atmosphere, all the way to the surface,” says Yoe.

COSMIC-2 will orbit near the equator which will help give meteorologists better information and data on significant weather events.

“That is important for forecasting because that’s the moistest layer of the atmosphere, and we really want that information on that low-level moisture, because that has a lot of that internal energy that drives storm systems that we want to forecast,” Yoe tells KTSM.

COSMIC-2 was successfully launched into space yesterday from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Click here for more information on COSMIC-2.

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