Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 11:00 AM
Early Results of Ionospheric Measurements from the FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC Mission
210A (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
The six satellite constellation, FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC, was launched on April 15, 2006. Each satellite carries three instrument payloads for ionospheric and plasmaspheric monitoring. 1) A Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver observes the total electron content (TEC) to all GPS satellites in view at all times, and provides profiles of the electron density via the radio occultation technique. 2) A Tiny Ionospheric Photometer (TIP) measures the ultra-violet emission due to recombination of oxygen and electrons along the sub-satellite track on the Earth's night-side. 3) A Coherent Electromagnetic Radio Tomography/Tri-Band Beacon (CERTO/TBB) transmits radio signals at three frequencies (150, 400, and 1067 MHz) to receivers on the ground with the main goal to determine the line-of-sight TEC and ionospheric scintillation levels. In the early phase of the mission, the six satellites are only a few hundred kilometers apart offering an opportunity for ionospheric studies of unprecedented high spatial and temporal resolution. Later in the mission (mid 2007) the satellites will be in their final configuration in six different orbital planes providing maximum global coverage of measurements. This presentation will focus on early ionospheric measurements from the mission. We will present results of near collocated occultation measurements and show examples of ionospheric electron density distributions with high spatial and temporal resolution.