Transition of Research to Operations in GPS Radio Occultation: From COSMIC to COSMIC-II
COSMIC is a demonstration project, with 90% of the data available within 3 hr of observations. Several global operational centers, including ECMWF, NCEP, UKMO, Meteo France, and MSC, are assimilating COSMIC data for global weather prediction, and have all demonstrated significant positive impacts. The fundamental observables of GPS RO soundings are phase and amplitude of radio waves. They are not subject to instrument drifts or satellite-to-satellite biases. Therefore, they are one of the most stable measurements for climate monitoring. Recent analysis of COSMIC data processed by four different processing centers has provided further support on the stability of GPS RO data for climate monitoring. COSMIC satellites are expected to have a five-year mission life. Starting in 2011, we can anticipate gradual degradation of the constellation. Through collaboration between U.S. and Taiwan, NOAA and NSPO have started the process to develop a follow-on mission, known as COSMIC-II. The design of COSMIC-II calls for a 12-satellite constellation, each equipped with an advanced Tri-G receiver, capable of tracking radio signals from GPS, GALILEO, and GLONASS navigation systems. The first launch is expected in late 2014 to early 2015. COSMIC-II will be an operational mission, supporting weather, climate and space weather needs. In this presentation, we will highlight the key results from COSMIC, and discuss the design of COSMIC-II. We will also discuss issues related to transition from research to operations.