Monday, May 21, 2007

GeoOptics Announces 100-Spacecraft Array to Deliver Critical Hurricane And Climate Data

TerraDaily: GeoOptics is an international consortium formed to deploy and operate CICERO, which will consist of 100 micro-satellites in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) performing Global Positioning System and Galileo atmospheric radio occultation (GNSS-RO). CICERO will deliver critical data on the state of the Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere in near real time to forecasters and researchers worldwide at an accuracy and vertical resolution 20 to 50 times greater than is possible with the current operational space based systems.

GNSS-RO delivers profiles of atmospheric density, pressure, temperature, moisture, and geopotential heights, along with global ionospheric electron distribution and a host of derived products. Principal applications are global weather forecasting, hurricane and storm track prediction, climate change research, and space weather (geomagnetic storm) monitoring.

Recent experiments at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO, show that GNSSRO offers breakthrough improvements in forecasting of hurricanes and will allow for the first time the direct observation of subtle long-term temperature changes above the Earth's surface.

CICERO expands on the powerful GPS-RO sensing technique pioneered in the US over the past 15 years by NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and by a variety of countries around the world.

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