WASHINGTON — GeoOptics is planning to deploy of constellation of dozens of smallsats over the next five years to collect weather and other Earth science data for government and commercial customers.
The Pasadena, California-based company announced July 29 that it will start launching next year a line of satellites called CICERO-2 that are upgraded versions of the CICERO satellites it has previously launched to collect global navigation satellite system (GNSS) radio occultation data used in weather forecasting.
The CICERO-2 satellites will continue to collect GNSS radio occultation data, but will also receive GNSS signals reflected off the Earth to measure ocean winds, soil moisture and other surface conditions. NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), a set of eight smallsats launched in 2016, demonstrated that technology for studying tropical weather systems. The satellites will also be able to measure heavy precipitation through a technique called polarimetric radio occultation, again using GNSS signals.
“All this is based on essentially one instrument in slightly different forms,” Alex Saltman, chief executive of GeoOptics, said in an interview. “By using that universal instrument, our observations are software defined rather than hardware defined.”
While using a universal instrument, there will be some customization of the ...