U.S.-Taiwan satellites to be launched

April 12, 2006

Six satellites designed to improve weather forecasts and monitor climate change are ready for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

A joint effort by the United States and Taiwan, a Minotaur rocket is scheduled to launch at 5:10 p.m. PDT Friday from the military base, about 50 miles north of Santa Barbara, Calif.

The low-orbiting satellites will be the first to provide atmospheric data daily and in real time over thousands of points on Earth for research and operational weather forecasting.

Called COSMIC -- for Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate -- in the United States, and FORMOSAT-3 in Taiwan, the $100 million satellite network is the product of an agreement between the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States.

"The satellites will convert GPS measurements into a precise worldwide set of weather, climate and space weather data," said Jay Fein, program director in the U.S. National Science Foundation's Division of Atmospheric Sciences, which funded COSMIC. "The resulting new information will have a tremendous impact on geosciences research and weather prediction, and will be an important contribution to global Earth observations."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: 2015 and 1997 El Ninos—deja vu, or something new?

Related Stories

2015 and 1997 El Ninos—deja vu, or something new?

November 20, 2015

El Niño: An unusually warm pool of water off the west coast of South America, usually arriving around Christmas time, linked with complex, large-scale interactions between the atmosphere and ocean in the Pacific.

NASA, partners track rain, snow in soggy Washington

November 10, 2015

Using everything from a customized DC-8 jetliner to ground radars to four-inch rain gauges, scientists are fanning out across one of the soggiest places in the United States this month to measure raindrops and snowflakes ...

CubeSats in deep space

November 3, 2015

(Phys.org)—Tiny spacecraft have their ambitions of space exploration too. The small-sized satellites called CubeSats, made of box-shaped four-inch units, are successfully operating in the low Earth orbit, conducting a variety ...

Recommended for you

Physicists develop new technique to fathom 'smart' materials

November 26, 2015

Physicists from the FOM Foundation and Leiden University have found a way to better understand the properties of manmade 'smart' materials. Their method reveals how stacked layers in such a material work together to bring ...

Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

November 26, 2015

Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed—curly top gumweed—was ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.