COSMIC-2 also known as FORMOSAT-7, is the constellation of satellites for meteorology, ionosphere, climatology, and space weather research. FORMOSAT-7 is a joint US-Taiwanese project including National Space Organization (NSPO) on the Taiwanese side and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Air Force (USAF) on the US side. FORMOSAT-7 is the successor of FORMOSAT-3 The six satellites of the constellation were launched 25 June 2019 on a Falcon Heavy rocket.
model of COSMIC-2/FORMOSAT-7
|Mission type||Meteorology, ionosphere, climatology, and space weather research|
|Operator||National Space Organization|
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
|Mission duration||5 years (planned)|
|Manufacturer||National Space Organization and SSTL|
|Launch mass||300 kg x 6|
|Dimensions||length: 1.25 m ,width: 1 m|
height: 1.25 m
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||25 June 2019|
|Launch site||Kennedy Space Center|
|Reference system||Geocentric orbit|
72°(Set 2, canceled)
On April 15th 2019 the satellites were placed aboard a China Airlines cargo plane at Taoyuan International Airport. The six satellites were packed in three climate controlled transport crates. The satellites were shipped as diplomatic pouch to speed their journey through US customs, the first time a satellite had been shipped as such.
78% of components for the satellites were made in Taiwan.
The primary payload for the COSMIC-2 Satellite is the Radio Occultation instrument.
This instrument is capable of measuring atmospheric effects by analyzing the propagation of GNSS signals through said atmosphere.
The instrument is composed of the Tri-band GNSS (TriG) RO and POD Receiver and four Antennas:
- Two Radio Occultation Arrays (the Cafeteria Cups Antenna) one Forward, one Aft
- Two Precise Orbit Determination Antennas, one Forward, one Aft
Each RO Antenna is composed of three vertical sub-arrays, four elements each.
Each element is a two-turn Helical Spiral. The collected signals from the four vertical elements are combined with a low loss beamformer.
The name 'Cafeteria Cups' comes from the fact that the antenna elements in the very first prototype were made out of plastic cups from the JPL cafeteria.
The Antenna is fabricated out of 3D Printed FDM Ultem 9085. This makes the COSMIC-2 RO antenna the first 3D printed part on the outside of a Spacecraft to be qualified to NASA Class 2B Spaceflight.
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