There’s an interesting story in today’s Wall Street Journal about GeoOptics and their move toward small low-cost satellites to collect weather and environmental data. The full story can only be accessed with subscription, but the GeoOptics website has some great details about what is planned.
This from the site:
GeoOptics was born of the belief that scientists can take charge of their agendas and execute worthy missions by working cooperatively. They can raise funds privately and defray costs through subscriptions by hundreds of user groups, rather than waiting upon the uncertain outcomes of public solicitations. Science communities working with private partners can realize uncommon efficiencies to deliver path-breaking science speedily, at bargain prices.
GeoOptics is working on the Community Initiative for Continuing Radio Occultation (CICERO) project to inaugurate this model using two new techniques for atmospheric and surface remote sensing known as Global Positioning System Radio Occultation (GPS-RO) and GPS Surface Reflection (GPS-SR).
The plan is for 100 low-earth orbiting micro satellites to perform observations based on GPS signal occultation. There’s a great description of the technique and science behind this on the GeoOptics site. Planned applications include weather forecasting, climate research and space weather monitoring.