The company PlanetiQ plans to use GNSS to make real-time weather forecasts. PlanetiQ plans to launch a commercial weather satellite constellation by 2017, composed of 12 to 18 small satellites that will capture data as GNSS satellites pass through Earth’s orbital horizon.
The satellites will use radio occultation to collect data that will supplement computer models on weather, producing more accurate and timely weather forecasts and assessments, PlanetiQ said. The satellites will measure how GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou radio waves bend as they travel through the atmosphere, a technique that provides snapshots of temperature, pressure and water vapor, as well as insight into whether solar storms are active in the ionosphere, reports Discovery News.
More than 30,000 occultation measurements can be collected each day.
PlanetiQ is one of five companies in the United States looking to commercialize weather forecasting. GeoOptics is working on a similar system and plans to launch its first satellite this year.
- PlanetiQ President and CEO Anne Hale Miglarese discussed the project on The Weather Channel in August 2014.
- The March 1994 Innovation column “Monitoring the Earth’s Atmosphere with GPS” discusses the use of radio occultation using GPS satellites.
- Attila Komjathy, a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory principal investigator and adjunct professor in the University of New Brunswick’s Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering, was named a Fellow of the Institute of Navigation in January for his work on remote sensing of the Earth’s ionosphere using signals from GNSS.