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COSMIC Visuals Gallery


Visuals illustrating December 11, 2006 News Release

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These images show how well a computer model was able to simulate the early development of Hurricane Ernesto in the eastern Caribbean. Each image shows a 66-hour forecast of cloud-water concentration (resembling a satellite photo). The forecasts are valid for 8:00 p.m. AST on August 25, 2006. On the left-hand side, the model’s starting-point conditions included 15 COSMIC profiles of atmospheric conditions in and near the Caribbean. On the right-hand side, the profiles were not included, and the model was unable to show Ernesto’s formation. Click on the images to enlarge. (Images courtesy Yongsheng Chen, NCAR.)


Visuals illustrating April 12, 2006 News Release

Occultation Locations for COSMIC, 24 Hrs
COSMIC Soundings

A. COSMIC Soundings. To obtain humidity profiles and other data essential for weather prediction, forecasters now depend on satellite-based instruments called radiometers and on surface-launched weather balloons. The radiometers cannot see through clouds and do best at wide-angle views of the atmosphere. The weather balloons carry instruments called radiosondes that are launched twice daily in about 900 spots scattered widely across the globe. Hardly any of these "soundings" are launched over the oceans. COSMIC promises a dramatic boost in data. Its radio signals can penetrate clouds and portray multiple layers of the atmosphere. And the data gap over the oceans will be closed as COSMIC provides about 2,500 sounding profiles every 24 hours. This map shows the typical locations of a day's worth of COSMIC soundings (green diamonds) compared to existing radiosonde launch sites (red circles). Click here or on the image to enlarge. (Illustration by Bill Schreiner, UCAR.)

B. FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC Video (total running time: 0:02:52). This short video includes views of the microsatellites during assembly and animations of their deployment in space. The image above is from an animation of radio occultation, the measurement method used by COSMIC. Click here or on the image to watch the streaming video. (Video excerpts courtesy National Space Organization [NSPO], Taiwan.)

Shot list

See the COSMIC Fact Sheet for further explanation of the animations.

Credentialed members of the media only may obtain standard definition DVDs by contacting Nita Razo, Visual Services.

Radio occulation

C. Radio Occultation. When radio signals from GPS satellites pass through the atmosphere, the signals' paths are bent and their progress is slowed. The rate of these changes depends on the atmosphere's density along the path. COSMIC's low-Earth-orbiting (LEO) satellites take advantage of this effect by intercepting the GPS radio signals just above Earth's horizon and precisely measuring the bend and signal delay along the signal path. Click here or on the image to enlarge. (Illustration courtesy Broad Reach Engineering.)
D. A COSMIC microsatellite during testing, with its solar panels open. Photo still from video. (Photo courtesy National Space Organization [NSPO], Taiwan.)
COSMIC satellitesE. Artists' illustration. Six microsatellites are entering low-Earth orbit to form COSMIC, the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate. The first constellation of satellites to use radio occultation, COSMIC is expected to provide a major boost in the quality and quantity of data needed to improve global weather forecasts, climate monitoring, and space weather monitoring. Click here or on the image to enlarge. (Illustration courtesy Orbital Sciences Corporation.)
F. Edge view of COSMIC microsatellite during testing, showing one circular solar panel deployed. Photo still from video. (Photo courtesy National Space Organization [NSPO], Taiwan.)
G. A COSMIC microsatellite during testing. Just over 6 inches deep, the satellite contains a GPS occultation transmitter, a Tiny Ionospheric Photometer, and a tri-band beacon to relay data to ground stations. Photo still from video. (Photo courtesy National Space Organization [NSPO], Taiwan.)
Bill Kuo
H. Bill Kuo is director of UCAR's COSMIC Project Office. Click here or on the image to enlarge photo. (Photo by Carlye Calvin, UCAR.)


I. COSMIC launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 6:40 p.m. PDT (9:40 p.m. EDT) on Friday, April 14, 2006. Click here or on the image to enlarge photo. (Photo Courtesy of Orbital Sciences Corporation.)

Additional Web video

COSMIC Launch Page
Scroll down to the COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3 Flash presentation to launch additional animations with narration from the National Space Organization, Taiwan, of mission components (click on Science) and constellation deployment/achievement of final orbits (click on Technology).

The Promise of GPS/MET (1995, streaming video, total running time: 0:10:52)
This archival video describes UCAR's pioneering proof-of-concept mission, including animations of radio occultation, footage of Earth from space, and interviews with atmospheric scientists. Shot List. Credentialed members of the media only may obtain standard definition DVDs by contacting Nita Razo, Visual Services.

Contacts for This Release
UCAR Communications

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