Satellite operator PlanetiQ will begin the daily delivery of its highest quality signal to noise ratio (SNR) GNSS-radio occultation (RO) data to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under the agency’s IDIQ-2 operational Delivery Order-2.
NOAA has allocated US$59.6m over the next five years to use commercial satellite data to achieve superior weather forecasting and atmospheric research.
Ira Scharf, CEO, PlanetiQ, said, “By incorporating PlanetiQ’s commercial high-quality GNSS-RO data, coupled with our deep understanding of RO technology, NOAA will have the information to significantly improve short- and medium-range weather forecasts and provide essential insights to enhance climate change research for the government, military and the private sector.”
PlanetiQ supplies GNSS-RO data to NOAA from its growing constellation of satellites, which has become a critical part of the global observing system. PlanetiQ is the only system capable of profiling the thermodynamic state of the atmosphere with very high vertical resolution, precision and accuracy in all weather conditions – providing critical pole-to-pole coverage of both the atmosphere and ionosphere. Importantly, this also provides the unique ability to profile the water vapor down to the surface, 80% of which lies within 1km of the surface, fueling severe weather and flooding.
Dr Rob Kursinski, co-founder and chief scientist of PlanetiQ, said, “Our state-of-the-art, next-generation RO sensors, called Pyxis, are smaller, lighter and consume less power, but have nearly three times the data collection capability than any other system in operation today as we receive signals from all four worldwide GNSS constellations (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou).”
Chris McCormick, PlanetiQ co-founder and president, added, “PlanetiQ is very pleased to be selected by NOAA to support its global operational needs for GNSS-RO and we look forward to launching more spacecraft in the next 18 months to expand our global coverage and resolution to further support NOAA and international partners in weather forecasting and climate research. PlanetiQ is extending the progression from COSMIC and COSMIC-2 satellite data with the highest SNR data to date, continuing this trend to higher quality and detection of ducting, which occurs in about 30% of all GNSS-RO.”