Galileo now predicts the weather

February 4, 2019  - By
Image: Spire

Image: Spire

Spire Global, a space-to-cloud analytics company, is now using Galileo to offer GNSS radio occultation (GNSS-RO) products for the weather community. Radio occultation is the process of using satellites to measure how GNSS signals are refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere.

Two of Spire’s nanosatellites are the first to use Galileo signals to measure GNSS-RO profiles, a service now available to Spire’s global user base as a new tier of data for advanced weather prediction. The satellites launched on Nov. 29, 2018, from Sriharikota, India.

The satellites are part of the collaborative European Space Agency ARTES Pioneer Space-as-a-Service program, which aims to prove the value of using nanosatellites for space-based GNSS-RO.

With Galileo, Spire’s weather observation satellites can harvest approximately 25 percent of the total GNSS-RO profiles available from the existing GNSS satellite constellations in orbit today.

Spire operates 72 nanosatellites — also known as “cubesats” — and more than 30 ground stations throughout the world. The nanosatellites are developed, assembled and tested at Spire’s production facility in Glasgow, Scotland.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.