President signs [bipartisan] commercial satellite weather bill


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Miniaturization has caught up with climate and weather sensing, and they can be launched on small or large launchers; Electron, Falcon 9, Atlas V, ISRO's launchers, Soyuz, Falcon Heavy, whatever. 


Cheaper, smaller, more numerous, can be launched en masse as secondary  payloads, and more easily replaced. Other larger instruments co-hosted on medium to large commercial geostationary or LEO communications satellites. Even these tiny birds can now sport ion propulsion, reaction wheels, multi-spectral cameras, radar, GPS-RO climate sensing etc.


Larger weather/climate satellites will still be needed, but far fewer of them.


This transition to small birds will not only spread to military satellites, but to communications as with the 12,000+ satellite SpaceX-Google data  constellation, OneWeb's ~800 satellites and others. 


This is bipartisan, see the voice votes.


Space News....



President signs commercial satellite weather bill


WASHINGTON  President Trump signed into law this week a weather bill that includes provisions formally authorizing ongoing commercial satellite weather data projects and a study of future weather satellite needs.

The president signed the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 April 18, according to a statement from the White House. The bill originally passed the House in January on a voice vote, while the Senate approved an amended version March 29 by unanimous consent. The House adopted the Senates version, again by a voice vote, April 4.



COSMIC-2/Formosat 7 is a 200 kg mini-satellite constellation. The first 6 fly on the STP-2 Falcon Heavy as secondary payloads.



GeoOptics birds are 6U cubesats, about 10x20x30+ cm, which are primarily GPS-RO, sensing GPS and GLONASS signals tangentially through the atmosphere to analyze climate data.



GPS-RO measures the atmosphere, climate & weather data by sensing and measuring GPS signals passing through it. 



Spire is a 3U cubesat, meaning about 10x10x30+ cm in size. The folded solar panels shown unfold after release.



Edited by DocM
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