ESA's GomX-3 CubeSat's extended mission involved a collaboration with the Met Office, the UK’s national weather service trying out a new space-based method of wind measurement. The Met Office already uses ground-based receivers that gather wind and temperature data from aircraft in flight across the country’s airspace, using ‘ADS-B’ and ‘Mode-S Enhanced Surveillance’ messages can be used to derive high quality wind information, by comparing the reported ground and air speeds and directions, plus lower quality temperature data. GomX-3 was used to investigate the feasibility of doing the same from orbit.
The blue lines show the GomX-3 orbital track over the two week period of the trial. The red dots are locations where Mode-S wind and temperature observations were derived and highlight the regions of the world where these data would be available currently. The volume of data obtained was strongly limited by the temporal coverage available from a single satellite.