Coriolis (satellite)


The Coriolis satellite is a Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Earth and space observation satellite launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, on 2003-01-06 at 14:19 GMT.

Coriolis satellite.jpg
Mission typeEarth and Solar observation
OperatorNRL, AFRL
COSPAR ID2003-001A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.27640Edit this on Wikidata
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerSpectrum Astro Inc
Launch mass395 kilograms (871 lb)
Power1,174 watts
Start of mission
Launch dateJanuary 6, 2003, 14:19 (2003-01-06UTC14:19Z) UTC
RocketTitan II(23)G
Launch siteVandenberg SLC-4W
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude826 kilometers (513 mi)
Apogee altitude846 kilometers (526 mi)
Inclination98.7 degrees
Period101.5 minutes
Epoch14 November 2016, 20:52:53 UTC
WindSat, SMEI



WINDSAT is a joint Integrated Program Office/Department of Defense demonstration project, intended to measure ocean surface wind speed and wind direction from space using a polarimetric radiometer. WINDSAT was developed and managed by the Space Test Program at Kirtland AFB in New Mexico, designed for a three-year lifetime. It is primarily designed to measure ocean surface wind direction (nonprecipitating conditions) with a 25-km spatial resolution. Secondary measurements are Sea surface temperature, soil moisture, rain rate, ice and snow characteristics and water vapor.

Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI)Edit

The Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI) is an instrument intended to detect disturbances in the solar wind by means of imaging scattered light from the free electrons in the plasma of the solar wind. To do this three CCD cameras observe sections of the sky of size 60 by 3 degree.

As the SMEI instrument observes the whole sky, data generated has been used to observe periodic changes in the brightness of stars. This data can be used to detect asteroseismological oscillation in giant stars, and for the detection of large eclipsing extra-solar planets.

Image of the Windsat component undergoing testing

External linksEdit

  • WINDSAT site at NOAA
  • Ray, Justin. "Coriolis launched to track ocean winds, solar storms". Spaceflight Now.


  • WINDSAT Project Information
  • WINDSAT Contractors Web Site
  • WINDSAT site at NRL Archived 2017-04-24 at the Wayback Machine
  • WINDSAT site at ONR
  • Launch Schedule for ITC