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The Communications/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) is a prototype operational system designed to monitor and forecast ionospheric scintillation in real-time and on a global scale. In the space-borne segment, C/NOFS will fly a system of proven sensors on-board a three-axis stabilized satellite to detect ionospheric scintillation. This will provide data for global, real-time specification, and 4 hour forecast capability.

C/NOFS is a joint effort between the DOD Space Test Program and AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory). The space test program provides the spacecraft, launch vehicle, launch and first year on-orbit operations. AFRL is responsible for the multi-instrument payload, payload integration and test, model development, data center operations, and product generation and distribution.

The C/NOFS payload consists of six instruments: the Planar Langmuir Probe (PLP) for measurements of plasma density, the Vector Electric Field Instrument (VEFI) for measurements of vector electric and magnetic fields, the Ion Velocity Meter (IVM) for measurements of plasma drift velocities and ion temperatures, the Neutral Wind Meter (NWM) for measurements of neutral winds, the C/NOFS Occultation Receiver for Ionospheric Sensing and Specification (CORISS) for remote sensing of the electron density vertical profile, the Coherent Electromagnetic Radio Tomography (CERTO) for measurements of ionospheric scintillation parameters. Both the Neutral Wind Meter (NWM) and the Ion Velocity Meter (IVM) are provided by NASA as the CINDI (Coupled Ion-Neutral Dynamics Investigation) payload, which was selected as an Explorer Mission of Opportunity.

The goal of C/NOFS is to forecast scintillation three to six hours before its onset such that system operators will be able to plan in ways that will optimize mission command and control.

The spacecraft will be launched into an orbit with perigee/apogee of 400/700 km, and an inclination of 13 degrees. Launch is currently planned for early 2006.

Information about C/NOFS can be found at Air Force Research Laboratory page:

and the NASA page:

The CINDI homepage is at:

Alternate Names

  • Communication/Navigation Outage Forecast System

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2008-04-16
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus
Launch Site: Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Funding Agency

  • Department of Defense (United States)


  • Surveillance and Other Military
  • Space Physics

Additional Information

Questions or comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. Dieter K. Bilitza.



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Odile De La BeaujardiereGeneral ContactAir Force Research Laboratory (nee Phillips Laboratory) 
Dr. Robert F. PfaffProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Edward J. WeberGeneral ContactAir Force Research Laboratory (nee Phillips Laboratory) 
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