BackForwardInstrument:  CERTO 

Instrument details
Acronym CERTO
Full name Coherent Electromagnetic Radio Tomography
Purpose To determine ionospheric electron density and provide a global ionospheric map to aid the prediction of radio-wave scattering.
Short description Three-frequency beacon, operating in association with a network of fixed ground receivers.
Background Consolidated technology.
Scanning Technique Non-scanning, nadir pointing, horizon-to-horizon (130° aperture)
Resolution N/A
Coverage / Cycle Global coverage daily
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency NRL
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 2008 to 2015-11-28
Last update: 2022-08-08
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Solar and space environment monitors
  • Field or radiowave sensor
WIGOS Subcomponents No WIGOS subcomponents have been defined.
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Electron Density
  • Ionospheric plasma density
Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
Note: * Primary mission objective.
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Electric Field4 - fairNo specific limitation.Earth's limb. Electric field
Ionospheric plasma density*4 - fairNo specific limitation.Earth's limb. Ionospheric plasma density
Ionospheric plasma velocity1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Eart's limb. Plasma velocity
Ionospheric Radio Absorption1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Earth's limb. Active radio waves
Electron Density*4 - fairNo specific limitation.Platform. Electron density
Ionospheric Vertical Total Electron Content (VTEC)1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Earth's limb. Active radio waves
Ionospheric Scintillation1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Earth's limb. Scintillations. Active radio waves