Simultaneous Radio Occultation Predictions for Inter-Satellite Comparison of Bending Angle Profiles from COSMIC-2 and GeoOptics
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Simultaneous Radio Occultation Predictions for Inter-Satellite Comparison of Bending Angle Profiles from COSMIC-2 and GeoOptics

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  • Journal Title:
    Remote Sensing
  • Description:
    The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) radio occultation (RO) is a remote sensing technique that uses International System of Units (SI) traceable GNSS signals for atmospheric limb soundings. The RO bending angle/sounding profiles are needed for assimilation in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, weather, climate, and space weather applications. Evaluating these RO data to ensure the high data quality for these applications is becoming more and more critical. This study presents a method for predicting radio occultation events, from which simultaneous radio occultation (SRO) for a pair of low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites on the limb to the same GNSS satellite can be obtained. The SRO method complements the Simultaneous Nadir Overpass (SNO) method (for nadir viewing satellite instruments), which has been widely used to inter-calibrate LEO to LEO and LEO to geosynchronous-equatorial-orbit (GEO) satellites. Unlike the SNO method, the SRO method involves three satellites: a GNSS and two LEO satellites with RO receivers. The SRO method allows for the direct comparison of bending angles when the simultaneous RO measurements for two LEO satellites receiving the same GNSS signal pass through approximately the same atmosphere within minutes in time and within less than 200 km of distance from each other. The prediction method can also be applied to radiosonde overpass prediction, and coordinate radiosonde launches for inter-comparisons between RO and radiosonde profiles. The main advantage of the SRO comparisons of bending angles is the significantly reduced uncertainties due to the much shorter time and smaller atmospheric path differences than traditional RO comparisons. To demonstrate the usefulness of this method, we present a comparison of the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate-2 (COSMIC-2) and GeoOpitcs RO profiles using SRO data for two time periods: Commercial Weather Data (CWD) data delivery order-1 (DO-1): 15 December 2020–15 January 2021 and CWD DO-2: 17 March 2021–31 August 2021. The results show good agreement in the bending angles between the COSMIC-2 RO measurements and those from GeoOptics, although systematic biases are also found in the inter-comparisons. Instrument and processing algorithm performances for the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), penetration height, and bending angle retrieval uncertainty are also characterized. Given the efficiency of this method and the many RO measurements that are publicly and commercially available as well as the expansion of receiver capabilities to all GNSS systems, it is expected that this method can be used to validate/inter-calibrate GNSS RO measurements from different missions.
  • Source:
    Remote Sens. 2021, 13(18), 3644
  • Document Type:
  • Rights Information:
    CC BY
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