Orbit Simulator for Satellite and Near-Space Platforms Supporting Observing System Simulation Experiments
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Orbit Simulator for Satellite and Near-Space Platforms Supporting Observing System Simulation Experiments

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Details:

  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
  • Description:
    Developed at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA), the Community Global Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) Package (CGOP) provides a vehicle to quantitatively evaluate the impacts of emerging environmental observing systems or emerging in situ or remote sensing instruments on NOAA numerical weather prediction (NWP) forecast skill. The typical first step for the OSSE is to simulate observations from the so-called nature run. Therefore, the observation spatial, temporal, and view geometry are needed to extract the atmospheric and surface variables from the nature run, which are then input to the observation forward operator (e.g., radiative transfer models) to simulate the new observations. This is a challenge for newly proposed systems for which instruments are not yet built or platforms are not yet deployed. To address this need, this study introduces an orbit simulator to compute these parameters based on the specific hosting platform and onboard instrument characteristics, which has been recently developed by the NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) and added to the GCOP framework. In addition to simulating existing polar-orbiting and geostationary orbits, it is also applicable to emerging near-space platforms (e.g., stratospheric balloons), cube satellite constellations, and Tundra orbits. The observation geometry simulator includes not only passive microwave and infrared sounders but also global navigation satellite system/radio occultation (GNSS/RO) instruments. For passive atmospheric sounders, it calculates the geometric parameters of proposed instruments on different platforms, such as time varying location (latitude and longitude), scan geometry (satellite zenith and azimuth angles), and ground instantaneous field of view (GIFOV) parameters for either cross-track or conical scanning mechanisms. For RO observations, it determines the geometry of the transmitters and receivers either on satellites or stratospheric balloons and computes their slant paths. The simulator has been successfully applied for recent OSSE studies (e.g., evaluating the impacts of future geostationary hyperspectral infrared sounders and RO observations from stratospheric balloons). Significance Statement: An orbit simulator for satellite and near-space platforms for supporting observing system simulation experiments (OSSE) is developed in this study. It can compute spatial, temporal, and view geometry parameters of the new observations based on the specific hosting platform and onboard instrument characteristics. These parameters are important for the OSSE to extract atmospheric profiles and surface properties from nature run data and simulate new observations. In addition to simulating existing polar-orbiting and geostationary orbits, it is applicable to emerging near-space platforms (e.g., stratospheric balloons), cube satellite constellations, and Tundra orbits. The observation geometry simulator includes not only passive microwave and infrared sounders but also radio occultation instruments.
  • Source:
    Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 38(12), 2109-2123
  • Document Type:
  • Rights Information:
    Other
  • Compliance:
    Submitted
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