GPS radio occultation with TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X: sensitivity of lower troposphere sounding to the Open-Loop Doppler model
F. Zus, G. Beyerle, S. Heise, T. Schmidt, and J. Wickert
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geoscience Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
Received: 17 Sep 2014 – Accepted for review: 25 Nov 2014 – Discussion started: 18 Dec 2014
Abstract. The Global Positioning System (GPS) radio occultation (RO) technique provides valuable input for numerical weather prediction and is considered as a data source for climate related research. Numerous studies outline the high precision and accuracy of RO atmospheric soundings in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. In this altitude region (8–25 km) RO atmospheric soundings are considered to be free of any systematic error. In the tropical (30° S–30° N) Lower (<8 km) Troposphere (LT), this is not the case; systematic differences with respect to independent data sources exist and are still not completely understood. To date only little attention has been paid to the Open Loop (OL) Doppler model. Here we report on a RO experiment carried out on-board of the twin satellite configuration TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X which possibly explains to some extent biases in the tropical LT. In two sessions we altered the OL Doppler model aboard TanDEM-X by not more than ±5 Hz with respect to TerraSAR-X and compare collocated atmospheric refractivity profiles. We find a systematic difference in the retrieved refractivity. The bias mainly stems from the tropical LT; there the bias reaches up to ±1%. Hence, we conclude that the negative bias (several Hz) of the OL Doppler model aboard TerraSAR-X introduces a negative bias (in addition to the negative bias which is primarily caused by critical refraction) in our retrieved refractivity in the tropical LT.
Zus, F., Beyerle, G., Heise, S., Schmidt, T., and Wickert, J.: GPS radio occultation with TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X: sensitivity of lower troposphere sounding to the Open-Loop Doppler model, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., 7, 12719-12733, doi:10.5194/amtd-7-12719-2014, 2014.