Airborne GPS radio occultation refractivity profiles observed in tropical storm environments

TitleAirborne GPS radio occultation refractivity profiles observed in tropical storm environments
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMurphy B.J, Haase JS, Muradyan P., Garrison J.L, Wang K.N
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres
Date Published2015/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2169-897X
Accession NumberWOS:000351678100005
Keywordsairborne observations; assimilation system; campaign; cyclone formation; dropsondes; era-interim reanalysis; global positioning system; low-earth-orbit; lower troposphere; neutral atmosphere; phase observation operator; predict field; radio occultation; service igs; tropical cyclone

Airborne GPS radio occultation (ARO) data have been collected during the 2010 PRE-Depression Investigation of Cloud systems in the Tropics (PREDICT) experiment. GPS signals received by the airborne Global Navigation Satellite System Instrument System for Multistatic and Occultation Sensing (GISMOS) are used to retrieve vertical profiles of refractivity in the neutral atmosphere. The system includes a conventional geodetic GPS receiver component for straightforward validation of the analysis method in the middle to upper troposphere, and a high-sample rate (10 MHz) GPS recorder for postprocessing complex signals that probe the lower troposphere. The results from the geodetic receivers are presented here. The retrieved ARO profiles consistently agree within similar to 2% of refractivity profiles calculated from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting model Interim reanalyses as well as from nearby dropsondes and radiosondes. Changes in refractivity obtained from ARO data over the 5days leading to the genesis of tropical storm Karl are consistent with moistening in the vicinity of the storm center. An open-loop tracking method was implemented in a test case to analyze GPS signals from the GISMOS 10 MHz recording system for comparison with geodetic receiver data. The open-loop mode successfully tracked similar to 2 km deeper into the troposphere than the conventional receiver and can also track rising occultations, illustrating the benefit from the high-rate recording system. Accurate refractivity retrievals are an important first step toward the future goal of assimilating moisture profiles to improve forecasting of developing storms using this new GPS occultation technique.

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