Application of the full spectrum inversion algorithm to simulated airborne GPS radio occultation signals

TitleApplication of the full spectrum inversion algorithm to simulated airborne GPS radio occultation signals
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsAdhikari L., Xie F.Q, Haase JS
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Date Published2016/10
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1867-1381
Accession NumberWOS:000386583800001
Keywordsearths atmosphere; lower troposphere; receiver; system

With a GPS receiver on board an airplane, the airborne radio occultation (ARO) technique provides dense lower-tropospheric soundings over target regions. Large variations in water vapor in the troposphere cause strong signal multipath, which could lead to systematic errors in RO retrievals with the geometric optics (GO) method. The space-borne GPS RO community has successfully developed the full-spectrum inversion (FSI) technique to solve the multipath problem. This paper is the first to adapt the FSI technique to retrieve atmospheric properties (bending and refractivity) from ARO signals, where it is necessary to compensate for the receiver traveling on a non-circular trajectory inside the atmosphere, and its use is demonstrated using an end-to-end simulation system. The forward-simulated GPS L1 (1575.42 MHz) signal amplitude and phase are used to test the modified FSI algorithm. The ARO FSI method is capable of reconstructing the fine vertical structure of the moist lower troposphere in the presence of severe multipath, which otherwise leads to large retrieval errors in the GO retrieval. The sensitivity of the modified FSI-retrieved bending angle and refractivity to errors in signal amplitude and errors in the measured refractivity at the receiver is presented. Accurate bending angle retrievals can be obtained from the surface up to similar to 250m below the receiver at typical flight altitudes above the tropopause, above which the retrieved bending angle becomes highly sensitive to the phase measurement noise. Abrupt changes in the signal amplitude that are a challenge for receiver tracking and geometric optics bending angle retrieval techniques do not produce any systematic bias in the FSI retrievals when the SNR is high. For very low SNR, the FSI performs as expected from theoretical considerations. The 1% in situ refractivity measurement errors at the receiver height can introduce a maximum refractivity retrieval error of 0.5% (1 K) near the receiver, but the error decreases gradually to similar to 0.05% (0.1 K) near the surface. In summary, the ARO FSI successfully retrieves the fine vertical structure of the atmosphere in the presence of multipath in the lower troposphere.

Short TitleAtmos. Meas. Tech.
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