Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
Research article
16 May 2017
Research article |  | 16 May 2017

Estimation and evaluation of COSMIC radio occultation excess phase using undifferenced measurements

Pengfei Xia, Shirong Ye, Kecai Jiang, and Dezhong Chen

Abstract. In the GPS radio occultation technique, the atmospheric excess phase (AEP) can be used to derive the refractivity, which is an important quantity in numerical weather prediction. The AEP is conventionally estimated based on GPS double-difference or single-difference techniques. These two techniques, however, rely on the reference data in the data processing, increasing the complexity of computation. In this study, an undifferenced (ND) processing strategy is proposed to estimate the AEP. To begin with, we use PANDA (Positioning and Navigation Data Analyst) software to perform the precise orbit determination (POD) for the purpose of acquiring the position and velocity of the mass centre of the COSMIC (The Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate) satellites and the corresponding receiver clock offset. The bending angles, refractivity and dry temperature profiles are derived from the estimated AEP using Radio Occultation Processing Package (ROPP) software. The ND method is validated by the COSMIC products in typical rising and setting occultation events. Results indicate that rms (root mean square) errors of relative refractivity differences between undifferenced and atmospheric profiles (atmPrf) provided by UCAR/CDAAC (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research/COSMIC Data Analysis and Archive Centre) are better than 4 and 3 % in rising and setting occultation events respectively. In addition, we also compare the relative refractivity bias between ND-derived methods and atmPrf profiles of globally distributed 200 COSMIC occultation events on 12 December 2013. The statistical results indicate that the average rms relative refractivity deviation between ND-derived and COSMIC profiles is better than 2 % in the rising occultation event and better than 1.7 % in the setting occultation event. Moreover, the observed COSMIC refractivity profiles from ND processing strategy are further validated using European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) analysis data, and the results indicate that the undifferenced method reduces the noise level on the excess phase paths in the lower troposphere compared to the single-difference processing strategy.

Short summary
This study focused on the extraction of the atmospheric excess phases using the non-difference processing strategy. The COSMIC POD processing is used to accurately determine the position and velocity of the centre of mass of the satellite and the receiver offset based on PANDA software. Finally, the bending angle, refractive and dry temperature profiles are taken from AEP using ROPP software.