Articles | Volume 11, issue 1
Research article
29 Jan 2018
Research article |  | 29 Jan 2018

Analysis of reflections in GNSS radio occultation measurements using the phase matching amplitude

Thomas Sievert, Joel Rasch, Anders Carlström, and Mats Ingemar Pettersson

Abstract. It is well-known that in the presence of super-refractive layers in the lower-tropospheric inversion of GNSS radio occultation (RO) measurements using the Abel transform yields biased refractivity profiles. As such it is problematic to reconstruct the true refractivity from the RO signal. Additional information about this lower region of the atmosphere might be embedded in reflected parts of the signal. To retrieve the bending angle, the phase matching operator can be used. This operator produces a complex function of the impact parameter, and from its phase we can calculate the bending angle. Instead of looking at the phase, in this paper we focus on the function's amplitude. The results in this paper show that the signatures of surface reflections in GNSS RO measurements can be significantly enhanced when using the phase matching method by processing only an appropriately selected segment of the received signal. This signature enhancement is demonstrated by simulations and confirmed with 10 hand-picked MetOp-A occultations with reflected components. To validate that these events show signs of reflections, radio holographic images are generated. Our results suggest that the phase matching amplitude carries information that can improve the interpretation of radio occultation measurements in the lower troposphere.

Short summary
In this paper we analyze GNSS radio occultation measurement data from the MetOp-A satellite using a particular operator called phase matching. We find that reflected GNSS signals can be distinguished using this method and that there are structures that differ significantly from simulated measurements. Making radio occultation measurements in the lower troposphere is difficult, and the motivation of this study is to investigate different ways of addressing this problem.