Articles | Volume 4, issue 6
Review article
16 Jun 2011
Review article |  | 16 Jun 2011

Exploring Earth's atmosphere with radio occultation: contributions to weather, climate and space weather

R. A. Anthes

Abstract. The launch of the proof-of-concept mission GPS/MET (Global Positioning System/Meteorology) in 1995 began a revolution in profiling Earth's atmosphere through radio occultation (RO). GPS/MET; subsequent single-satellite missions CHAMP (CHAllenging Minisatellite Payload), SAC-C (Satellite de Aplicaciones Cientificas-C), GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), METOP-A, and TerraSAR-X (Beyerle et al., 2010); and the six-satellite constellation, FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC (Formosa Satellite mission {#}3/Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate) have proven the theoretical capabilities of RO to provide accurate and precise profiles of electron density in the ionosphere and refractivity, containing information on temperature and water vapor, in the stratosphere and troposphere. This paper summarizes results from these RO missions and the applications of RO observations to atmospheric research and operational weather analysis and prediction.