Articles | Volume 4, issue 7
Research article
18 Jul 2011
Research article |  | 18 Jul 2011

Meteorological information in GPS-RO reflected signals

K. Boniface, J. M. Aparicio, and E. Cardellach

Abstract. Vertical profiles of the atmosphere can be obtained globally with the radio-occultation technique. However, the lowest layers of the atmosphere are less accurately extracted. A good description of these layers is important for the good performance of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) systems, and an improvement of the observational data available for the low troposphere would thus be of great interest for data assimilation. We outline here how supplemental meteorological information close to the surface can be extracted whenever reflected signals are available. We separate the reflected signal through a radioholographic filter, and we interpret it with a ray tracing procedure, analyzing the trajectories of the electromagnetic waves over a 3-D field of refractive index. A perturbation approach is then used to perform an inversion, identifying the relevant contribution of the lowest layers of the atmosphere to the properties of the reflected signal, and extracting some supplemental information to the solution of the inversion of the direct propagation signals. It is found that there is a significant amount of useful information in the reflected signal, which is sufficient to extract a stand-alone profile of the low atmosphere, with a precision of approximately 0.1 %. The methodology is applied to one reflection case.