Articles | Volume 7, issue 6
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 7, 1817–1823, 2014

Special issue: Observing Atmosphere and Climate with Occultation Techniques...

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 7, 1817–1823, 2014

Research article 24 Jun 2014

Research article | 24 Jun 2014

An introduction to the FY3 GNOS instrument and mountain-top tests

W. H. Bai1, Y. Q. Sun1, Q. F. Du1, G. L. Yang2, Z. D. Yang2, P. Zhang2, Y. M. Bi2, X. Y. Wang1, C. Cheng3, and Y. Han4 W. H. Bai et al.
  • 1Center for Space Science and Applied Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 2National Satellite Meteorological Center, Beijing, China
  • 3State Intellectual Property Office of The P.R.C, Beijing, China
  • 4Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, Beijing, China

Abstract. The FY3 (Feng-Yun-3) GNOS (GNSS Occultation Sounder) mission is a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) radio occultation mission of China for remote sensing of Earth's neutral atmosphere and the ionosphere. GNOS will use both the global positioning system (GPS) and the Beidou navigation satellite systems on the China Feng-Yun-3 (FY3) series satellites. The first FY3-C was launched at 03:07 UTC on 23 September 2013. GNOS was developed by the Center for Space Science and Applied Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CSSAR). It will provide vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature, pressure, and humidity, as well as ionospheric electron density profiles on a global basis. These data will be used for numerical weather prediction, climate research, and ionospheric research and space weather. This paper describes the FY3 GNOS mission and the GNOS instrument characteristics. It presents simulation results of the number and distribution of GNOS occultation events with the regional Beidou constellation and the full GPS constellation, under the limitation of the GNOS instrument occultation channel number. This paper presents the instrument performance as derived from analysis of measurement data in laboratory and mountain-based occultation validation experiments at Mt. Wuling in Hebei Province. The mountain-based GNSS occultation validation tests show that GNOS can acquire or track low-elevation radio signal for rising or setting occultation events. The refractivity profiles of GNOS obtained during the mountain-based experiment were compared with those from radiosondes. The results show that the refractivity profiles obtained by GNOS are consistent with those from the radiosonde. The rms of the differences between the GNOS and radiosonde refractivities is less than 3%.