Comparison of COSMIC and COSMIC-2 Radio Occultation Refractivity and Bending Angle Uncertainties in August 2006 and 2021

Richard Anthes, Jeremiah Sjoberg, Xuelei Feng, Stig Syndergaard
2022 Atmosphere  
We compare the random error statistics (uncertainties) of COSMIC (Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate, C1) and COSMIC-2 (C2) radio occultation (RO) bending angles and refractivities for the months of August 2006 and 2021 over the tropics and subtropics using the three-cornered hat method. The uncertainty profiles are similar for the two RO missions in the troposphere. However, a higher percentage of C2 profiles reach close to the surface in the moisture-rich
more » ... opics, an advantage of the higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in C2. C2 uses signals from both GPS (Global Positioning System) and GLONASS Global Navigation System Satellites (GNSS). The GPS occultations show smaller uncertainties in the stratosphere and lower mesosphere (30–60 km) than the GLONASS occultations, a result of more accurate GPS clocks. Therefore, C2 (GPS) uncertainties are smaller than C1 uncertainties between 30–60 km while the C2 (GLONASS) uncertainties are larger than those of C1. The uncertainty profiles vary with latitude at all levels. We find that horizontal gradients in temperature and water vapor, and therefore refractivity, are the major cause of uncertainties in the tropopause region and troposphere through the violation of the assumption of spherical symmetry in the retrieval of bending angles and refractivity.
doi:10.3390/atmos13050790 fatcat:jmc3svxtozabhfpilhamgp2lie