Benefits of a Closely-Spaced Satellite Constellation of Atmospheric Polarimetric Radio Occultation Measurements

F. Joseph Turk, Ramon Padullés, Chi O. Ao, Manuel de la Torre Juárez, Kuo-Nung Wang, Garth W. Franklin, Stephen T. Lowe, Svetla M. Hristova-Veleva, Eric J. Fetzer, Estel Cardellach, Yi-Hung Kuo, J. David Neelin
2019 Remote Sensing  
The climate and weather forecast predictive capability for precipitation intensity is limited by gaps in the understanding of basic cloud-convective processes. Currently, a better understanding of the cloud-convective process lacks observational constraints, due to the difficulty in obtaining accurate, vertically resolved pressure, temperature, and water vapor structure inside and near convective clouds. This manuscript describes the potential advantages of collecting sequential radio
more » ... n (RO) observations from a constellation of closely spaced low Earth-orbiting satellites. In this configuration, the RO tangent points tend to cluster together, such that successive RO ray paths are sampling independent air mass quantities as the ray paths lie "parallel" to one another. When the RO train orbits near a region of precipitation, there is a probability that one or more of the RO ray paths will intersect the region of heavy precipitation, and one or more would lie outside. The presence of heavy precipitation can be discerned by the use of the polarimetric RO (PRO) technique recently demonstrated by the Radio Occultations through Heavy Precipitation (ROHP) receiver onboard the Spanish PAZ spacecraft. This sampling strategy provides unique, near-simultaneous observations of the water vapor profile inside and in the environment surrounding heavy precipitation, which are not possible from current RO data.
doi:10.3390/rs11202399 fatcat:raio4hpvl5a7xerzos4ign3pjq