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Single frequency processing of atmospheric radio occultations

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Tracking of the radio signals broadcast by the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites as they are occulted from a GPS receiver by the Earth's atmosphere can provide high resolution vertical profiles of atmospheric refractivity, temperature and water vapour. Most implementations of this radio occultation technique use two GPS frequencies to correct for ionospheric effects. However, during most soundings, one of the frequencies is degraded by the introduction of the so-called Anti-Spoofing (AS) encryption mode. A retrieval method is discussed in this work for periods when only one of the two frequency signals has good quality. This method uses only the frequency with higher signal-to-noise ratio. We illustrate the quality of the atmospheric profiles obtained from such single frequency retrievals using GPS/MET data from the periods where the AS was turned off and the two frequencies were available. The results enable us to ensure the quality of a climate record of thousands of radio occultations collected by GPS/MET during the period with AS encryption, and the data processing of future missions with similar constraints, like IOX, can be performed.
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Keywords: Atmosphere; Climate; GPS; Occultations; Remote Sensing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: M-S 238-600 Jet Propulsion Laboratory 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena CA 91109-8099 USA

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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