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GNSS Radio Occultation Constellation Observing System Experiments

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  • 1 European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Observing system experiments within the operational ECMWF data assimilation framework have been performed for summer 2008 when the largest recorded number of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) radio occultation observations from both operational and experimental satellites were available. Constellations with 0%, 5%, 33%, 67%, and 100% data volume were assimilated to quantify the sensitivity of analysis and forecast quality to radio occultation data volume. These observations mostly constrain upper-tropospheric and stratospheric temperatures and correct an apparent model bias that changes sign across the upper-troposphere–lower-stratosphere boundary. This correction effect does not saturate with increasing data volume, even if more data are assimilated than available in today’s analyses. Another important function of radio occultation data, namely, the anchoring of variational radiance bias corrections, is demonstrated in this study. This effect also does not saturate with increasing data volume. In the stratosphere, the anchoring by radio occultation data is stronger than provided by radiosonde and aircraft observations.

Corresponding author address: Peter Bauer, ECMWF, Shinfield Park, Reading RG2 9AX, United Kingdom. E-mail: peter.bauer@ecmwf.int

Abstract

Observing system experiments within the operational ECMWF data assimilation framework have been performed for summer 2008 when the largest recorded number of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) radio occultation observations from both operational and experimental satellites were available. Constellations with 0%, 5%, 33%, 67%, and 100% data volume were assimilated to quantify the sensitivity of analysis and forecast quality to radio occultation data volume. These observations mostly constrain upper-tropospheric and stratospheric temperatures and correct an apparent model bias that changes sign across the upper-troposphere–lower-stratosphere boundary. This correction effect does not saturate with increasing data volume, even if more data are assimilated than available in today’s analyses. Another important function of radio occultation data, namely, the anchoring of variational radiance bias corrections, is demonstrated in this study. This effect also does not saturate with increasing data volume. In the stratosphere, the anchoring by radio occultation data is stronger than provided by radiosonde and aircraft observations.

Corresponding author address: Peter Bauer, ECMWF, Shinfield Park, Reading RG2 9AX, United Kingdom. E-mail: peter.bauer@ecmwf.int
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