Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 1137–1145

Comparison of COSMIC radio occultation refractivity profiles with radiosonde measurements

  • Xiaohua Xu (徐晓华)
  • Jia Luo (罗 佳)
  • Chuang Shi (施 闯)

DOI: 10.1007/s00376-009-8066-y

Cite this article as:
Xu, X., Luo, J. & Shi, C. Adv. Atmos. Sci. (2009) 26: 1137. doi:10.1007/s00376-009-8066-y


In recent years, radio occultation (RO) technology making use of global positioning system (GPS) signals has been exploited to obtain profiles of atmospheric parameters in the neutral atmosphere. In this paper, the RO refractivity profiles obtained from the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC) mission are statistically compared with the observations of 38 radiosonde stations provided by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology during the period from 15 July 2006 through 15 July 2007. Different collocation criteria are compared at first, and COSMIC RO soundings that occur within 3 hours and 300 km of radiosonde measurements are used for the final statistical comparison. The overall results show that the agreements between the COSMIC refractivity profiles and the radiosonde soundings from the 38 stations are very good at 0–30 km altitude, with mean absolute relative refractivity deviations of less than 0.5%. Latitudinal comparisons indicate that there are negative refractivity deviations in the lower troposphere over the low latitude and middle latitude regions and large standard deviations exist in the lower troposphere of low latitude regions, which can reach up to ≈6%. The comparisons of COSMIC RO refractivity profiles and radiosonde observations for 3 polar stations in four different seasons indicate that the accuracy of GPS RO profiles is better in the Austral summer and autumn than in the Austral spring and winter during the year from September 2006 to August 2007.

Key words

GPS radio occultation radiosonde soundings refractivity profiles statistical comparison 

Copyright information

© Chinese National Committee for International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Science Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaohua Xu (徐晓华)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jia Luo (罗 佳)
    • 1
  • Chuang Shi (施 闯)
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Geodesy and GeomaticsWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.School of Mathematical and Geospatial SciencesRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.GNSS Research CenterWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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