Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 129, Issue 1, pp 57–70 | Cite as

A novel, optimized approach of voxel division for water vapor tomography

Original Paper


Water vapor information with highly spatial and temporal resolution can be acquired using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) water vapor tomography technique. Usually, the targeted tomographic area is discretized into a number of voxels and the water vapor distribution can be reconstructed using a large number of GNSS signals which penetrate the entire tomographic area. Due to the influence of geographic distribution of receivers and geometric location of satellite constellation, many voxels located at the bottom and the side of research area are not crossed by signals, which would undermine the quality of tomographic result. To alleviate this problem, a novel, optimized approach of voxel division is here proposed which increases the number of voxels crossed by signals. On the vertical axis, a 3D water vapor profile is utilized, which is derived from radiosonde data for many years, to identify the maximum height of tomography space. On the horizontal axis, the total number of voxel crossed by signal is enhanced, based on the concept of non-uniform symmetrical division of horizontal voxels. In this study, tomographic experiments are implemented using GPS data from Hong Kong Satellite Positioning Reference Station Network, and tomographic result is compared with water vapor derived from radiosonde and European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF). The result shows that the Integrated Water Vapour (IWV), RMS, and error distribution of the proposed approach are better than that of traditional method.


Global Navigation Satellite System Global Navigation Satellite System Vertical Boundary Zenith Tropospheric Delay Integrate Water Vapor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank IGAR for providing access to the web-based IGAR data and ECMWF for providing grids data of temperature, relative humidity and so on. The Lands Department of HKSAR is also acknowledged for providing GPS data from the Hong Kong Satellite Positioning Reference Station Network (SatRef) and rainfall information. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41174012).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geodesy and GeomaticsWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of EducationWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.Collaborative Innovation Center for Geospatial TechnologyWuhanChina

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