Atmospheric Effects in Space Geodesy

Part of the series Springer Atmospheric Sciences pp 73-136


Path Delays in the Neutral Atmosphere

  • Tobias NilssonAffiliated withSection 1.1 GPS/Galileo Earth Observations, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences Email author 
  • , Johannes BöhmAffiliated withDepartment of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Vienna University of Technology
  • , Dudy D. WijayaAffiliated withGeodesy Research Group, Institute of Technology Bandung
  • , Ana TreschAffiliated withMonitoring Solutions, Leica Geosystems AG
  • , Vahab NafisiAffiliated withDepartment of Surveying Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Isfahan
  • , Harald SchuhAffiliated withDepartment 1 Geodesy and Remote Sensing, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

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This part describes the effects of the troposphere—strictly speaking the neutral atmosphere—on the propagation delay of space geodetic signals. A theoretical description of this tropospheric propagation delay is given as well as strategies for correcting for it in the data analysis of the space geodetic observations. The differences between the tropospheric effects for microwave techniques, like the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), and those for optical techniques, like Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), are discussed. Usually, residual tropospheric delays are estimated in the data analysis, and the parameterization needed to do so is presented. Other possibilities of correcting for the tropospheric delays are their calculation by ray-tracing through the fields of numerical weather models and by utilizing water vapor radiometer measurements. Finally, we shortly discuss how space geodetic techniques can be used in atmospheric analysis in meteorology and climatology.