BackForwardInstrument:  GNSS-RO 

Instrument details
Acronym GNSS-RO
Full name Global Navigation Satellite System - Radio Occultation
Purpose Temperature/humidity sounding with highest vertical resolution; also space weather
Short description Measuring the phase delay due to refraction during occultation between GPS and LEO
Background Consolidated technology
Scanning Technique Limb scanning from the satellite altitude to close-to-surface by time sampling – Azimuth: 90° sectors fore- and aft-
Resolution About 300 km horizontal, 0.5 km vertical
Coverage / Cycle 2 GNSS constellations tracked. About 1100 soundings/day - Average spacing 680 km - Global coverage (300 km spacing) in 5 days
Mass 6 kg Power 50 W Data Rate 40 kbps

 

Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Backed by strong heritage
Utilization Period: TBD
Last update: 2019-01-01
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Active and radio-occultation sensor
  • GNSS radio-occultation
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Atmospheric temperature
  • Height of the top of PBL
  • Height of the tropopause
  • Specific humidity
  • Temperature of the tropopause
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Tentative Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Atmospheric temperature2 - very highInaccurate in low troposphere.Two directional antennas, two GNSS system tracked, covering about 1000 soundings/day
Geoid4 - fairHighly indirect.Radio-occultation processing implies precise orbitography. Geoid derived from multi-temporal analysis
Gravity field5 - marginalHighly indirect.Radio-occultation processing implies precise orbitography. Gravity field derived from multi-temporal analysis
Height of the top of PBL2 - very highNo specific limitation.Two directional antennas, two GNSS system tracked, about 1000 soundings/day. PBL top measured as discontinuity of the refraction index
Height of the tropopause2 - very highNo specific limitation.Two directional antennas, two GNSS system tracked, about 1000 soundings/day. Tropopause height measured as discontinuity of the refraction index
Specific humidity3 - highInaccurate in high troposphere.Two directional antennas, two GNSS system tracked, about 1000 soundings/day
Temperature of the tropopause2 - very highNo specific limitation.Two directional antennas, two GNSS system tracked, about 1000 soundings/day
Atmospheric density1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Measuring atmospheric density
Electron Density1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Two directional antennas, two GNSS system tracked, about 1000 soundings/day
Ionospheric Vertical Total Electron Content (VTEC)3 - highNo specific limitation.Two directional antennas, two GNSS system tracked, about 1000 soundings/day
Ionospheric Scintillation4 - fairNo specific limitation.Two directional antennas, two GNSS system tracked, about 1000 soundings/day