Validation of GPS atmospheric water vapor with WVR data in satellite tracking mode

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Abstract

Slant-integrated water vapor (SIWV) data derived from GPS STDs (slant total delays), which provide the spatial information on tropospheric water vapor, have a high potential for assimilation to weather models or for nowcasting or reconstruction of the 3-D humidity field with tomographic techniques. Therefore, the accuracy of GPS STD is important, and independent observations are needed to estimate the quality of GPS STD. In 2012 the GFZ (German Research Centre for Geosciences) started to operate a microwave radiometer in the vicinity of the Potsdam GPS station. The water vapor content along the line of sight between a ground station and a GPS satellite can be derived from GPS data and directly measured by a water vapor radiometer (WVR) at the same time. In this study we present the validation results of SIWV observed by a ground-based GPS receiver and a WVR. The validation covers 184 days of data with dry and wet humidity conditions. SIWV data from GPS and WVR generally show good agreement with a mean bias of -0.4 kg m-2 and an rms (root mean square) of 3.15 kg m-2. The differences in SIWV show an elevation dependent on an rms of 7.13 kg m-2 below 15° but of 1.76 kg m-2 above 15°. Nevertheless, this elevation dependence is not observed regarding relative deviations. The relation between the differences and possible influencing factors (elevation angles, pressure, temperature and relative humidity) are analyzed in this study. Besides the elevation, dependencies between the atmospheric humidity conditions, temperature and the differences in SIWV are found.

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Shangguan, M., Heise, S., Bender, M., Dick, G., Ramatschi, M., & Wickert, J. (2015). Validation of GPS atmospheric water vapor with WVR data in satellite tracking mode. Annales Geophysicae, 33(1), 55–61. https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-33-55-2015

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