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Open AccessArticle

Benefits of a Closely-Spaced Satellite Constellation of Atmospheric Polarimetric Radio Occultation Measurements

1
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91101, USA
2
Institute of Space Sciences (ICE, CSIC), UAB Campus, Can Magrans Street, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
3
Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), Despatch 201, Nexus Building, Grand Captain, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
4
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(20), 2399; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11202399
Received: 20 September 2019 / Revised: 13 October 2019 / Accepted: 14 October 2019 / Published: 16 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GPS/GNSS for Earth Science and Applications)
The climate and weather forecast predictive capability for precipitation intensity is limited by gaps in the understanding of basic cloud-convective processes. Currently, a better understanding of the cloud-convective process lacks observational constraints, due to the difficulty in obtaining accurate, vertically resolved pressure, temperature, and water vapor structure inside and near convective clouds. This manuscript describes the potential advantages of collecting sequential radio occultation (RO) observations from a constellation of closely spaced low Earth-orbiting satellites. In this configuration, the RO tangent points tend to cluster together, such that successive RO ray paths are sampling independent air mass quantities as the ray paths lie “parallel” to one another. When the RO train orbits near a region of precipitation, there is a probability that one or more of the RO ray paths will intersect the region of heavy precipitation, and one or more would lie outside. The presence of heavy precipitation can be discerned by the use of the polarimetric RO (PRO) technique recently demonstrated by the Radio Occultations through Heavy Precipitation (ROHP) receiver onboard the Spanish PAZ spacecraft. This sampling strategy provides unique, near-simultaneous observations of the water vapor profile inside and in the environment surrounding heavy precipitation, which are not possible from current RO data. View Full-Text
Keywords: convection; precipitation; moisture; GPM; GNSS; GPS; satellite constellation; cubesat; radio occultation convection; precipitation; moisture; GPM; GNSS; GPS; satellite constellation; cubesat; radio occultation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Turk, F.J.; Padullés, R.; Ao, C.O.; Juárez, M.d.l.T.; Wang, K.-N.; Franklin, G.W.; Lowe, S.T.; Hristova-Veleva, S.M.; Fetzer, E.J.; Cardellach, E.; Kuo, Y.-H.; Neelin, J.D. Benefits of a Closely-Spaced Satellite Constellation of Atmospheric Polarimetric Radio Occultation Measurements. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2399. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11202399

AMA Style

Turk FJ, Padullés R, Ao CO, Juárez MdlT, Wang K-N, Franklin GW, Lowe ST, Hristova-Veleva SM, Fetzer EJ, Cardellach E, Kuo Y-H, Neelin JD. Benefits of a Closely-Spaced Satellite Constellation of Atmospheric Polarimetric Radio Occultation Measurements. Remote Sensing. 2019; 11(20):2399. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11202399

Chicago/Turabian Style

Turk, F. J.; Padullés, Ramon; Ao, Chi O.; Juárez, Manuel d.l.T.; Wang, Kuo-Nung; Franklin, Garth W.; Lowe, Stephen T.; Hristova-Veleva, Svetla M.; Fetzer, Eric J.; Cardellach, Estel; Kuo, Yi-Hung; Neelin, J. D. 2019. "Benefits of a Closely-Spaced Satellite Constellation of Atmospheric Polarimetric Radio Occultation Measurements" Remote Sens. 11, no. 20: 2399. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11202399

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