The radio occultation technique provides stable atmospheric measurements that can work as a benchmark for calibrating and validating satellite-sounding data. Launched on 25 June 2019, the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate 2 and Formosa Satellite Mission 7 (COSMIC-2/FORMOSAT-7) are expected to produce about 5000 high-quality RO observations daily over the tropics and subtropics. COSMIC-2 constellation consists of 6 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites in 24° inclination orbits at 720 km altitude and distributed mainly between 45°N to 45°S. The COSMIC-2 observations have uniform temporal coverage between 30°N to 30°S. This paper presents an independent inversion algorithm to invert COSMIC-2 geometry and phase data to bending angle and refractivity. We also investigate the quality of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and LEO position vectors derived from the UCAR COSMIC Data Analysis and Archive Center (CDAAC). The GNSS and LEO position vectors are stable with LEO position variations < 1.4 mm/s. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on the L1 band ranges from 300–2600 v/v
with a mean of 1600 v/v
. The inversion algorithm developed at NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) uses the Full Spectrum Inversion (FSI) method to invert COSMIC-2 geometry and phase data to bending angle and refractivity profiles. The STAR COSMIC-2 bending angle and refractivity profiles are compared with in situ radiosonde, the current COSMIC-2 products derived from CDAAC, and the collocated European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) climate reanalysis data ERA5. The mean bias at 8–40 km altitude among the UCAR, ERA5, and STAR is <0.1% for both bending and refractivity, with a standard deviation in the range of 1.4–2.3 and 0.9–1.1% for bending angles refractivity, respectively. In the lowest 2 km, the RO bias relative to ERA-5 shows a strong latitudinal and SNR dependence.
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