Advanced Asymmetry Tropospheric Products for Meteorology from GNSS and SAR observations


CALL: 2018

DOMAIN: SR - Environmental and Earth Sciences


LAST NAME: Teferle



HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: Global Navigation Satellite SystemsSynthetic Aperture RadarHigh Performance ComputingAtmospheric Water VapourSpace GeodesyWeather

START: 2019-02-01

END: 2020-04-30


Submitted Abstract

The VAPOUR project will provide the next generation, space-geodetic, high-quality, spatiotemporal, asymmetric (Slant Total Delay (STD) in addition to legacy Zenith Total Delay (ZTD) and gradients (GRD)) tropospheric products, to improve numerical weather prediction (NWP) models for forecasting and derived re-analysis models on national and international levels. VAPOUR will employ Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) observations, including those of the European Galileo, and Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) data, such as from the Copernicus Sentinel missions. It will build upon the expertise at the host institution and co-applicants gained from several previous host-, FNR- and EU-funded research projects.The advanced products will take better account of the distribution of atmospheric water vapour within the troposphere, which is the most prominent greenhouse gas and is directly linked to precipitation and weather. Most current GNSS-derived tropospheric products do not fully account for these variations or suffer from unresolved issues such as multipath and the development of such products from SAR data is still largely experimental.Many European meteorological services, such as MétéoFrance, routinely assimilate near real-time GNSS, in particular Global Positioning System (GPS), ZTD tropospheric products into their NWP models or use GNSS-derived atmospheric water vapour field products for investigations of specific weather events. However, few such models assimilate asymmetric products such as STD or GRD yet. With the interest of the meteorological services for these products growing, VAPOUR is timely and highly relevant. As current ZTD products lack the horizontal resolutions required, VAPOUR will seek to improve and refine the STD and GRD products through the analysis of multi-GNSS receiver-to-satellite line-of-sight (slanted-anisotropic) delays which offer a much higher spatial resolution but also suffer from site-specific errors such as multipath. VAPOUR will improve the reconstruction of the short-term slant water vapour fluctuations through innovative approaches to multipath mitigation using multi-GNSS high-precision solutions. It will build multipath maps using the spherical harmonic representations of stacked carrier phase residuals and homomorphic filter results and lift them to a finer resolution, enabled by the currently 80+ operational GNSS satellites. With the advanced troposphere products assimilated into a NWP at MétéoFrance, improvements in the forecasts by MétéoLux will be expected as well as for investigations of weather fronts, storms, and other weather phenomena.Also the signals from SAR satellite missions are subject to delays in the atmosphere. Most studies consider the delay experienced by SAR signals as a nuisance parameter and correct it by complicated modelling approaches. Instead, VAPOUR will derive maps of water vapour fields from these radar data and will employ these for cross-evaluations with the GNSS-derived fields. In this sense, SAR will offer independent high-resolution differential troposphere products that can either validate or be merged with the GNSS tropospheric products. The SAR-related methods developed by VAPOUR will be of interest to future SAR missions (Radarsat-3 mission, geosynchronous SAR mission) that provide daily or sub-daily updates, enabling their use in routine forecasting.

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