Abstract

We describe and present preliminary results from an independent bending-angle algorithm implementation for the calculation of radiowave bending angles propagated from a Global Positioning System (GPS) to a Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellite. The algorithm utilizes raw atmospheric excess phases and satellite kinematics to determine Doppler frequency shifts of the GPS signals from which bending-angle profiles are derived. The intent is twofold: (a) perform a series of sensitivity studies to investigate the effect of Doppler frequency shift and satellite velocity variations on bending-angle profiles; and (b) examine and compare our results against the bending-angle profiles provided by the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere & Climate (COSMIC) Data Analysis and Archive Centre (CDAAC). In this paper, we employ the same GPS observations as by CDAAC to analyze various occultation events in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. Our principal finding is that radiowave bending angles exhibit an inversely proportional behaviour to orbital velocity variations while they change proportionally to the variations of Doppler frequency shift. Our studies also reveal that bending angles are more sensitive to orbital velocity than to Doppler frequency shift variations and show “wave-like” structures in the upper part of the atmosphere, unlike COSMIC-derived profiles. We discuss the differences between our derived bending-angle profiles and the COSMIC-derived profiles, emphasizing the advantages of our algorithm implementation.

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