Growing interest in the climate and the environment is resulting in a variety of activities to see in which way the global changes may be linked to anthropogenic affects, and how the changes may be monitored and controlled so as to develop the background for a healthier planet in the future.
The advent of radio occultation techniques applied to signals from GPS satellites has proven to be a very promising approach for accurate measurements of temperature and humidity profiles up through the atmosphere. Feasibility of this technique has recently been demonstrated by the experimental GPS/MET project in the United States.
Data from a single satellite borne GPS receiver will produce more than 500 temperature/humidity profiles per 24 hours world wide with a an accuracy of less than 1 degree K and with a vertical resolution of less than 1 km. The immediate impact of this will be significant improvements in modeling the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.
Further enhancements in climate modeling may be obtained by including measurements from ground based GPS receivers from which the Integrated Precipitable Water Vapour content (IPWV) may be estimated. In addition recent results indicate that significant improvements may be obtained in temperature profiles derived from combined AVHRR and TOVS measurements in the lower troposphere.
Concomitant improvements in meteorological and climatological data will significantly advance the accuracy of environmental models for ambient air quality and locaVregional dispersion and transport models.
Whereas the technology is being researched in Europe no system has so far been established operationally to bridge the gab to the end users of such data. Nor has a complete system concept been defined which can be used as a basis for an implementation and procurement plan amongst European users and Agencies.
The present proposal aims at doing so and at fulfilling the objectives under Area 3.1.2 - Pilot Projects, topic 4 - in the Environment and Climate Programme with respect to applying GPS occultation data for improved monitoring of the enviromnent and the climate.
The proposed project has as objectives to develop and install a data processing/data distribution system which will process GPS occultation based atmospheric measurements, together with advanced AVHRRITOVS profiles, and distribute the data on a semi-operational basis to accredited user groups associated with the Global Climate Observation System (GCOS) and World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).
It is furthermore the objective to validate the system in a comprehensive manner, analyze the contributions from the different data sources, and make recom-mendations about the most efficient usage.
Finally the project will develop a concept for a fully operational system to provide services to the climate and environment monitoring communities at large, including the European Environmental Agency's Topic Center for Air Quality.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
3730 AE De Bilt
RG12 2SZ Bracknell