Radio Occultation uses the precise measurement of phase delay and amplitude of GPS signals to deduce atmospheric properties. GPSRO from the six COSMIC satellites provides all-weather global coverage with around 2500 high-quality ionospheric measurements per day.
Ionospheric models have been demonstrated to decline in accuracy over oceans and other locations remote from ionospheric observations. Most traditional ionospheric sensors are ground-based and observations available for real-time use have been mostly limited to the major continental land masses. GPSRO has been demonstrated (by USU, JPL, others) to improve the accuracy of ionospheric models over much of the globe.
This paper will present plans to exploit this data for input into next generation space models, including operational use of GPSRO in GAIM by summer 2011.