92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 3:30 PM
WRF-Model Assimilation of Angle-of-Arrival Measurements from an Antenna of GPS Receivers
Room 340 and 341 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Bonnie Valant-Spaight, Propagation Research Associates, Inc., Marietta, GA; and G. M. Hall and F. Vandenberghe

In 1995, the first GPS Met experiment demonstrated assimilation of the bending angle caused by atmospheric refraction of the electromagnetic signals emitted by a GPS satellite and received by a low earth orbit satellite. With the launch of the COSMIC constellation in 2006, bending angle assimilation in global models is now becoming a routine operation in many meteorological operational centers. This technique can be extended to GPS ground receivers and regional models. By tracking a GPS satellite with an antenna of receivers, it is possible to estimate the difference between the satellite elevation angle and the actual arrival angle of the transmitted signal at the antenna. This concept was demonstrated during a field campaign at Vandenberg AFB during the month of August 2009. 60 hours of transmission were recorded, resulting in more than 200,000 angle-of-arrival excess (AOAE) measurements. Those measurements were assimilated into a high-resolution (Dx=3.3km) version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model using a fast raytracing observation operator and its adjoint. The results of the AOAE data assimilation, in terms of 6-hr forecasts, were compared to similar runs without observations and with assimilation of conventional observations (sounding, surface reports, aircraft, etc). Preliminary verification statistics against independent data show significant improvements in model forecast skills for wind speed and direction and a slight negative impact on temperature and moisture. AOAE observations and the method for their assimilation in numerical weather prediction models will be presented; the potential of the technique for supporting electronic wave propagation will be discussed.

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