Recently, the UCAR Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) Data Analysis and Archive Center (CDAAC) has developed an improved reprocessing package, which is used to consistently process RO data from multiple years of multiple RO missions including COSMIC (launched in April 2006), Meteorological Operational Polar Satellite–A (Metop-A)/GRAS (GNSS Receiver for Atmospheric Sounding (launched in October 2006), and Metop-B/GRAS (launched in September 2012). These consistently processed GPS RO data extending over a period of close to 10 years provide unique long-term and stable climate measurements, which will be useful for validating and calibrating other satellite and in situ observations, offering insights on the uncertainty of climate models and the modes of atmospheric variability. In this study, we focused on construction of temperature climate data records from 2006 to 2015 using COSMIC, Metop-A/GRAS and Metop-B/GRAS. This is to generate long-term climate quality temperature monthly mean climatologies (MMCs) using dry temperature profiles from these multiple RO missions in the UTLS (mainly from 8km to 30 km altitude with a vertical grid every 200 meters). In addition, we also developed a robust method to estimate sampling errors for each mission. The method for quantifying and removing the sampling errors and results for the new MMCs are presented.
COSMIC’s success has also prompted U.S. agencies to move forward with a follow-on COSMIC-2 RO mission with Taiwan that will launch six satellites into low-inclination orbits in mid-2017 and another six satellites into high-inclination orbits in 2019. It is expected to yield up to 12,000 RO profiles per day after the two constellations are fully deployed. With an improved design in the RO receiver and antenna, the RO data from COSMIC-2 will also be of much higher quality than COSMIC. Potential climate applications of COSMIC-2 are also presented.