Articles | Volume 33, issue 1
Ann. Geophys., 33, 55–61, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-33-55-2015
Ann. Geophys., 33, 55–61, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-33-55-2015

Regular paper 13 Jan 2015

Regular paper | 13 Jan 2015

Validation of GPS atmospheric water vapor with WVR data in satellite tracking mode

M. Shangguan1,*, S. Heise1, M. Bender2, G. Dick1, M. Ramatschi1, and J. Wickert1 M. Shangguan et al.
  • 1Department 1.1 GPS/Galileo Earth Observations, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), Data Assimilation Unit, Frankfurter Str. 135, 63067 Offenbach, Germany
  • *present address: GEOMAR Helmholz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany

Abstract. Slant-integrated water vapor (SIWV) data derived from GPS STDs (slant total delays), which provide the spatial information on tropospheric water vapor, have a high potential for assimilation to weather models or for nowcasting or reconstruction of the 3-D humidity field with tomographic techniques. Therefore, the accuracy of GPS STD is important, and independent observations are needed to estimate the quality of GPS STD. In 2012 the GFZ (German Research Centre for Geosciences) started to operate a microwave radiometer in the vicinity of the Potsdam GPS station. The water vapor content along the line of sight between a ground station and a GPS satellite can be derived from GPS data and directly measured by a water vapor radiometer (WVR) at the same time. In this study we present the validation results of SIWV observed by a ground-based GPS receiver and a WVR. The validation covers 184 days of data with dry and wet humidity conditions. SIWV data from GPS and WVR generally show good agreement with a mean bias of −0.4 kg m−2 and an rms (root mean square) of 3.15 kg m−2. The differences in SIWV show an elevation dependent on an rms of 7.13 kg m−2 below 15° but of 1.76 kg m−2 above 15°. Nevertheless, this elevation dependence is not observed regarding relative deviations. The relation between the differences and possible influencing factors (elevation angles, pressure, temperature and relative humidity) are analyzed in this study. Besides the elevation, dependencies between the atmospheric humidity conditions, temperature and the differences in SIWV are found.

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We present validation results covering 184 days of SIWV (slant-integrated water vapor) observed by a ground-based GPS receiver and a WVR (water vapor radiometer). SIWV data from GPS and WVR generally show good agreement, and the relation between their differences and possible influential factors are analyzed. The differences in SIWV show a relative elevation dependence. Besides the elevation, dependencies between the atmospheric humidity conditions, temperature and differences in SIWV are found.