The Active Temperature Ozone and Moisture Microwave Spectrometer ATOMMS

E.R. Kursinski, D. Ward, A. Otarola, R. Frehlich, C. Groppi, S. Albanna, M. Shein, W. Bertiger, H. Pickett, and M. Ross

Abstract The Active Temperature, Ozone and Moisture Microwave Spectrometer (ATOMMS) is designed to observe Earth's climate. It extends and overcomes several limitations of the GPS radio occultation capabilities by simultaneously measuring atmospheric bending and absorption at frequencies approximately 10 and 100 times higher than GPS. This paper summarizes several important conceptual improvements to ATOMMS made since OPAC-1 including deriving the hydrostatic upper boundary condition directly from the ATOMMS observations, our much improved understanding of the impact of turbulence and its mitigation, and a new approach to deriving atmospheric profiles in the presence of inhomogeneous liquid water clouds. ATOMMS performance significantly exceeds that of radiometric sounders in terms of precision and vertical resolution and degrades only slightly in the presence of clouds and it does so independently of models. Our aircraft-to-aircraft occultation demonstration of ATOMMS performance will begin in 2009 representing a major step towards an orbiting observing system.

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