GFZ German research centre for geo sciences

GPS radio occultation with TerraSAR-X


TerraSAR-X is a German satellite for Earth Observation, which was launched on July 14, 2007. The mission duration was foreseen to be 5 years. TerraSAR-X carries an innovative high resolution x-band sensor for imaging with resolution up to 1 m.

TerraSAR-X carries as secondary payload an IGOR GPS receiver with GPS RO capability. GFZ provided the IGOR and is responsible for the related TOR experiment (Tracking, Occultation and Ranging). TerraSAR-X provides continuously atmospheric GPS data in near-real time. These data from GFZ are continuously assimilated in parallel with those from GRACE-A by the world-leading weather centers to improve their global forecasts. TerraSAR-X, together with TanDEM-X also forms a twin-satellite constellation for atmosphere sounding and generates an unique data set for the evaluation of the accuracy of the GPS-RO technique.

Zus, F., G. Beyerle, L. Grunwaldt, S. Heise, G. Michalak, T. Schmidt and J. Wickert, Sensitivity of GPS radio occultation atmospheric soundings w.r.t. open loop signal tracking parameters, submitted to Advances in Space Research, 2013.

Beyerle, G., L. Grunwaldt, S. Heise, W. Koehler, R. Koenig, G. Michalak, M. Rothacher, T. Schmidt, J. Wickert, B. Tapley, B. Giesinger, First results from the GPS atmosphere sounding experiment TOR aboard the TerraSAR-X satellite. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 11, 13, 6687-6699, 2011.

Wickert, J.; Schmidt, T.; Michalak, G.; Heise, S.; Arras, C.; Beyerle, G.; Falck, C.; König, R.; Pingel, D.; Rothacher, M., GPS Radio Occultation with CHAMP, GRACE-A, SAC-C, TerraSAR-X, and FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC: Brief Review of Results from GFZ. - In: Steiner, A.; Pirscher, B.; Foelsche, U.; Kirchengast, G. (Eds.), New Horizons in Occultation Research : Studies in Atmosphere and Climate, Springer, 3-16, 2009.

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