Transition of NOAA’s GPS-Met Data Acquisition and Processing System to the Commercial Sector

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Michael E Jackson1, Kirk Holub2, William Callahan3 and Stephan Blatt1, (1)REF TEK A Division of Trimble, Plano, TX, United States, (2)NOAA, GSD, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)Earth Networks Inc., Germantown, MD, United States
In April of 2014, NOAA/OAR/ESRL Global Systems Division (GSD) and Trimble, in collaboration with Earth Networks, Inc. (ENI) signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to transfer the existing NOAA GPS-Met Data Acquisition and Processing System (GPS-Met DAPS) technology to a commercial Trimble/ENI partnership.

 NOAA's GPS-Met DAPS is currently operated in a pseudo-operational mode but has proven highly reliable and running at over 95% uptime. The DAPS uses the GAMIT software to ingest dual frequency carrier phase GPS/GNSS observations and ancillary information such as real-time satellite orbits to estimate the zenith-scaled tropospheric (ZTD) signal delays and, where surface MET data are available, retrieve integrated precipitable water vapor (PWV). The NOAA data and products are made available to end users in near real-time. The Trimble/ENI partnership will use the Trimble Pivot™ software with the Atmosphere App to calculate zenith tropospheric (ZTD), tropospheric slant delay, and integrated precipitable water vapor (PWV).

Evaluation of the Trimble software is underway starting with a comparison of ZTD and PWV values determined from GPS stations located near NOAA Radiosonde Observation (Upper-Air Observation) launch sites. A success metric was established that requires Trimble’s PWV estimates to match ESRL/GSD's to within 1.5 mm 95% of the time, which corresponds to a ZTD uncertainty of less than 10 mm 95% of the time. Initial results indicate that Trimble/ENI data meet and exceed the ZTD metric, but for some stations PWV estimates are out of specification. These discrepancies are primarily due to how offsets between MET and GPS stations are handled and are easily resolved. Additional test networks are proposed that include low terrain/high moisture variability stations, high terrain/low moisture variability stations, as well as high terrain/high moisture variability stations.

We will present results from further testing along with a timeline for the transition of the GPS-Met DAPS to an operational commercial service.