science objectives

The main objective of the ROHP-PAZ is to provide Radio-Occultation data suitable to be ingested in numerical weather prediction models (NWP) in near-real time, to contribute reducing the forecast error. During the expected lifespan of the PAZ mission, the total amount of available Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Radio-Occultation data for NWP is expected to drop severely, due to the decommissioning of the currently main RO mission, NOAA's COSMIC. ROHP-PAZ should contribute filling this gap, while waiting for the next NOAA's RO constellation.

ROHP-PAZ is also a proof-of-concept mission, to test the capabilities of polarimetric GNSS RO to sense intense atmospheric precipitation. This secondary objective can be split in a series of subsequent goals, such as:

  • - to test the capability of polarimetric RO to sense heavy and violent rain
  • - to characterize the geophysical and instrumental factors that affect the polarimetric measurements
  • - to define and implement algorithms to extract and separate the geophysical information content in polarimetric RO measurements
  • - to capture, store, and distribute the geophysical precipitation information obtained with ROHP-PAZ
  • - to improve the current understanding and modelling of the intense precipitation events by means of combining the perfectly collocated thermodynamic RO profiles and the polarimetric RO precipitation information
ROHP-PAZ will be also capable to provide ionospheric information down to 200 km altitude. Eventually, it might scan below 100 km for detection of sporadic E-layers.