The WATS (WAter vapour and temperature in the Troposphere and Stratosphere) mission seeks to observe humidity fields throughout the troposphere together with temperature fields in the troposphere and stratosphere.
It will do so by employing the radio occultation technique, the impressive properties of which are an unprecedented vertical resolution and absolute calibration. Its absolute calibration allows future users to refer to a WATS data set in comparison with future data in a straightforward way, because they need not make any adjustments or corrections in performing a comparison. Moreover, the WATS experiment, and radio occultation in general, offers the potential to provide measurements of both temperature and humidity in a highly cost-effective way.
The main objectives of the WATS mission are to:
establish a highly accurate (< 0.003 g/kg or <3%, whichever is larger) and vertically resolved (0.5 km) climatology of water vapour in the troposphere with global measurements of its concentration;
establish a highly accurate (< 0.2 K) and vertically resolved (0.5 to 1 km)climatology of temperature in the troposphere and the stratosphere with global measurements of its vertical profile;
support research on climate variability and climate change and on validation and improvement of atmospheric models;
- demonstrate a novel active atmospheric sounding method.
Last update: 29 October 2001