Radio occultation for climate forecasting and monitoring in Australia

This project seeks to improve Australia’s ability to anticipate, analyse and investigate critical meteorological threats.

Severe weather events caused by climate change present a serious issue for Australia. A sparse distribution of atmospheric sensors limits our ability to predict these events, which include storms, fires, floods, droughts and cyclones.

This project will seek to address this issue by developing methods to integrate data from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites with advanced meteorological observations.

The objectives of the project are:

  • to develop and demonstrate an active atmospheric sounding method for data assimilation into climate variability/change research and validation/improvement of atmospheric models
  • to investigate an optimal methodology for atmospheric information retrieval
  • to establish a comprehensive but effective integration architecture for determination of calibration-free atmospheric profiles with high resolution, high reliability and high precision
  • to investigate an integration algorithm for space-borne and ground-based GNSS meteorology in order to determine the four-dimensional water vapour distribution field
  • to support advancement in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) by conducting, analysing and validating meteorological  data obtained from existing space missions; and
  • to assess and improve present water vapour attenuation models.

This research will significantly upgrade Australia’s meteorological services and contribute to the global community.


This is a joint research venture between the RMIT University SPACE Research Centre and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer