[1] Radio occultation events recorded on 28–29 July 2004 by a GPS receiver aboard the GRACE-B satellite are analyzed. The stability of the receiver clock allows for the derivation of excess phase profiles using a zero difference technique, rendering the calibration procedure with concurrent observations of a reference GPS satellite obsolete. 101 refractivity profiles obtained by zero differencing and 96 profiles calculated with an improved single difference method are compared with co-located ECMWF meteorological analyses. Good agreement is found at altitudes between 5 and 30 km with an average fractional refractivity deviation below 1% and a standard deviation of 2–3%. Results from end-to-end simulations are consistent with these observations.