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Sensors 2017, 17(8), 1880; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17081880

Optimizing Waveform Maximum Determination for Specular Point Tracking in Airborne GNSS-R

CESBIO, Université de Toulouse, CNRS/CNES/IRD/UPS, 18 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31401 Toulouse CEDEX 9, France
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Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 August 2017 / Published: 16 August 2017
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Abstract

Airborne GNSS-R campaigns are crucial to the understanding of signal interactions with the Earth’s surface. As a consequence of the specific geometric configurations arising during measurements from aircraft, the reflected signals can be difficult to interpret under certain conditions like over strongly attenuating media such as forests, or when the reflected signal is contaminated by the direct signal. For these reasons, there are many cases where the reflectivity is overestimated, or a portion of the dataset has to be flagged as unusable. In this study we present techniques that have been developed to optimize the processing of airborne GNSS-R data, with the goal of improving its accuracy and robustness under non-optimal conditions. This approach is based on the detailed analysis of data produced by the instrument GLORI, which was recorded during an airborne campaign in the south west of France in June 2015. Our technique relies on the improved determination of reflected waveform peaks in the delay dimension, which is related to the loci of the signals contributed by the zone surrounding the specular point. It is shown that when developing techniques for the correct localization of waveform maxima under conditions of surfaces of low reflectivity, and/or contamination from the direct signal, it is possible to correct and extract values corresponding to the real reflectivity of the zone in the neighborhood of the specular point. This algorithm was applied to a reanalysis of the complete campaign dataset, following which the accuracy and sensitivity improved, and the usability of the dataset was improved by 30%. View Full-Text
Keywords: airborne; GNSS-R; land; processing airborne; GNSS-R; land; processing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Motte, E.; Zribi, M. Optimizing Waveform Maximum Determination for Specular Point Tracking in Airborne GNSS-R. Sensors 2017, 17, 1880.

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