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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(6), 7471-7493; doi:10.3390/rs70607471

Empirical Results of a Surface-Level GNSS-R Experiment in a Wave Channel

BarcelonaTech Remote Sensing Laboratory and IEEC/UPC, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, UPC Campus Nord, D3, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
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Academic Editors: Richard Gloaguen and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 27 March 2015 / Revised: 29 April 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 5 June 2015
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Abstract

The scattering of GNSS signals over a water surface is studied when the receiver is at a low height, as in GNSS-R coastal altimetry. The precise determination of the local sea level and wave state from the coast will provide useful altimetry and wave information as “dry” tide and wave gauges. An experiment has been conducted at the Canal d'Investigació i Experimentació Marítima (CIEM) wave channel for two simulated “sea” states. The GNSS-reflectometer used is the P(Y) and C/A ReflectOmeter (PYCARO) instrument, a closed-loop receiver with delay and Doppler tracking loops that uses the conventional GNSS-R technique for the GPS C/A code. After retracking of the scattered GPS signals, the coherent and incoherent components have been studied. To reproduce the transmitted GPS signals indoors, a Rohde and Schwarz signal generator is used. It is found that, despite the ratio of the coherent and incoherent components being ~1, the coherent component is strong enough that it can be tracked. The coherent component comes from clusters of points on the surface that approximately satisfy the specular reflection conditions (“roughed facet”). The Pearson’s linear correlation coefficients of the derived “sea” surface height with the wave gauge data are: 0.78, 0.85 and 0.81 for a SWH = 36 cm and 0.34, 0.74, and 0.72 for a SWH = 64 cm, respectively, for transmitter elevation angles of = 60°, 75° and 86°, respectively. Finally, the rms phase of the received signal before the retracking processing is used to estimate the effective rms surface height of the ‘facets’, where the waves get scattered. It is found to be between 2.5- and 4.1-times smaller than the theoretical values corresponding to the half of the coherent reflectivity decaying factor. View Full-Text
Keywords: GNSS-R; coastal altimetry; sea waves; significant wave height GNSS-R; coastal altimetry; sea waves; significant wave height
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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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Carreno-Luengo, H.; Camps, A. Empirical Results of a Surface-Level GNSS-R Experiment in a Wave Channel. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 7471-7493.

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