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Open AccessArticle

GNSS-R Altimetry Performance Analysis for the GEROS Experiment on Board the International Space Station

CommSensLab, Unidad de Excelencia María de Maeztu, Department of Signal Theory and Communications, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, E-08034 Barcelona, Spain
Institut d’Estudis Espacial de Catalunya/Centre de Tecnologies Espacials-Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, UPC Campus Nord, E-08034 Barcelona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2017, 17(7), 1583;
Received: 11 May 2017 / Revised: 2 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 July 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
The GEROS-ISS (GNSS rEflectometry, Radio Occultation and Scatterometry onboard International Space Station) is an innovative experiment for climate research, proposed in 2011 within a call of the European Space Agency (ESA). This proposal was the only one selected for further studies by ESA out of ~25 ones that were submitted. In this work, the instrument performance for the near-nadir altimetry (GNSS-R) mode is assessed, including the effects of multi-path in the ISS structure, the electromagnetic-bias, and the orbital height decay. In the absence of ionospheric scintillations, the altimetry rms error is <50 cm for a swath <~250 km and for U10 <10 m/s. If the transmitted power is 3 dB higher (likely to happen at beginning of life of the GNSS spacecrafts), mission requirements (rms error is <50 cm) are met for all ISS heights and for U10 up to 15 m/s. However, around 1.5 GHz, the ionosphere can induce significant fading, from 2 to >20 dB at equatorial regions, mainly after sunset, which will seriously degrade the altimetry and the scatterometry performances of the instrument. View Full-Text
Keywords: GNSS-R; altimetry; error budget; ionosphere; scintillations GNSS-R; altimetry; error budget; ionosphere; scintillations
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Camps, A.; Park, H.; Sekulic, I.; Rius, J.M. GNSS-R Altimetry Performance Analysis for the GEROS Experiment on Board the International Space Station. Sensors 2017, 17, 1583.

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