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Spaceborne GNSS-R Observation of Global Lake Level: First Results from the TechDemoSat-1 Mission

by Liwen Xu 1,2, Wei Wan 1,*, Xiuwan Chen 1,2, Siyu Zhu 3, Baojian Liu 1 and Yang Hong 1
Institute of Remote Sensing and GIS, School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Engineering Research Center of Earth Observation and Navigation (CEON), Ministry of Education, Beijing 100871, China
Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(12), 1438;
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 9 June 2019 / Accepted: 15 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
Spaceborne global navigation satellite system reflectometry (GNSS-R) data collected by the UK TechDemoSat-1 (TDS-1) satellite is applied to retrieve global lake levels for the first time. Lake levels of 351 global lakes (area greater than 500 km2 and elevation lower than 3000 m each) are estimated using TDS-1 Level 1b data over 2015–2017. Strong correlations (overall R2 greater than 0.95) are observed among lake levels derived from TDS-1 and other altimetry satellites such as CryoSat-2, Jason, and Envisat (the latter two are collected by Hydroweb), although with large root-mean-square error (RMSE) (tens of meters) mainly due to the fact that TDS-1 is not dedicated for altimetry measuring purpose. Examples of the Caspian Sea and the Poyang Lake show consistent spatial and temporal variations between TDS-1 and other data sources. The results in this paper provide supportive information for further application of GNSS-R constellations to measure altimetry of inland water bodies. View Full-Text
Keywords: TechDemoSat-1; GNSS-R; water level; lake TechDemoSat-1; GNSS-R; water level; lake
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Xu, L.; Wan, W.; Chen, X.; Zhu, S.; Liu, B.; Hong, Y. Spaceborne GNSS-R Observation of Global Lake Level: First Results from the TechDemoSat-1 Mission. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1438.

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