Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reflected signals can be used to remotely sense the Earth’s surface, known as GNSS reflectometry (GNSS-R). The GNSS-R technique has been applied to numerous areas, such as the retrieval of wind speed, and the detection of Earth surface objects. This work proposes a new application of GNSS-R, namely to detect objects above the Earth’s surface, such as low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. To discuss its feasibility, 14 delay Doppler maps (DDMs) are first presented which contain unusually bright reflected signals as delays shorter than the specular reflection point over the Earth’s surface. Then, seven possible causes of these anomalies are analysed, reaching the conclusion that the anomalies are likely due to the signals being reflected from objects above the Earth’s surface. Next, the positions of the objects are calculated using the delay and Doppler information, and an appropriate geometry assumption. After that, suspect satellite objects are searched in the satellite database from Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Finally, three objects have been found to match the delay and Doppler conditions. In the absence of other reasons for these anomalies, GNSS-R could potentially be used to detect some objects above the Earth’s surface.
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