The transition of the freeze–thaw state of the land surface soil occurs every year with the season and is closely related to the human living environment. The freezing and thawing changes of the ground surface have important effects on hydrological activities, meteorological conditions, and ecological gas dynamics. Traditional monitoring methods have their limitations. In the past two decades, the emerging GNSS-R/IR (Global Navigation Satellite System-Reflectometry/Interference Reflectometry) technology has provided a new method for monitoring the surface f state; however, fewer works have paid attention to the scattering mechanism models in the current study. In this paper, a forward GNSS multipath model suitable for a complex cold surface is developed. The dielectric constant model with different surface parameters is added. The calculation of snow layer attenuation is employed to take the snow cover into consideration. Based on the first-order radiation transfer equation model, a polarization synthesis method is used to obtain the circularly and linearly polarized vegetation specular scattering characteristics. The surface characteristics and antenna model are coupled. A more detailed forward GNSS multipath model of frozen and thawed soil under complex surface conditions is established. The model is used to simulate and analyze the forward GNSS multipath (Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), phase and pseudorange) responses of frozen and thawed soil under complex surface conditions (soil salinity, snow and vegetation coverage). Studies have shown that when the soil changes from freezing to thawing due to the change in the phase of the water in the soil, the dielectric constant and BRCS (bi-static radar cross-section) increase, causing the increase in the amplitude of the multipath observation. The higher the salinity content, the larger the amplitude of the multipath observation. The attenuation of the snow cover and the vegetation layer will lead to the reduction of the multipath observation amplitude. For the first time, the model developed by this paper reveals the GNSS multipath observation response of frozen and thawed soil under complex surface conditions in detail, which can provide some theoretical support for subsequent experimental design and data analysis.
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