, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 231-241
Date: 17 Jun 2011

Altimetry with GNSS-R interferometry: first proof of concept experiment

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Abstract

The Global Navigation Satellite System Reflectometry (GNSS-R) concept was conceived as a means to densify radar altimeter measurements of the sea surface. Until now, the GNSS-R concept relied on open access to GNSS transmitted codes. Recently, it has been proposed that the ranging capability of the technique for ocean altimetric applications can be improved by using all the signals transmitted in the bandwidth allocated to GNSS, which includes open access as well as encrypted signals. The main objective of this study is to provide experimental proof of this enhancement through a 2-day experiment on the Zeeland Bridge (The Netherlands). In the experiment, we used a custom built GNSS-R system, composed of high gain GPS antennas, calibration subsystem, and an FPGA-based signal processor which implemented the new concepts, an X-band radar altimeter and a local geodetic network. The results obtained indicate that the new approach produces a significant improvement in GNSS-R altimetric performance.