Consolidating the precision of interferometric GNSS-R ocean altimetry using airborne experimental data
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
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This paper revises the precision of altimetric measurements made with signals of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) reflected (GNSS-R) off the sea surface. In particular, we investigate the performance of two different GNSS-R techniques, referred to here as the clean-replica and interferometric approaches. The former has been used in GNSS-R campaigns since the late 1990s, while the latter has only been tested once, in 2010, from an 18-m-high bridge in static conditions and estuary waters. In 2011, we conducted an airborne experiment over the Baltic Sea at 3-km altitude to test the interferometric concept in dynamic and rougher conditions. The campaign also flew a clean-replica GNSS-R instrument with the purpose of comparing both approaches. We have analyzed with detail the data sets to extract and validate models of the noise present in both techniques. After predicting the noise models and verifying these with aircraft data, we used them to obtain the precision of altimetric measurements and to extrapolate the performance analysis to spaceborne scenarios. The main conclusions are that the suggested noise model agrees with measured data and that the GNSS-R interferometric technique is at least two times better in precision than a technique based on using a clean replica of the publicly available GPS code. This represents a factor of at least four times finer along-track resolution. A precision of 22 cm in 65-km along-track averaging should be achievable using near-nadir interferometric GNSS-R observations from a low earth orbiter.
CitationCardellach, E. [et al.]. Consolidating the precision of interferometric GNSS-R ocean altimetry using airborne experimental data. "IEEE transactions on geoscience and remote sensing", Agost 2014, vol. 52, núm. 8, p. 4992-5004.
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