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Sensors 2008, 8(5), 3005-3019; doi:10.3390/s8053005

PAU/GNSS-R: Implementation, Performance and First Results of a Real-Time Delay-Doppler Map Reflectometer Using Global Navigation Satellite System Signals

Remote Sensing Lab, Dept. Teoria del Senyal i Comunicacions, Campus Nord D3, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
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Received: 16 November 2007 / Accepted: 24 April 2008 / Published: 6 May 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Natural Resources and the Environment)
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Abstract

Signals from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) were originally conceived for position and speed determination, but they can be used as signals of opportunity as well. The reflection process over a given surface modifies the properties of the scattered signal, and therefore, by processing the reflected signal, relevant geophysical data regarding the surface under study (land, sea, ice…) can be retrieved. In essence, a GNSS-R receiver is a multi-channel GNSS receiver that computes the received power from a given satellite at a number of different delay and Doppler bins of the incoming signal. The first approaches to build such a receiver consisted of sampling and storing the scattered signal for later post-processing. However, a real-time approach to the problem is desirable to obtain immediately useful geophysical variables and reduce the amount of data. The use of FPGA technology makes this possible, while at the same time the system can be easily reconfigured. The signal tracking and processing constraints made necessary to fully design several new blocks. The uniqueness of the implemented system described in this work is the capability to compute in real-time Delay-Doppler maps (DDMs) either for four simultaneous satellites or just one, but with a larger number of bins. The first tests have been conducted from a cliff over the sea and demonstrate the successful performance of the instrument to compute DDMs in real-time from the measured reflected GNSS/R signals. The processing of these measurements shall yield quantitative relationships between the sea state (mainly driven by the surface wind and the swell) and the overall DDM shape. The ultimate goal is to use the DDM shape to correct the sea state influence on the L-band brightness temperature to improve the retrieval of the sea surface salinity (SSS).
Keywords: GPS reflectometry; Delay-Doppler Maps (DDM); sea state; digital design; embedded system; real-time; field-programmable gate array (FPGA) GPS reflectometry; Delay-Doppler Maps (DDM); sea state; digital design; embedded system; real-time; field-programmable gate array (FPGA)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Marchan-Hernandez, J.F.; Camps, A.; Rodriguez-Alvarez, N.; Bosch-Lluis, X.; Ramos-Perez, I.; Valencia, E. PAU/GNSS-R: Implementation, Performance and First Results of a Real-Time Delay-Doppler Map Reflectometer Using Global Navigation Satellite System Signals. Sensors 2008, 8, 3005-3019.

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