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A GPS-Reflections Receiver That Computes Doppler/Delay Maps in Real Time

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4 Author(s)
Nogues-Correig, O. ; Inst. de Ciencies de I''Espai, CSIC-IEEC, Barcelona ; Gali, E.C. ; Campderros, J.S. ; Rius, A.

This paper describes a new instrument that was specially designed and developed to gather Global Positioning System (GPS) signals after they have been reflected from suitable surfaces (sea, ice, and ground), for Earth remote sensing. The device has been called the GPS open-loop differential real-time receiver (GOLD-RTR). Its main and most innovative feature is its computation and storage, in real time, of complex-valued (I and Q) cross correlations (waveforms) between GPS L1-C/A signals - received directly and after reflection - and the corresponding models of these signals. Particularly, the GOLD-RTR schedules consecutive coherent integration time slots of 1 ms over which ten parallel correlation channels, with 64 lags each, work simultaneously and continuously with the input raw data sampled at 40 MHz. The total throughput is 10 000 waveforms per second, each waveform being 64 lags long. These real-time correlation resources can be flexibly distributed in several configurations according to the observational requirements, for instance: Doppler/delay maps or up to ten simultaneous reflected waveforms for ten different GPS satellites are examples of what can be done. The further processing of the real-time computed 1-ms waveforms in a flight campaign over the ocean, ice, or ground can be used to obtain geophysical parameters such as sea level and tides, sea surface mean-square slopes, ice roughness and thickness, soil moisture and biomass, or future applications. This paper covers the GOLD-RTR architecture and hardware, signal processing and data storage issues, machine-user interface, laboratory readiness tests, and waveform data samples from the first two jet aircraft campaigns at 9300 m over the sea

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 1 )