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Seasonal polarimetric measurements of soil moisture using tower-based GPS bistatic radar

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7 Author(s)
Zavorotny, V. ; NOAA Environ. Technol. Lab., Boulder, CO, USA ; Masters, D. ; Gasiewski, A. ; Bartram, B.
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The results of GPS L-band (L1, λ = 19 cm) surface reflection measurements observed using multiple polarizations and receiving antenna gains are described. The measurements were performed using the 300 m tall ETL Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) tower during summer through fall of 2002. In this experiment, the first seasonal measurements of bare soil moisture from a stationary location using bistatic reflection of signal of opportunity were performed. Several receiving antennas offering various gain and polarization sensitivities were used. Theoretical modeling of bistatic surface scattering shows that the magnitude and width of the reflected waveform depend on the dielectric permittivity of the soil, vegetation cover, and soil roughness. By observing from a fixed tower over low grass, the roughness of the reflecting area remains constant, hence variations in the signal are uniquely related to changes in the dielectric permittivity, and therefore, to soil moisture. To investigate polarization sensitivity of the reflected signal to soil moisture, four endfire (∼ 12 dB) antennas with complete circular and orthogonal polarization sensitivities were used. The high-gain antennas increased the received dynamic range and reduced surface multipath radio wave interference. Seasonal retrievals of soil-moisture content from multi-polarization GPS reflection data is presented and compared with in-situ soil moisture measurements.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2003. IGARSS '03. Proceedings. 2003 IEEE International  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

21-25 July 2003

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