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Airborne radio-frequency interference studies at C-band using a digital receiver

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10 Author(s)
J. T. Johnson ; Dept. of Electr., Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH, USA ; A. J. Gasiewski ; B. Guner ; G. A. Hampson
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Corruption of C-band microwave brightness observations by radio-frequency interference (RFI) has been reported in recent data from orbiting radiometers; methods for mitigating these effects are of great importance for the design of future spaceborne microwave radiometers. One approach that has been suggested involves the use of multiple subchannels at C-band as opposed to a single channel; the use of multiple subchannels allows RFI to be detected and mitigated by analyzing relationships among subchannel brightnesses. While this approach has been utilized in previous airborne measurements, demonstrations of the RFI mitigation performance achieved have been difficult to obtain. To address this issue, an enhanced airborne system for observing radio-frequency interference effects on C-band microwave radiometers was developed, and is described in this paper. The system includes a traditional microwave radiometer with four C-band subchannels, so that RFI removal is possible using a subchannel mitigation algorithm. In addition, the system includes a digital receiver with the capability of providing high temporal and spectral resolution observations of interference. This high-resolution data allows improved understanding of RFI sources to be obtained, and also allows analysis of subchannel mitigation algorithm performance. Observations using the system in a test flight near Wallops Island, VA are described. Results show the four subchannel approach generally to be effective in mitigating the observed RFI sources, although examples are also illustrated using the digital receiver data to demonstrate failure of this approach. While studies of the digital receiver data alone could be performed to demonstrate further improvements in RFI mitigation, issues with this initial dataset limit the extent of such studies. Nevertheless, the results obtained still demonstrate qualitatively the improved RFI mitigation that can be achieved in brightness observations through the use of digit- - al receivers

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IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 7 )