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Earth Observation

  • HydroGNSS reflectometry pillars.

Developing instruments for Radio Occultations and GNSS Reflectometry

This group is actively involved in developing new algorithms and researching on the possibility to retrieve heavy rain estimates using polarimetric Radio Occultation, as well as GNSS Reflectometry, and remote sensing using digital satellite TV signals.


Remote sensing of the Earth

Signals transmitted by Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and acquired by low-earth orbiting satellites in Radio Occultation (RO) geometries are currently being used extensively on an operational basis, to provide humidity and density profiles of the Earth atmosphere. The resulting data is highly valuable for numerical weather predictions. Furthermore, GNSS signals are strongly reflected off the ocean surface, the polar caps, and even land. By acquiring these reflected signals and processing them appropriately, properties of the reflecting surface can be derived, as for instance the sea surface roughness or the sea surface altitude or ice surface elevation. This is known as GNSS Reflectometry (GNSS-R).

Earth observation device.

Focus

The Earth Observation group at ICE-CSIC aims at understanding how the SoOP can be used for remote sensing of the Earth. We have three main areas of research, Radio Occultations, GNSS Reflectometry, and remote sensing using digital satellite TV signals.

We investigate which signal properties make this new way of remote sensing advantageous compared to other techniques, how they complement each other, and what are the instrumental implications for future remote sensing missions. We achieve this by implementing our own instruments and using them in experimental campaigns, developing models and simulations tools, and by proposing and participating in GNSS-R space-borne missions, such as PARIS IoD, GEROS-ISS or G-TERN.

We are also involved in the development of new algorithms for the EUMETSAT's Radio Occultation Meteorology Satellite Application Facility (ROM-SAF).

In addition, we are researching the possibility to retrieve heavy rain estimates using polarimetric RO, for the first time ever. This new measurement technique was conceived at ICE-CSIC, and we are leading the ROHP-PAZ experiment on-board the PAZ satellite, its proof-of-concept experiment. PAZ is scheduled to be launched in February 2018.

Senior institute members involved

Meet the senior researchers who participate in this research group.

  • Estel Cardellach

  • Serni Ribó

  • Antonio Rius