Enabling & Support

Interferometric Radio Occultation

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology
658 - Abstract:
This invention presents a new technique to perform radio occultation based on the periodicity of the acquisition codes present in all GNSS navigation signals. The approach is to perform the complex auto-correlation of the received signal at a multiple number of periods of those codes, instead of cross correlating it with a local signal model, and hence, has been referred to as interferometric radio occultation.

Description:

The invention proposes a new technique to perform radio occultation as an add-on to a GNSS reflectometry instrument based on an interferometric approach. The interferometric approach consist of performing the complex auto-correlation function of the received signal that was transmitted by a rising or setting GNSS satellite. The main characteristic is that this technique uses the received signal as reference in the cross-correlation process which leads to the phase observables, as opposed to a clean code replica. Because this translates into performing the complex auto-correlation of the received signal, the technique is referred to as interferometric radio occultation.

Innovations and advantages:

The main innovation is the capacity of using the same interferometric approach in both, GNSS reflectometry and radio occultation. Allowing to perform interferometric reflectometry and radio occultation, simultaneously in an efficient and high performance way. This also can be translated to cost savings regarding on the design of GNSS remote sensing payloads.

Commercialisation aspects

Applications and Markets

The main application and market of that solution include the sum of those derived from the interferometric reflectometry and radio occultation. Those applications included the fields of meteorology and climatology, oceanography and cryosphere observations. This technology could allow the deployment of a constellation of satellites for remote sensing.   

Intellectual property status

UK, European and US patent applications have been filed.

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