Geophysical Research Letters

Effect of sea roughness on bistatically scattered range coded signals from the Global Positioning System



A series of aircraft experiments was performed using a specialized GPS receiver and a nadir-oriented left hand circularly polarized antenna. This apparatus received reflections of the GPS signals from water surfaces under a variety of sea states. The cross-correlation between the reflected signal and a reference pseudo-random noise code was recorded as a function of the relative time delay. The shape of this function showed a dependence on the roughness of the reflecting surface. This dependence generally followed that predicted by theory for bistatic scattering of range-coded signals. Use of this information as a remote sensing technique for the determination of sea state is discussed.