Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere using GNSS signals

This activity is related to the study and the implementation of algorithms for the inversion of GNSS observations carried out from space and from ground, for the remote sensing of the terrestrial atmosphere. In the past RSG has been involved in several projects, mainly founded by Italian Space Agency, for the evaluation of the feasibility and effectiveness of Radio Occultation technique for climate and operational meteorology applications. These studies have had great impact for the development of the first Italian GPS Radio Occultation receiver (namely Lagrange) in 2000. Its evolution, the ROSA receiver, was the first Radio Occultation GPS receiver implementing the Open Loop technique for the tracking of GPS signals emerging from the troposphere. RSG actively participate (founded by Laben S.p.A., now Thales Alenia Space Italy) in the development of the on-board software for the Open Loop management of the ROSA receiver.

Actually, the responsible of the RSG, Prof. Giovanni Perona, is the Principal Investigator of the project funded by Italian Space Agency for the development of the ROSA Ground Segment, namely the entire HW and SW infrastructure responsible for the processing of ROSA data collected on board the forthcoming OCEANSAT-2 mission.

RSG is presently working on the Phase A study for the development and implementation of the ROSA – Second Generation, the future Italian GNSS RO Receiver.

Some additional research activities are currently under development for the identification of signal reflected off from the ocean and terrain surfaces inside the ROSA received GPS signal and the use of GPS RO sensors for altimetric and scatterometric applications. Valuable applications are also expected for monitoring sea ice, whilst the use of this technique for land observation (soil moisture, vegetation biomass, etc. ), is presently a challenging research topic.

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