GPS-R L1 interference signal processing for soil moisture estimation

an experimental study

Songhua Yan*, Zhengyong Li, Kegen Yu, Kefei Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Global positioning system reflectometry (GPS-R) is an emerging area of GPS applications in microwave remote sensing using multipath reflected signals. Soil moisture estimation is one of the many potential applications of the GPS-R technique. The focus of this study is on investigating the feasibility of soil moisture estimation based on GPS L1 band interference signals which can be readily captured using a low-cost off-the-shelf L1-band GPS receiver. The theoretical background is studied, and the field experiments conducted are described. Power spectrum analysis is performed on the received interference signals to determine the interference signal frequency variation, and cosine similarity is applied to identify the initial phase change. Data collected at a number of continuously operating GPS stations are also analyzed. The results demonstrate that both interference signal frequency and phase have changed significantly after rainfalls occurred. That is, it is possible to estimate soil moisture by analyzing the frequency change and phase shift. However, it is also observed that the phase shift is inconsistent in some cases. Ongoing work will focus on figuring out the source of the inconsistency so that reliable estimation of soil moisture can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEurasip Journal on Advances in Signal Processing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cosine similarity
  • GPS reflectometry
  • Interference signal
  • Power spectrum analysis
  • Soil moisture estimation

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