Partnering to fly the Next-generation of Global Navigation Satellite System Receivers for Advancing Earth Observation


In the Rongowai (sensing water) project, a next-generation Global Navigation Satellite Systems Reflectometry (GNSS-R) sensor is being mounted on an Air New Zealand Q300 aircraft, enabling greatly improved observations of soil moisture and inundation dynamics. The observations will provide an unprecedented high spatial and temporal resolution, wide-coverage measurements for analysis of soil moisture and inundation dynamics across New Zealand’s diverse landscapes. The mission will test a follow-on sensor for NASA’s CyGNSS mission, which is comprised of 8 Low Earth Orbiting spacecraft that receive both direct and reflected signals from GPS satellites. Here, we will test a new version of the sensors used on the CyGNSS satellites, which include additional signal frequencies and will incorporate Galileo (E.U.) GNSS satellites in addition to GPS.


The GRI is working with the University of Auckland, in partnership with Air New Zealand and the University of Michigan, Ohio State University and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We will be working with the data obtained to develop and test algorithms for retrieval of soil moisture and surface inundation extent.

Project Team: Prof. Delwyn Moller (Project lead, University of Auckland), Prof. Matthew Wilson (GRI)


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