On the Feasibility of Smartphone-based Interferometric GNSS Reflectometry

Mehmet Kurum, Ali Cafer Gurbuz, Claudia Nelson, Lauren Orsini, Mia Scheider

Abstract: This study offers experimental investigation for the feasibility of interferometric Global Navigation Satellites System Reflectometry (GNSS-R) using smartphone built-in GNSS sensor for environmental monitoring. In a typical scenario, a user will hold the phone in hand to sense environment where GNSS signals reflect off. The received signal by the phone will be the coherent addition of the direct signal from the satellite and the reflected signal from the surrounding environment. While the current GNSS-R techniques observe this interference pattern over a long time as the satellite moves, here we propose to change the height of the smartphone for several wavelengths in a short amount of time to obtain an oscillating interference pattern. To verify our hypothesis, we designed an experiment at an open area, where a dual-frequency smartphone is attached to a motorized telescopic mast to change the phone height smoothly by eliminating other factors such as human body and hand. The experiment results support our approach where the acquired C/N0 data shows clearly the expected oscillating interference pattern which depends on the carrier wavelength and satellite elevation angle. This paper summarizes the experimental findings and challenges that need to be resolved in order to truly bring the GNSS-R technique to the mass-market of smartphones.
Published in: Proceedings of the ION 2019 Pacific PNT Meeting
April 8 - 11, 2019
Hilton Waikiki Beach
Honolulu, Hawaii
Pages: 635 - 640
Cite this article: Kurum, Mehmet, Gurbuz, Ali Cafer, Nelson, Claudia, Orsini, Lauren, Scheider, Mia, "On the Feasibility of Smartphone-based Interferometric GNSS Reflectometry," Proceedings of the ION 2019 Pacific PNT Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2019, pp. 635-640.
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