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Detection and Localization of Terrestrial L Band RFI with GNSS Receivers

posted on 01.11.2021, 18:07 authored by Max RobertsMax Roberts, Thomas K. Meehan, Jeffery Y. Tien, Lawrence E. Young
GNSS signals are critically important for a wide range of commercial, military, and science applications. Recent studies have identified threats to the performance of GNSS from both intended and unintended sources of radio frequency interference (RFI). Understanding the distribution of the sources of RFI and the nature of the signals they are emitting is critical to determine and mitigate their effects on the measurements made by GNSS receivers. Terrestrial RFI can be substantially detrimental to the received GNSS signals, affecting the interpretation of related science measurements. NASA's Blackjack/TriG GNSS receivers are used for precise-orbit determination and radio occultation measurements, providing a data record spanning most of the Earth’s surface for nearly 20 years. We have developed a highly sensitive detection algorithm which uses variations in the measured signal to noise ratio (SNR), on the order of 10-50 seconds, common to all satellites to identify times and locations subject to RFI. Initial work has focused primarily on detection of the presence of RFI and using the receiver’s orbital solution to record the location of detection events. Our inter-mission analysis creates a unique record of global RFI with the potential for a) rigorous detection of the presence of interfering signals during science measurements, b) geolocation of RFI sources, and c) characterization of the nature of the transmitted signal to better identify intent. Preliminary analysis has shown the presence of RFI is well correlated with regional conflicts and other geopolitical activity.


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Submitting Author's Institution

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

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United States of America

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in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing