Water makes its mark on GPS signals

Clara Chew
<span title="2022-02-01">2022</span> <i title="AIP Publishing"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/container/6jovszxj2jeptgymwhghz5hjnq" style="color: black;">Physics today</a> </i> &nbsp;
Despite GPS's popularity, few are aware of an unintended use of its signals. Aside from providing location information, GPS signals can be used to glean information about Earth's hydrologic cycle. They can distinguish whether the surface is wet or dry, how much water is contained in the soil and vegetation, and how much snow is on the ground. Although GPS satellites were first launched in the late 1970s, their use as a remote-sensing tool was not explored until the mid 1990s. Since then,
more &raquo; ... e ground and airplane experiments have shown transmitted GPS signals to be sensitive to a host of geophysical variables, such as near-surface soil moisture, snow depth, flood-inundation extent, sea-ice concentration, and ocean-surface winds. Now researchers are expanding their efforts to investigate how GPS signals recorded by satellites could revolutionize remote sensing.
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