The Earth is illuminated in the microwave frequency range by hundreds of communication and broadcasting satellites from geostationary orbit. Their potential for remote sensing of the Earth is enormous, as the collective power and frequency range of the transmitted signals surpasses that of earth-observation satellites, and their broad frequency range makes them suitable for atmosphere, land, ocean and cryosphere applications.
Although primarily not intended for remote sensing, communication satellites may play a key role in the next generation of space-borne remote sensing missions. Compared to classical radar and radiometer systems, the use of the so-called signals of opportunity has significant advantages when measurements shall be densified in space and time in order to enable the observation of short-time and small-scale geophysical phenomena at global scale. A single only-receiving instrument may simultaneously gather many signals scattered by the Earth's surface, which were transmitted by different sources. In this way the Earth can be covered by better spatial sampling and in less time, compared to standard space-borne radar systems.
Understanding short-time and small-scale ocean surface currents is of paramount importance to better understand global ocean dynamics. For that reason the proposed PhD study will focus on how the speed and direction of sea-surface currents can be measured directly through the Doppler signatures of the broadcast TV signals reflected on the sea surface.
The work will comprise the study of the instrumental concept, mission coverage, instrument prototype development, field testing, and data analysis.
Interested candidates, please contact ribo @ ice.csic.es as soon as possible.