IEEE JSTARS Special Issue: Call for Papers

Special Issue: IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing

Call for Papers

Reflectometry using GNSS and Other Signals of Opportunity

Reflectometry using signals of opportunity is an emerging approach to microwave remote sensing in which existing signals, transmitted for various purposes, are utilized as sources of illumination. A unique technique in its own right, bistatic microwave reflectometry embodies some features of active radar scatterometry, passive radiometry, and altimetry.

The first reflectometry demonstration of ocean wind measurements, using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals, was published 14 years ago. In the decade and half that followed, GNSS reflectometry (“GNSS-R”) applications have expanded to include soil moisture, ocean altimetry, and ice properties, as well as others.    Airborne and ground-based experiments have been used to develop the fundamental measurement principles of GNSS-R and derive empirical model functions for the retrieval of geophysical data. The UK-DMC satellite, launched in 2003, performed a limited collection of experimental GNSS reflections from orbit. More recently, ESA has initiated the Passive Reflectometry and Interferometry System In-Orbit Demonstration (PARIS-IOD) project and NASA has approved the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) mission. Selection of these missions demonstrates the increasing interest in GNSS-R remote sensing by the Earth sciences community.

GNSS signals are particularly suitable for use in reflectometry, as a result of their embedded range coding. GNSS-R applications are limited, however, due to low transmitted power and a restriction to L-band. Recently, some researchers have begun to investigate the application of reflectometry methods to digital signals from communication satellites.  Early experiments using S-band and Ku-band transmissions from commercial direct broadcast satellites have shown promising results, with the expectation that reflectometry methods may soon be extended to all frequencies allocated for Space-to- Earth transmission. There are more than 400 communication satellites orbiting the Earth, most using substantially higher transmission power than GNSS, offering a rich environment in which to evaluate expanded applications for global remote sensing.  Moreover, the technology required is passive and builds on the tremendous strides in digital communication technology for low hardware cost, wide dissemination and ease of use.

Papers are solicited on all techniques, technology, models, and applications of reflectometry. All submissions will be peer reviewed according to the IEEE and Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society guidelines. Submitted articles should not have been published or  be under review elsewhere. Manuscripts should be submitted online at using the Manuscript Central interface.


Guest Editors:

Prof. James L. Garrison, Purdue University (Email:

Dr. Stephen J. Katzberg, NASA Langley Research Center (Email:

Prof. Scott Gleason, Concordia University (Email:

Dr. Estel Cardellach,  Institute for Space Sciences (ICE-CSIC/IEEC) (Email:

Paper Submission Deadline: July 15, 2013,      Publication Date: April 2014