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Tethered Balloon-Based Experiment of Surface Water Height Using Satellite Signals of Opportunity

Lally, Michael and Chamieh, Matthew and Daruwala, Rohan and Duong, Van and Hall, Hunter and Holt, Samuel and Nguyen, Luan and Rafizadeh, Ramin and Fah, Peter Soon and Weng, Kyle and Yuan, Christine and Bewley, Thomas and Alimo, Ryan and Derewa, Chrishma (2020) Tethered Balloon-Based Experiment of Surface Water Height Using Satellite Signals of Opportunity. In: 2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference. IEEE , Piscataway, NJ, pp. 1-7. ISBN 9781728127347.

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Signals of Opportunity (SoOp) is an area of radio science that leverages existing ambient signals from spacecraft, aircraft, and ground-based radio systems to perform radio science without spending time or resources constructing new transmission infrastructure. It has been conceptualized that SmallSats or CubeSats can perform similar SoOp missions by augmenting pre-existing spacecraft missions - specifically radio/radar missions. During the summer of 2019, student-interns at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under the Innovation to Flight (i2F) program tested the first airborne SoOp demo via a tethered aerostat - a valuable step towards getting a SoOp demo in orbit. The airborne SoOp demo received direct and bounced signals from multiple geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO) satellites by using two on-board wide-band grid antennas. One antenna was pointed at the sky at appropriate azimuth and elevation angles to receive a direct GEO signal. The other antenna was pointed at an identical azimuth angle with a mirrored elevation angle so as to receive the same GEO signal reflected from a body of water below. Both antennas were secured on adjustable mounts to allow for pointing changes and permit data collection from multiple satellites. This initial test proves the scientific and technological feasibility of doing further airborne SoOp tests, potentially on aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), high altitude balloons (HAB), and SmallSats or CubeSats.

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Additional Information:© 2020 IEEE. The authors would like to thank Dr. Leon Alkalai, Manager of the JPL Office of Strategic Planning, who initiated and funded the Innovation to Flight Program. The authors would also like to thank the various mentors and advisors who provided guidance and support, including Adrian Stoica, Oscar Avalos, Miles Pellazar, Kirk Barrow, Pasha Beglar, James Black, Eric Contreras, Benjamin Donitz, Jeffrey Hall, Corey Mack, Anne Marinan, Charles Norton, Leonard Ortiz, Michael Pauken, Doug Sheldon, Armen Toorian, Michele Verdugo, Antoni Viros, and Adriana Wall. Bewley gratefully acknowledges funding of a JPL Faculty Research Fellowship during summer 2019, part of which supported this effort. The research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D004). Copyright 2020 California Institute of Technology. Government sponsorship acknowledged.
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Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200828-151636552
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Official Citation:M. Lally et al., "Tethered Balloon-Based Experiment of Surface Water Height Using Satellite Signals of Opportunity," 2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, USA, 2020, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1109/AERO47225.2020.9172774
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105153
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Aug 2020 23:12
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:40

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