GNSS-IR Model of Sea Level Height Estimation Combining Variational Mode Decomposition
Journal article, 2021

The Global Navigation Satellite System-Reflections (GNSS-R) signal has been confirmed to be used to retrieve sea level height. At present, the GNSS-Interferometric Reflectometry (GNSS-IR) technology based on the least square method to process signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) data is restricted by the satellite elevation angle in terms of accuracy and stability. This paper proposes a new GNSS-IR model combining variational mode decomposition (VMD) for sea level height estimation. VMD is used to decompose the SNR data into intrinsic mode functions (IMF) of layers with different frequencies, remove the IMF representing the trend item of the SNR data, and reconstruct the remaining IMF components to obtain the SNR oscillation item. In order to verify the validity of the new GNSS-IR model, the measurement data provided by the Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden is used to evaluate the performance of the algorithm and its stability in high elevation range. The experimental results show that the VMD method has good results in terms of accuracy and stability, and has advantages compared to other methods. For the half-year GNSS SNR data, the root mean square error (RMSE) and correlation coefficient of the new model based on the VMD method are 4.86 cm and 0.97, respectively.

Signal to noise ratio

Sea level Height

Sea level

Sea surface





Sea measurements


Global navigation satellite system


Yuan Hu

Shanghai Ocean University

Xintai Yuan

Shanghai Ocean University

W. Liu

Shanghai Maritime University

J Wickert

German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ)

Zhihao Jiang

Shanghai Ocean University

Rüdiger Haas

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Microwave and Optical Remote Sensing

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

1939-1404 (ISSN) 2151-1535 (eISSN)

Vol. 14 10405-10414

Subject Categories


Probability Theory and Statistics

Signal Processing



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