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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Soil Moisture Active–Passive (SMAP) radiometer has been providing geolocated power moments measured within a 24 MHz band in the protected portion of L-band, i.e., 1400–1424 MHz, with 1.2 ms and 1.5 MHz time and frequency resolutions, as its Level 1A data. This paper presents important spectral and temporal properties of the radio frequency interference (RFI) in the protected portion of L-band using SMAP Level 1A data. Maximum and average bandwidth and duration of RFI signals, average RFI-free spectrum availability, and variations in such properties between ascending and descending satellite orbits have been reported across the world. The average bandwidth and duration of individual RFI sources have been found to be usually less than 4.5 MHz and 4.8 ms; and the average RFI-free spectrum is larger than 20 MHz in most regions with exceptions over the Middle East and Central and Eastern Asia. It has also been shown that, the bandwidth and duration of RFI signals can vary as much as 10 MHz and 10 ms, respectively, between ascending and descending orbits over certain locations. Furthermore, to identify frequencies susceptible to RFI contamination in the protected portion of L-band, observed RFI signals have been assigned to individual 1.5 MHz SMAP channels according to their frequencies. It has been demonstrated that, contrary to common perception, the center of the protected portion can be as RFI contaminated as its edges. Finally, there have been no significant correlations noted among different RFI properties such as amplitude, bandwidth, and duration within the 1400–1424 MHz band


This is the Publisher’s PDF of the following article made available by Remote Sensing: Aksoy, M.; Rajabi, H.; Atrey, P.; Mohamed Nazar, I. Characteristics of the Global Radio Frequency Interference in the Protected Portion of L-Band. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 253.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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