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2023 GNSS Interferometric Reflectometry Short Course

Date(s): May 2-5, 2023
Location: Virtual
Deadline: Registration closes April 16th @ 11:59pm US Eastern

Times: 2 hours each day – 11:00am – 1:00pm US ET, 17:00-19:00 CET
Primary Audience: Graduate students, and postdocs from the Earth Science
Secondary Audience: Geodesists, hydrologists, oceanographers, and cryosphere scientists

Description and Learning Objectives

GNSS-IR is a method for estimating environmental parameters using data from geodetic-quality GNSS sites.  It is used to measure changing conditions below a GNSS antenna such as snow depth, soil moisture, and water levels. By the end of the workshop we anticipate that participants will be able to 

  • Describe the accuracy and precision of the GNSS-IR technique.
  • Describe the strengths/weaknesses of the GNSS-IR technique for each of the following cases: snow accumulation, soil moisture, and water levels.
  • Install the gnssrefl software prior to the class using the online instructions and one of three sources: the github source code repository, the Jupyter Notebooks, or via a docker.  
  • Use the gnssrefl software to 
    • Download GNSS data and orbits from global archives
    • Analyze GNSS data for environmental sensing applications such as soil moisture, snow depth, and water levels.

Prerequisite, Computers and Data

  • Students must provide their own computing platform. 
  • A stable and robust internet connection is required for downloads and streaming a virtual meeting.
  • Depending on the installation method used, the gnssrefl software package requires 0.25 to 1 gigabytes of disk space.
    • Students using the docker version of gnssrefl must use linux, a PC, or a Mac.
    • Students familiar with python may prefer to install the source code from github or the pypi repository.


May 2. Basic principles of GNSS-IR, How to run the gnssrefl software

May 3. Hydrologic Applications: snow accumulation and soil moisture

May 4. Water applications: lakes, rivers, tides

May 5: Site installations: optimizing deployment of geodetic and low-cost sensors


Kristine Larson – University of Bonn
Simon Williams – National Oceanography Centre
Makan Karegar – University of Bonn
Tim Dittmann – EarthScope Consortium
Kelly Enloe – EarthScope Consortium
Felipe Nievinski, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

This short course is co-sponsored by the Collaborative Research Center 1502 DETECT, University of Bonn


Please contact communityat