Thesis Defense Announcement for Preston Peranich — 03/02/2021 at 3:00 PM

February 22, 2021

Faculty and Students,

You are cordially invited to my thesis defense.

Title: Implementation of UAS-based P-band signals of opportunity receiver for root-zone soil moisture retrieval

When: Tuesday, March 2nd at 3:00 p.m.

Where: Webex (

Candidate: Preston Peranich

Degree: Masters, Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. John Ball
(Major Professor )

Dr. Mehmet Kurum
(Co-Major Professor)

Dr. Ali Gurbuz
(Committee Member)

Dr. Reuben Burch
(Committee Member)


Root-zone soil moisture (RZSM) is an important variable when forecasting plant growth, determining water availability during drought, and understanding evapotranspiration as a flux. However, current methods indirectly estimate RZSM using data assimilation, which requires time-series data to make model-based predictions. This is because direct measurement requires a lower frequency signal, typically P-band and below (<500MHz), to reach root zone depths and, in turn, necessitates a larger antenna to be deployed in space, which is often unfeasible. A new remote sensing technique known as Signals of Opportunity (SoOp) reutilizes transmitted communication signals to perform microwave remote sensing. This means that SoOp platforms need not include a transmitter, but rather rely on passive radar technology to make measurements. This thesis details the development of a UAS-based P-band SoOp receiver instrument. This platform will be used to progress the state-of-art in techniques for direct measurement of RZSM.


Preston Peranich