Radar Scatterometer Measurements of Sea Ice: The SURSAT Experiment.
KANSAS UNIV/CENTER FOR RESEARCH INC LAWRENCE REMOTE SENSING LAB
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The radar backscatter properties of sea ice were measured using both a surface-based and a helicopter-borne scatterometer system. Thick first-year sea ice, thin first-year sea ice, brackish sea ice, and fresh-water inland lake ice were investigated. These ice sites were located off or near the Canadian coast at Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., Canada. This paper describes the field experiment, documents the sensors used, and presents the result obtained. Measurements in the 8-18 GHz region verify the ability of radar to distinguish between the different ice types. For angles of incidence greater than 40 degrees VV polarization and 9 GHz frequency appear to provide the best discrimination capability. A strong correlation between radar scattering cross-section and the salinity of ice was observed. Higher salinity ice types produced higher scattering coefficients. Effects of snow cover on lake ice was also investigated. Removal of the snow cover produced significantly lower scattering coefficients which demonstrates the importance of snow cover as a parameter in the radar backscatter return mechanisms of ice.
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost
- Active and Passive Radar Detection and Equipment