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The Nature of Microwave Backscattering from Water Waves,
TRW SPACE AND TECHNOLOGY GROUP REDONDO BEACH CA
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Our recent laboratory study shows that Bragg scattering by itself is not an adequate description for microwave backscattering from water waves. It may account for part of the scattering, but reflection from specular facets and wedge-like diffractive scattering from small radius crests of waves can predominate. Our first experiment was performed on wave paddle-generated short gravity waves. Using a scanning laser slope gauge to measure the surface and the moments method to compute the scattering, we found that the small radius crests of such waves can be the more dominant source of scattering and that the description of such scattering is closer to wedge diffraction than Bragg scattering. Bragg scattering does describe the scattering from the parasitic capillaries. We also found that specular reflection is more important than generally expected.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE