... Federal Aviation Administration Airborne Radar Altimeter Equipment (For Air Carrier Aircraft) AGENCY..., Airborne Radar Altimeter Equipment (For Air Carrier Aircraft). SUMMARY: This is a confirmation notice of the cancellation of TSO-C67, Airborne Radar Altimeter Equipment (For Air Carrier Aircraft). The...
Fedor, L. S.; Walsh, E. J.
The manner in which airborne and satellite radar altimeters developed and where the trend is leading was investigated. The airborne altimeters have progressed from a broad beamed, narrow pulsed, nadir looking instrument, to a pulse compressed system that is computer controlled, to a scanning pencil beamed system which produce a topographic map of the surface beneath the aircraft in real time. It is suggested that the airborne systems lie in the use of multiple frequencies. The satellite altimeters evolve towards multifrequency systems with narrower effective pulses and higher pulse compression ratios to reduce peak transmitted power while improving resolution. Applications indicate wide swath systems using interferometric techniques or beam limited systems using 100 m diameter antennas.
Ferraro, Ellen J.; Swift, Calvin T.
In 1991, NASA conducted a multisensor airborne altimetry experiment over the Greenland ice sheet. The experiment consisted of ten flights. Four types of radar altimeter retracking algorithms which include the Advanced Application Flight Experiment (AAFE) Ku-band altimeter, the NASA Airborne Oceanographic Lidar (AOL), the NASA Airborne Terrain Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) and the NASA Ka-band Surface Contour Radar (SCR) were used. In this paper, these four continental ice sheet radar altimeter tracking algorithms were compared.
Parsons, C. L. (Editor)
The Multimode Airborne Radar Altimeter (MARA), a flexible airborne radar remote sensing facility developed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, is discussed. This volume describes the scientific justification for the development of the instrument and the translation of these scientific requirements into instrument design goals. Values for key instrument parameters are derived to accommodate these goals, and simulations and analytical models are used to estimate the developed system's performance.
Fedor, L. S.; Hayne, G. S.; Walsh, E. J.
During mid-March 1978, the NASA C-130 aircraft was deployed to Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska, to make a series of flights over ice in the Beaufort Sea. The radar altimeter data analyzed were obtained northeast of Mackenzie Bay on March 14th in the vicinity of 69.9 deg N, 134.2 deg W. The data were obtained with a 13.9 GHz radar altimeter developed under the NASA Advanced Applications Flight Experiments (AAFE) Program. This airborne radar was built as a forerunner of the Seasat radar altimeter, and utilized the same pulse compression technique. Pulse-limited radar data taken with the altimeter from 1500-m altitude over sea ice are registered to high-quality photography. The backscattered power is statistically related the surface conductivity and to the number of facets whose surface normal is directed towards the radar. The variations of the radar return waveform shape and signal level are correlated with the variation of the ice type determined from photography. The AAFE altimeter has demonstrated that the return waveform shape and signal level of an airborne pulse-limited altimeter at 13.9 GHz respond to sea ice type. The signal level responded dramatically to even a very small fracture in the ice, as long as it occurred directly at the altimeter nadir point. Shear zones and regions of significant compression ridging consistently produced low signal levels. The return waveforms frequently evidenced the characteristics of both specular and diffuse scattering, and there was an indication that the power backscattered at 3 deg off-nadir in a shear zone was actually somewhat higher than that from nadir.
Ferraro, Ellen J.; Swift, Calvin T.
This paper compares four continental ice sheet radar altimeter retracking algorithms using airborne radar and laser altimeter data taken over the Greenland ice sheet in 1991. The refurbished Advanced Application Flight Experiment (AAFE) airborne radar altimeter has a large range window and stores the entire return waveform during flight. Once the return waveforms are retracked, or post-processed to obtain the most accurate altitude measurement possible, they are compared with the high-precision Airborne Oceanographic Lidar (AOL) altimeter measurements. The AAFE waveforms show evidence of varying degrees of both surface and volume scattering from different regions of the Greenland ice sheet. The AOL laser altimeter, however, obtains a return only from the surface of the ice sheet. Retracking altimeter waveforms with a surface scattering model results in a good correlation with the laser measurements in the wet and dry-snow zones, but in the percolation region of the ice sheet, the deviation between the two data sets is large due to the effects of subsurface and volume scattering. The Martin et al model results in a lower bias than the surface scattering model, but still shows an increase in the noise level in the percolation zone. Using an Offset Center of Gravity algorithm to retrack altimeter waveforms results in measurements that are only slightly affected by subsurface and volume scattering and, despite a higher bias, this algorithm works well in all regions of the ice sheet. A cubic spline provides retracked altitudes that agree with AOL measurements over all regions of Greenland. This method is not sensitive to changes in the scattering mechanisms of the ice sheet and it has the lowest noise level and bias of all the retracking methods presented.
Drinkwater, Mark R.
Pulse-limited, airborne radar data taken in June and July 1984 with a 13.8-GHz altimeter over the Fram Strait marginal ice zone are analyzed with the aid of large-format aerial photography, airborne synthetic aperture radar data, and surface observations. Variations in the radar return pulse waveforms are quantified and correlated with ice properties recorded during the Marginal Ice Zone Experiment. Results indicate that the wide-beam altimeter is a flexible instrument, capable of identifying the ice edge with a high degree of accuracy, calculating the ice concentration, and discriminating a number of different ice classes. This suggests that microwave radar altimeters have a sensitivity to sea ice which has not yet been fully exploited. When fused with SSM/I, AVHRR and ERS-1 synthetic aperture radar imagery, future ERS-1 altimeter data are expected to provide some missing pieces to the sea ice geophysics puzzle.
... [Federal Register Volume 77, Number 14 (Monday, January 23, 2012)] [Notices] [Pages 3323-3324] [FR... Engineering Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012-1243 Filed 1-20-12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE... cancelling TSO-C67. Please note that TSO-C87, Airborne Low Range Radio Altimeter, is currently used for...
Vandemark, Doug; Hancock, David; Tran, Ngan
A computer program has been written to perform several analyses of radar altimeter data. The program was designed to improve on previous methods of analysis of altimeter engineering data by (1) facilitating and accelerating the analysis of large amounts of data in a more direct manner and (2) improving the ability to estimate performance of radar-altimeter instrumentation and provide data corrections. The data in question are openly available to the international scientific community and can be downloaded from anonymous file-transfer- protocol (FTP) locations that are accessible via links from altimetry Web sites. The software estimates noise in range measurements, estimates corrections for electromagnetic bias, and performs statistical analyses on various parameters for comparison of different altimeters. Whereas prior techniques used to perform similar analyses of altimeter range noise require comparison of data from repetitions of satellite ground tracks, the present software uses a high-pass filtering technique to obtain similar results from single satellite passes. Elimination of the requirement for repeat-track analysis facilitates the analysis of large amounts of satellite data to assess subtle variations in range noise.
Grund, Matthew D.
This thesis presents documentation for the Advanced Application Flight Experiment (AAFE) pulse compression radar altimeter and its role in the NASA Multisensor Airborne Altimetry Experiment over Greenland in 1993. The AAFE Altimeter is a Ku-band microwave radar which has demonstrated 14 centimeter range precision in operation over arctic ice. Recent repairs and improvements were required to make the Greenland missions possible. Transmitter, receiver and software modifications, as well as the integration of a GPS receiver are thoroughly documented. Procedures for installation, and operation of the radar are described. Finally, suggestions are made for further system improvements.
Choy, L. W.; Hammond, D. L.; Uliana, E. A.
Electromagnetic bias, the small difference that exists between the radar measured mean sea level and the geometric mean sea level is an important issue in high precision satellite altimetry. Present day satellite altimetry has achieved, with SEASAT-1, a precision of 5 cm rms in the range measurement. Future altimeter designs are expected to improve the range measurement precision to cm rms. In order to exploit the capability of these precise radar altimeters are marine geodesy and oceanography, it is necessary to understand and account for all of the known biases in the range measurement. The electromagnetic bias or the EM bias, which has been attributed to the observed fact that ocean wave troughs tend to be better reflectors of nadir viewing microwave radar energy than ocean wave crests, can be observed with high resolution airborne radar. This report presents the results of the EM bias measurements made by NRL using an airborne radar altimeter operating at 10 GHz with a 1 ns range resolution. Data were taken for various sea states and wind conditions. The experimental results are compared with current theories.
Newkirk, Michael H.; Brown, Gary S.
An algorithm has been developed to model the average return power waveforms available from general radar altimeter systems, such as the Multimode Airborne Radar Altimeter (MARA) system operated at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Wallops Flight Facility. The algorithm is based on a convolutional model comprised of three functions: the average flat surface impulse response (FSIR), the radar system point target response (PTR), and the height pdf of the specular points on the sea surface. The FSIR is modified to account for the asymmetric antenna beam used by the MARA system, and then certain properties of this modified SIR are exploited to obtain closed-form expressions that can be rapidly evaluated. An FFT convolution routine is used to further speed up the computations. The result is an algorithm that can be used to study the effects of pointing errors in surface measurements.
Klosko, Steven M.
Clearly a calibration of the TOPEX altimeter (and future TOPEX-class altimeters) which is more accurate and better prepared to meet the demands of global sea level trend monitoring is warranted. TOPEX/Posideon (T/P) is in its second year of data acquisition. If it survives or surpasses the two to five year projected baseline, an unprecedented opportunity for monitoring global sea level trends at mm/y levels will have been lost due to insufficient accuracy in its altimeter calibration. It is therefore paramount to revisit the design of the T/P calibration experiment and implement a more direct approach which better utilizes the accuracy of SLR to perform this needed bias assessment.
Berkun, Andrew C.; Pollard, Brian D.; Chen, Curtis W.
A sequencer for a radar altimeter provides accurate attitude information for a reliable soft landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). This is a field-programmable- gate-array (FPGA)-only implementation. A table loaded externally into the FPGA controls timing, processing, and decision structures. Radar is memory-less and does not use previous acquisitions to assist in the current acquisition. All cycles complete in exactly 50 milliseconds, regardless of range or whether a target was found. A RAM (random access memory) within the FPGA holds instructions for up to 15 sets. For each set, timing is run, echoes are processed, and a comparison is made. If a target is seen, more detailed processing is run on that set. If no target is seen, the next set is tried. When all sets have been run, the FPGA terminates and waits for the next 50-millisecond event. This setup simplifies testing and improves reliability. A single vertex chip does the work of an entire assembly. Output products require minor processing to become range and velocity. This technology is the heart of the Terminal Descent Sensor, which is an integral part of the Entry Decent and Landing system for MSL. In addition, it is a strong candidate for manned landings on Mars or the Moon.
Hildebrand, P. H.; Mueller, C. K.
This paper will discuss the capabilities of airborne Doppler radar for atmospheric sciences research. The evaluation is based on airborne and ground based Doppler radar observations of convective storms. The capability of airborne Doppler radar to measure horizontal and vertical air motions is evaluated. Airborne Doppler radar is shown to be a viable tool for atmospheric sciences research.
Satellite-borne radar altimeters include waveform sampling gates providing point samples of the transmitted radar pulse after its scattering from the ocean's surface. Averages of the waveform sampler data can be fitted by varying parameters in a model mean return waveform. The theoretical waveform model used is described as well as a general iterative nonlinear least squares procedures used to obtain estimates of parameters characterizing the modeled waveform for SEASAT-1 data. The six waveform parameters recovered by the fitting procedure are: (1) amplitude; (2) time origin, or track point; (3) ocean surface rms roughness; (4) noise baseline; (5) ocean surface skewness; and (6) altitude or off-nadir angle. Additional practical processing considerations are addressed and FORTRAN source listing for subroutines used in the waveform fitting are included. While the description is for the Seasat-1 altimeter waveform data analysis, the work can easily be generalized and extended to other radar altimeter systems.
Rossi, Laurence C.
This document provides the guidelines by which the TOPEX Radar Altimeter hardware development effort for the TOPEX flight project shall be implemented and conducted. The conduct of this activity shall take maximum advantage of the efforts expended during the TOPEX Radar Altimeter Advanced Technology Model development program and other related Radar Altimeter development efforts. This document complies with the TOPEX Project Office document 633-420 (D-2218), entitled, "TOPEX Project Requirements and Constraints for the NASA Radar Altimeter" dated December 1987.
Martin, T. V.; Brenner, A. C.; Zwally, H. J.; Bindschadler, R. A.
The Seasat-1 radar altimeter data set acquired over both the Antarctic and Greenland continental ice sheets is analyzed to obtain corrected ranges to the ice surface. The radar altimeter functional response over the continental ice sheets is considerably more complex than over the oceans. Causal factors identified in this complicated response include sloping surfaces, undulating ice surfaces with characteristic wavelengths on the same spatial scale as the altimeter beam-limited footprint, off-track reflections, and dynamic lag of the altimeter tracking circuit. Retracking methods using the altimeter return pulse waveforms give range corrections that are typically several meters. The entire set of Seasat-1 altimetry over the continental ice sheets is being retracked by fitting a multi-parameter function to each waveform. Many waveforms have double ramps indicating near-normal reflections from two distinct portions of the ice surface within the altimeter beam. Two independent range measurements differing by less than 25 m are obtained from retracking the double-ramp waveforms.
Leitao, C. D.; Huang, N.; Parsons, C. L.; Parra, C. G.; Mcmill, J. D.; Hayes, G. S.
Three years of radar altimeter data from GEOS-3 for the South Atlantic Bight were processed. Mean monthly topographic maps were produced which estimate geostrophic flow in the region. Statistical distribution of the surface wind speed and significant wave height as a function of both space and time are presented.
Cavalieri, D. J.; Marksu, T.; Ivanoff, A.; Miller, J. A.; Brucker, L.; Sturm, M.; Maslanik, J. A.; Heinrichs, J. F.; Gasiewski, A.; Leuschen, C.; Krabill, W.; Sonntag, J.
A comparison of snow depths on sea ice was made using airborne altimeters and an Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) simulator. The data were collected during the March 2006 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Arctic field campaign utilizing the NASA P-3B aircraft. The campaign consisted of an initial series of coordinated surface and aircraft measurements over Elson Lagoon, Alaska and adjacent seas followed by a series of large-scale (100 km ? 50 km) coordinated aircraft and AMSR-E snow depth measurements over portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. This paper focuses on the latter part of the campaign. The P-3B aircraft carried the University of Colorado Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR-A), the NASA Wallops Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) lidar altimeter, and the University of Kansas Delay-Doppler (D2P) radar altimeter. The PSR-A was used as an AMSR-E simulator, whereas the ATM and D2P altimeters were used in combination to provide an independent estimate of snow depth. Results of a comparison between the altimeter-derived snow depths and the equivalent AMSR-E snow depths using PSR-A brightness temperatures calibrated relative to AMSR-E are presented. Data collected over a frozen coastal polynya were used to intercalibrate the ATM and D2P altimeters before estimating an altimeter snow depth. Results show that the mean difference between the PSR and altimeter snow depths is -2.4 cm (PSR minus altimeter) with a standard deviation of 7.7 cm. The RMS difference is 8.0 cm. The overall correlation between the two snow depth data sets is 0.59.
Parke, M. E.
The purpose of the study described here is to show comparisons between measurements of the sea surface height by the Seasat radar altimeter and tidal elevations based on gauge data along the coast for two passes by the satellite along the shelf. The results provide initial confirmation that tides can be detected in this region by way of satellite altimetry. The study extends a similar presentation by Parke (1980).
Mastrogiuseppe, M.; Poggiali, V.; Seu, R.; Martufi, R.; Notarnicola, C.
The Cassini Radar is a Ku band multimode instrument capable of providing topographic and mapping information. During several of the 93 Titan fly-bys performed by Cassini, the radar collected a large amount of data observing many dune fields in multiple modes such as SAR, Altimeter, Scatterometer and Radiometer. Understanding dune characteristics, such as shape and height, will reveal important clues on Titan's climatic and geological history providing a better understanding of aeolian processes on Earth. Dunes are believed to be sculpted by the action of the wind, weak at the surface but still able to activate the process of sand-sized particle transport. This work aims to estimate dunes height by modeling the shape of the real Cassini Radar Altimeter echoes. Joint processing of SAR/Altimeter data has been adopted to localize the altimeter footprints overlapping dune fields excluding non-dune features. The height of the dunes was estimated by applying Maximum Likelihood Estimation along with a non-coherent electromagnetic (EM) echo model, thus comparing the real averaged waveform with the theoretical curves. Such analysis has been performed over the Fensal dune field observed during the T30 flyby (May 2007). As a result we found that the estimated dunes' peak to trough heights difference was in the order of 60-120 m. Estimation accuracy and robustness of the MLE for different complex scenarios was assessed via radar simulations and Monte-Carlo approach. We simulated dunes-interdunes different composition and roughness for a large set of values verifying that, in the range of possible Titan environment conditions, these two surface parameters have weak effects on our estimates of standard dune heights deviation. Results presented here are the first part of a study that will cover all Titan's sand seas.
Suter, Joseph J.; Poret, Jay C.; Rosen, Moshe; Giannini, Judith A.; Bhatnagar, Vipul; Kilgus, Charles C.
This paper reports on the system design of an rf-modulated optical link for spaceborne radar altimeter applications and presents results of rf carrier phase noise and phase stability measurements. Our study involved the transmission of rf-modulated optical signals at 834 nm wavelengths using Bias-T and Mach-Zehnder modulators. The rf/microwave signals' phase coherence, modulation levels, and insertion loss are reported. Phase noise measurements revealed a noise floor of at least -118 dBc/Hz at frequencies greater than 100 Hz from a 5-MHz carrier with direct modulation. The phase noise was degraded by about 10 dBc/Hz for external modulation techniques. The rf insertion losses appear smallest for the Bias-T intensity modulators (approximately 30 dB at an 834 nm optical carrier with 5 MHz modulation). The results of modulation experiments with 320 MHz radar altimeter chirps are also presented with an emphasis on coherence, stability, and rise and fall time. The linear FM chirp signal ramps down at a rate of -3.125 MHz/microsecond(s) (+/- 0.5%) and is flat to within +/- 1 dB. Measurements show that this type of FM chirp modulated on optical carriers at 834 nm meets radar altimeter system requirements.
Zelenka, Richard E.
Avionic systems that depend on digitized terrain elevation data for guidance generation or navigational reference require accurate absolute and relative distance measurements to the terrain, especially as they approach lower altitudes. This is particularly exacting in low-altitude helicopter missions, where aggressive terrain hugging maneuvers create minimal horizontal and vertical clearances and demand precise terrain positioning. Sole reliance on airborne precision navigation and stored terrain elevation data for above-ground-level (AGL) positioning severely limits the operational altitude of such systems. A Kalman filter is presented which blends radar altimeter returns, precision navigation, and stored terrain elevation data for AGL positioning. The filter is evaluated using low-altitude helicopter flight test data acquired over moderately rugged terrain. The proposed Kalman filter is found to remove large disparities in predicted AGL altitude (i.e., from airborne navigation and terrain elevation data) in the presence of measurement anomalies and dropouts. Previous work suggested a minimum clearance altitude of 220 ft AGL for a near-terrain guidance system; integration of a radar altimeter allows for operation of that system below 50 ft, subject to obstacle-avoidance limitations.
Finkelstein, J. L.; Rau, M.; McMillan, J. D.
Under a Navy Contract with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, the first GFO satellite was completed in 1997 and launched on 10 February 1998 on an Orbital Taurus launch vehicle. The satellite was operationally accepted on 29 November 2000. With an anticipated 8-year or more life, GFO (http://gfo.bmpcoe.org/Gfo) is a DoD satellite mission managed by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command's (SPAWAR's) Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) Systems Program Office (PMW 155) located in San Diego, California. The satellite is in the same Exact Repeat Orbit (ERO) as the original GEOSAT (800 km by 108 degrees inclination). All GFO's data products are available to the scientific community and are distributed by NOAA's Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry. The primary program objective was to develop an operational series of radar altimeter satellites to maintain continuous ocean observation for accurate global measurements of both mesoscale and basin-scale oceanography. Since its acceptance, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), under contract with the Navy, has provided a team known as the GFO Cal/Val and assisted by NASA and NOAA personnel has undertaken extensive and continuing calibration and validation activities on an exact repeat cycle basis. This paper will discuss the results of those Cal/Val efforts and present charts showing the performance history of the satellite, its sensors (both the Radar Altimeter and the Water Vapor Radiometer), and other relevant performance measures such as orbit accuracy.
Lee, W.; Dodge, P.; Marks, F.D. Jr.; Hildebrand, P.H. NOAA, Miami, FL )
Two sets of equations are derived to (1) map airborne Doppler radar data from an aircraft-relative coordinate system to an earth-relative coordinate system, and (2) remove the platform motion from the observed Doppler velocities. These equations can be applied to data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration WP-3D system, the National Center for Atmospheric Research Electra Doppler Radar (ELDORA) system, and other airborne radar systems.
This work describes a general theory for the simulation of airborne (or spaceborne) radars. It can simulate many types of systems including Airborne Intercept and Airborne Early Warning radars, airborne missile approach warning systems etc. It computes the average Signal-to-Noise ratio at the output of the signal processor. In this manner, one obtains the average performance of the radar without having to use Monte Carlo techniques. The model has provision for a waveform without frequency modulation and one with linear frequency modulation. The waveform may also have frequency hopping for Electronic Counter Measures or for clutter suppression. The model can accommodate any type of encounter including air-to-air, air-to-ground (look-down) and rear attacks. It can simulate systems with multiple phase centers on receive for studying advanced clutter or jamming interference suppression techniques. An Airborne Intercept radar is investigated to demonstrate the validity and the capability of the model.
Crétaux, J.-F.; Bergé-Nguyen, M.; Calmant, S.; Romanovski, V. V.; Meyssignac, B.; Perosanz, F.; Tashbaeva, S.; Arsen, A.; Fund, F.; Martignago, N.; Bonnefond, P.; Laurain, O.; Morrow, R.; Maisongrande, P.
This study presents the results of calibration/validation (C/V) of Envisat satellite radar altimeter over Lake Issykkul located in Kyrgyzstan, which was chosen as a dedicated radar altimetry C/V site in 2004. The objectives are to estimate the absolute altimeter bias of Envisat and its orbit based on cross-over analysis with TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P), Jason-1 and Jason-2 over the ocean. We have used a new method of GPS data processing in a kinematic mode, developed at the Groupe de Recherche de Geodesie Spatiale (GRGS), which allows us to calculate the position of the GPS antenna without needing a GPS reference station. The C/V is conducted using various equipments: a local GPS network, a moving GPS antenna along the satellites tracks over Lake Issykkul, In Situ level gauges and weather stations. The absolute bias obtained for Envisat from field campaigns conducted in 2009 and 2010 is between 62.1 and 63.4 ± 3.7 cm, using the Ice-1 retracking algorithm, and between 46.9 and 51.2 cm with the ocean retracking algorithm. These results differ by about 10 cm from previous studies, principally due to improvement of the C/V procedure. Apart from the new algorithm for GPS data processing and the orbit error reduction, more attention has been paid to the GPS antenna height calculation, and we have reduced the errors induced by seiche over Lake Issykkul. This has been assured using cruise data along the Envisat satellite track at the exact date of the pass of the satellite for the two campaigns. The calculation of the Envisat radar altimeter bias with respect to the GPS levelling is essential to allow the continuity of multi-mission data on the same orbit, with the expected launch of SARAL/Altika mission in 2012. Implications for hydrology in particular, will be to produce long term homogeneous and reliable time series of lake levels worldwide.
Miller, L. S.; Brown, G. S.
Experiment requirements, technical characteristics, and GEOS-C radar altimeter related analyses are discussed along with results of a study on engineering test data requirements. Statistical analyses related to determination of wave height resolution achievable as a function of system characteristics and averaging period are described, in addition to a discussion on the desirability of using computer procedures to compensate for altitude tracker time-jitter. Data processing considerations for the GEOS-C system are examined. An extensive analysis of the spatial filter effect is given and results of a computation of geoidal power spectral density, based on Skylab altimeter data, is displayed and interpreted in terms of projected GEOS-C random errors. This information is then used in deriving minimum-mean-square filter procedures for both geoid undulation and slope data. The characteristics of mean received waveforms as a function of off-nadir angle are used to obtain tracker bias as a function of sea state and pointing angle. The angle estimation process proposed by the GEOS-C hardware contractor is also investigated from a standpoint of achievable angular resolution.
Fu, L. L.
Conventional nadir-looking radar altimeter is based on pulse-limited footprint approach. Near a coast the pulse limited footprint is contaminated by land within the much larger radar footprint, causing data quality to decay within 10 km from a coast. In the open ocean, the instrument noise limits the detection of dynamic ocean signals to wavelengths longer than 70 km. Using the technique of radar interferometry, the proposed Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Mission would reduce instrument noise to resolve ocean signals to 15 km in wavelength over most of the open ocean without land contamination in the coastal zone. Sea surface height would be measured in two dimensions over a swath 120 km wide across the satellite's flight path. SWOT is under development as a joint mission of NASA and the French Space Agency, CNES, with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency and the UK Space Agency. The launch is baselined for 2020. An overview of the projected mission performance for oceanographic applications will be presented. SWOT would also measure the elevation of land surface water with hydrological applications.
Leitao, C. D.; Huang, N. E.; Parra, C. G.
Radar altimeter measurements from the GEOS-3 satellite to the ocean surface indicated the presence of expected geostrophic height differences across the the Gulf Stream. Dynamic sea surface heights were found by both editing and filtering the raw sea surface heights and then referencing these processed data to a 5 minute x 5 minute geoid. Any trend between the processed data and the geoid was removed by subtracting out a linear fit to the residuals in the open ocean. The mean current velocity of 107 + or - 29 cm/sec calculated from the dynamic heights for all orbits corresponded with velocities obtained from hydrographic methods. Also, dynamic topographic maps were produced for August, September, and October 1975. Results pointed out limitations in the accuracy of the geoid, height anomaly deteriorations due to filtering, and lack of dense time and space distribution of measurements.
Young, Steve; deHaag, Maarten Uijt; Gray, Robert
This paper discusses a real-time digital terrain elevation data (DTED) integrity monitor for Civil Aviation applications. Providing pilots with Synthetic Vision (SV) displays containing terrain information has the potential to improve flight safety by improving situational awareness and thereby reducing the likelihood of Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT). Utilization of the DTED for flight-critical terrain-displays, however, requires a DTED integrity check and timely integrity alerts to the pilots in those cases where DTED may provide hazardous misleading information. The discussed integrity monitor checks the consistency between the sensed terrain profile as computed from DGPS and radar altimeter data and the terrain profile as given by the DTED. Probability of agreement between these two profiles is used to monitor the DTED integrity. A case study to verify the integrity monitor#s performance is presented based on data collected during flight testing performed by NASA at Asheville, NC.
Design, development and performance of the pulse compression radar altimeter is described. The high resolution breadboard system is designed to operate from an aircraft at 10 Kft above the ocean and to accurately measure altitude, sea wave height and sea reflectivity. The minicomputer controlled Ku band system provides six basic variables and an extensive digital recording capability for experimentation purposes. Signal bandwidths of 360 MHz are obtained using a reflective array compression line. Stretch processing is used to achieve 1000:1 pulse compression. The system range command LSB is 0.62 ns or 9.25 cm. A second order altitude tracker, aided by accelerometer inputs is implemented in the system software. During flight tests the system demonstrated an altitude resolution capability of 2.1 cm and sea wave height estimation accuracy of 10%. The altitude measurement performance exceeds that of the Skylab and GEOS-C predecessors by approximately an order of magnitude.
Chun, Joohwan; Choi, Sanghyouk; Paek, Inchan; Park, Dongmin; Yoo, Kyungju
We present a preliminary simulation study of an interferometric SAR altimeter for the terrain-aided navigation application. Our simulation includes raw SAR data generation, azimuth compression, leading edge detection of the echo signal, maximum likelihood angle estimation and the Bayesian state estimation. Sour results show that radar altimeter performance can be improved with the feedback loop from the rear-end navigation part.
Sandwell, D. T.; Müller, D.; Garcia, E.; Matthews, K. J.; Smith, W. H. F.; Zaron, E.; Zhang, S.; Bassett, D.; Francis, R.
Marine gravity, derived from satellite radar altimetry, is a powerful tool for mapping tectonic structures, especially in the deep ocean basins where the topography remains unmapped by ships or is buried by thick sediment. The ability to infer seafloor tectonics from space was first demonstrated in 1978 using Seasat altimeter data but the spatial coverage was incomplete because of the short three-month lifetime of the satellite. Most ocean altimeters have repeat ground tracks with spacings of hundreds of kilometers so they do not resolve tectonic structures. Adequate altimeter coverage became available in 1995 when the United States Navy declassified the Geosat radar altimeter data and the ERS-1 altimeter completed a 1-year mapping phase. These mid-1990's altimeter-derived images of the ocean basins remained static for 15 years because there were no new non-repeat altimeter missions. This situation changed dramatically in 2010 when CryoSat-2, with its advanced radar altimeter, was launched into a non-repeat orbit and continues to collect data until perhaps 2020. In addition the Jason-1 altimeter was placed into a 14-month geodetic phase at the end of its lifetime. More recently the 1.5 times higher precision measurements from the AltiKa altimeter aboard the SARAL spacecraft began to drift away from its 35-day repeat trackline. The Chinese HY-2 altimeter is scheduled to begin a dense mapping phase in early 2016. Moreover in 2020 we may enjoy significantly higher resolution maps of the ocean basins from the planned SWOT altimeter mission with its advanced swath mapping ability. All of this new data will provide a much sharper image of the tectonics of the deep ocean basins and continental margins. During this talk we will tour of the new tectonic structures revealed by CryoSat-2 and Jason-1 and speculate on the tectonic views of the ocean basins in 2020 and beyond.
Pawul, Rudolf A.
This thesis is a reference for the Advanced Application Flight Experiment (AAFE) altimeter. The transmitter and receiver subsections are described and measurements of their current state is provided. During the 1994 NASA Greenland Experiment, the altimeter experienced several hardware malfunctions. The process of returning the radar to its fully operational state is presented in detail and necessary design modifications are explained. An updated radar user's manual is included along with various circuit designs which need to be implemented. The thesis is intended to provide an incoming graduate student with a solid foundation of the fundamentals of AAFE altimeter operation.
Ferraro, Ellen J.
This dissertation presents an analysis of airborne altimetry measurements taken over the Greenland ice sheet with the 13.9 GHz Advanced Application Flight Experiment (AAFE) pulse compression radar altimeter. This Ku-band instrument was refurbished in 1990 by the Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts to obtain high-resolution altitude measurements and to improve the tracking, speed, storage and display capabilities of the radar. In 1991 and 1993, the AAFE altimeter took part in the NASA Multisensor Airborne Altimetry Experiments over Greenland, along with two NASA laser altimeters. Altitude results from both experiments are presented along with comparisons to the laser altimeter and calibration passes over the Sondrestroem runway in Greenland. Although it is too early to make a conclusion about the growth or decay of the ice sheet, these results show that the instrument is capable of measuring small-scale surface changes to within 14 centimeters. In addition, results from these experiments reveal that the radar is sensitive to the different diagenetic regions of the ice sheet. Return waveforms from the wet- snow, percolation and dry-snow zones show varying effects of both surface scattering and sub-surface or volume scattering. Models of each of the diagenetic regions of Greenland are presented along with parameters such as rms surface roughness, rms surface slope and attenuation coefficient of the snow pack obtained by fitting the models to actual return waveforms.
Clark, William W.; Burns, Brian; Dorff, Gary; Plasky, Brian; Moussally, George; Soumekh, Mehrdad
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) has been applied for several years to the problem of detecting both antipersonnel and anti-tank landmines. RDECOM CERDEC NVESD is developing an airborne wideband GPR sensor for the detection of minefields including surface and buried mines. In this paper, we describe the as-built system, data and image processing techniques to generate imagery, and current issues with this type of radar. Further, we will display images from a recent field test.
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... § 121.357 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate any transport... December 31, 1964, unless approved airborne weather radar equipment has been installed in the airplane....
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... § 121.357 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate any transport... December 31, 1964, unless approved airborne weather radar equipment has been installed in the airplane....
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... § 121.357 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate any transport... December 31, 1964, unless approved airborne weather radar equipment has been installed in the airplane....
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... § 121.357 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate any transport... December 31, 1964, unless approved airborne weather radar equipment has been installed in the airplane....
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... § 121.357 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate any transport... December 31, 1964, unless approved airborne weather radar equipment has been installed in the airplane....
Hancock, D. W., III; Hayne, G. S.; Brooks, R. L.; Lee, J. E.; Lockwood, D. W.
The initial TOPEX Mission Radar Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report, in February 1994, presented performance results for the NASA Radar Altimeter on the TOPEX/POSEIDON spacecraft, from its launch in August 1992 to February 1994. There have been supplemental Engineering Assessment Reports, issued in March 1995 and again in May 1996, which updated the performance results through the end of calendar years 1994 and 1995, respectively. This supplement updates the altimeter performance to the end of calendar year 1996, and describes significant events that occurred during 1996. As the performance data base has expanded, and as analysis tools and techniques continue to evolve, the longer-term trends of the altimeter data have become more apparent. The updated findings are presented here.
Patel, A. E.; Gogineni, P. S.; Leuschen, C.; Rodriguez-Morales, F.; Panzer, B.
The Ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are losing mass at a rapid rate and there has been significant decrease in sea ice volume over the last few years. CryoSat-II with optimized radar altimeter for ice-sheet and sea ice surface elevation measurements is launched. We developed ultra wide-band FM-CW radar that operates over the frequency range from 13-17 GHz for airborne measurements. The radar is designed to provide high-resolution surface-elevation data and also map near surface layers in polar firn with high precision. It is designed to generate an ultra linear transmit chirp using a fast settling PLL with a reference signal from Direct Digital Synthesizer (DDS). The pulse length of the transmit chirp is 240-us and pulse repetition frequency is 2-KHz. The peak transmit power of the system is 100-mW, radiated using horn antennas. The radar was deployed in Greenland and Antarctica in 2009-10 as a part of Operation Ice Bridge campaign to collect data in conjunction with other instruments including Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and Digital Mapping System Camera (DMS). The radar also collected data under the Cryosat-II path. This paper will provide an overview of the Ku-Band radar design along with results from the 2009-2010 field campaigns. The data collected over polar firn shows near surface internal layers down to a depth of about 15-m with a resolution of 15-cm. When flying over sea ice the radar provides snow cover thickness data to a depth of about 0.5-m. Even over highly crevassed areas, such as outlet glaciers, the radar is able to detect large surface elevation changes of a few tens of meters with high resolution.
Hensley, Scott; Michel, Thierry R.; Jones, Cathleen E.; Muellerschoen, Ronald J.; Chapman, Bruce D.; Fore, Alexander; Simard, Marc; Zebker, Howard A.
Earth science research often requires crustal deformation measurements at a variety of time scales, from seconds to decades. Although satellites have been used for repeat-track interferometric (RTI) synthetic-aperture-radar (SAR) mapping for close to 20 years, RTI is much more difficult to implement from an airborne platform owing to the irregular trajectory of the aircraft compared with microwave imaging radar wavelengths. Two basic requirements for robust airborne repeat-pass radar interferometry include the ability to fly the platform to a desired trajectory within a narrow tube and the ability to have the radar beam pointed in a desired direction to a fraction of a beam width. Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) is equipped with a precision auto pilot developed by NASA Dryden that allows the platform, a Gulfstream III, to nominally fly within a 5 m diameter tube and with an electronically scanned antenna to position the radar beam to a fraction of a beam width based on INU (inertial navigation unit) attitude angle measurements.
Meneghini, R.; Bidwell, S.; Liao, L.; Rincon, R.; Heymsfield, G.; Hildebrand, Peter H. (Technical Monitor)
The Precipitation Radar aboard the Tropical Rain Measuring Mission (TRMM) Satellite has shown the potential for spaceborne sensing of snow and rain by means of an incoherent pulsed radar operating at 13.8 GHz. The primary advantage of radar relative to passive instruments arises from the fact that the radar can image the 3-dimensional structure of storms. As a consequence, the radar data can be used to determine the vertical rain structure, rain type (convective/stratiform) effective storm height, and location of the melting layer. The radar, moreover, can be used to detect snow and improve the estimation of rain rate over land. To move toward spaceborne weather radars that can be deployed routinely as part of an instrument set consisting of passive and active sensors will require the development of less expensive, lighter-weight radars that consume less power. At the same time, the addition of a second frequency and an upgrade to Doppler capability are features that are needed to retrieve information on the characteristics of the drop size distribution, vertical air motion and storm dynamics. One approach to the problem is to use a single broad-band transmitter-receiver and antenna where two narrow-band frequencies are spaced apart by 5% to 10% of the center frequency. Use of Ka-band frequencies (26.5 GHz - 40 GHz) affords two advantages: adequate spatial resolution can be attained with a relatively small antenna and the differential reflectivity and mean Doppler signals are directly related to the median mass diameter of the snow and raindrop size distributions. The differential mean Doppler signal has the additional property that this quantity depends only on that part of the radial speed of the hydrometeors that is drop-size dependent. In principle, the mean and differential mean Doppler from a near-nadir viewing radar can be used to retrieve vertical air motion as well as the total mean radial velocity. In the paper, we present theoretical calculations for the
Hayne, G. S.
For a nearly Gaussian transmitted pulse shape scattered from a nearly Gaussian distributed sea surface, a small argument series expansion of one term lead to a several term power series expression for the mean return waveform. Specific expressions are given for the first four terms. These results, which require less computer time than numerical convolution, are useful for data analysis from current or past radar altimeters and for design studies of future systems. Several representative results are presented for an idealized Seasat-1 radar altimeter.
Stanley, H. R.; Chan, B.; Givens, C.; Taylor, R.
The means for locating and extracting GEOS-3 altimeter data acquired for the analysis of specific hurricanes, typhoons, and other tropical cyclones are presented. These data are also expected to be extremely useful in the analysis of the behavior of the altimeter instrument in the presence of severe meteorological disturbances as well as provide a data base which can be useful in the resolution of apparently anomalous geoid or sea surface characteristics. Geographic locations of 1976 tropical cyclones were correlated with the closest approaching orbits of the GEOS-3 satellite and its radar altimeter. The cyclone locations and altimeter data were correlated for the 1976 season. The area of coverage includes the northern hemisphere. This document is a sequel to NASA TM-X-69364 which covered the majority of the 1975 season.
Brown, G. S.
Backscattering cross section per unit scattering area data, reduced from measurements made by the Skylab S-193 radar altimeter over the ocean surface are presented. Descriptions of the altimeter are given where applicable to the measurement process. Analytical solutions are obtained for the flat surface impulse response for the case of a nonsymmetrical antenna pattern. Formulations are developed for converting altimeter AGC outputs into values for the backscattering cross section. Reduced data are presented for Missions SL-2, 3 and 4 for all modes of the altimeter where sufficient calibration existed. The problem of interpreting land scatter data is also discussed. Finally, a comprehensive error analysis of the measurement is presented and worst case random and bias errors are estimated.
Hayne, G. S.; Hancock, D. W.; Purdy, C. L.; Callahan, P. S.
The routine ground processing of data from the NASA radar altimeter of TOPEX/POSEIDON includes instrument corrections for the effects of significant wave height and attitude angle changes on the altimeter's estimates of range, backscattered power, and significant wave height. This paper describes how these instrument corrections were generated and how they are applied. Detailed waveform fitting to telemetered waveform samples is use to assess the effectiveness of the corrections. There are several altimeter hardware-caused small waveform departures from the model waveforms and these departures, designated waveform 'features', are described in detailed. A consequence of the waveform features, and their positioning relationship to range rate, is that range data for ground tracks moving toward the equator may differ systematically by about a centimeter compared to range data for ground tracks moving away from the equator. The results and discussion are limited to side A of the redundant altimeter, as only side A has been operated on orbit.
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... Aircraft and Equipment § 135.175 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate a large, transport category aircraft in passenger-carrying operations unless approved airborne...
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... Aircraft and Equipment § 135.175 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate a large, transport category aircraft in passenger-carrying operations unless approved airborne...
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... Equipment Requirements § 125.223 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate an airplane governed by this part in passenger-carrying operations unless approved airborne weather...
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... Equipment Requirements § 125.223 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate an airplane governed by this part in passenger-carrying operations unless approved airborne weather...
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... Aircraft and Equipment § 135.175 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate a large, transport category aircraft in passenger-carrying operations unless approved airborne...
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... Equipment Requirements § 125.223 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate an airplane governed by this part in passenger-carrying operations unless approved airborne weather...
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... Equipment Requirements § 125.223 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate an airplane governed by this part in passenger-carrying operations unless approved airborne weather...
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... Aircraft and Equipment § 135.175 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate a large, transport category aircraft in passenger-carrying operations unless approved airborne...
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... Equipment Requirements § 125.223 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate an airplane governed by this part in passenger-carrying operations unless approved airborne weather...
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Airborne weather radar equipment... Aircraft and Equipment § 135.175 Airborne weather radar equipment requirements. (a) No person may operate a large, transport category aircraft in passenger-carrying operations unless approved airborne...
Quartly, G. D.; Srokosz, M. A.; Guymer, T. H.
For the past 20 years, altimeters have been used for observing the oceans, deriving the sea surface height, significant wave height and backscattered power (the latter being related to the wind speed). In recent years, the quality of the observations has increased remarkably, with the improved tracking and orbits of the Topex altimeter, and its operation simultaneously at two frequencies. However throughout all this time, the presence of atmospheric liquid water, whether as clouds or rain, has been found to detract seriously from the performance of the altimeter, with suspect data being discarded on a combination of blunder point tests and radiometrically-derived rain flags. We examine the waveforms (returns from the sea surface) for the Topex altimeter, illustrating the effect of an approaching rain cell and showing how the derived geophysical variables are affected. Comparisons are made between observed and simulated waveforms. Further, using the additional C-band return pulses, methods are presented for deriving realistic wind and wave height profiles across severe storms.
Bamber, Jonathan L.; Ekholm, Simon; Krabill, William B.
A 2.5 km resolution digital elevation model (DEM) of the Greenland ice sheet was produced from the 336 days of the geodetic phase of ERS-1. During this period the altimeter was operating in ice-mode over land surfaces providing improved tracking around the margins of the ice sheet. Combined with the high density of tracks during the geodetic phase, a unique data set was available for deriving a DEM of the whole ice sheet. The errors present in the altimeter data were investigated via a comparison with airborne laser altimeter data obtained for the southern half of Greenland. Comparison with coincident satellite data showed a correlation with surface slope. An explanation for the behavior of the bias as a function of surface slope is given in terms of the pattern of surface roughness on the ice sheet.
Vivekanandan, J.; Lee, Wen-Chau; Loew, Eric; Salazar, Jorge; Chandrasekar, V.
NCAR's Electra Doppler radar (ELDORA) with a dual-beam slotted waveguide array using dual-transmitter, dual-beam, rapid scan and step-chirped waveform significantly improved the spatial scale to 300m (Hildebrand et al. 1996). However, ELDORA X-band radar's penetration into precipitation is limited by attenuation and is not designed to collect polarimetric measurements to remotely estimate microphysics. ELDORA has been placed on dormancy because its airborne platform (P3 587) was retired in January 2013. The US research community has strongly voiced the need to continue measurement capability similar to the ELDORA. A critical weather research area is quantitative precipitation estimation/forecasting (QPE/QPF). In recent years, hurricane intensity change involving eye-eyewall interactions has drawn research attention (Montgomery et al., 2006; Bell and Montgomery, 2006). In the case of convective precipitation, two issues, namely, (1) when and where convection will be initiated, and (2) determining the organization and structure of ensuing convection, are key for QPF. Therefore collocated measurements of 3-D winds and precipitation microphysics are required for achieving significant skills in QPF and QPE. Multiple radars in dual-Doppler configuration with polarization capability estimate dynamical and microphysical characteristics of clouds and precipitation are mostly available over land. However, storms over complex terrain, the ocean and in forest regions are not observable by ground-based radars (Bluestein and Wakimoto, 2003). NCAR/EOL is investigating potential configurations for the next generation airborne radar that is capable of retrieving dynamic and microphysical characteristics of clouds and precipitation. ELDORA's slotted waveguide array radar is not compatible for dual-polarization measurements. Therefore, the new design has to address both dual-polarization capability and platform requirements to replace the ELDORA system. NCAR maintains a C-130
Pollard, Brian D.; Rodriguez, Ernesto; Veilleux, Louise; Akins, Torry; Brown, Paula; Kitiyakara, Amirit; Zawadski, Mark
We have developed an instrument concept that combines a conventional nadir altimeter with a radar interferometer to meet the above requirements. In this paper, we describe the overall mission concept and the interferometric radar design. We also describe several new technology developments that facilitate the inclusion of this instrument on a small, inexpensive spacecraft bus. Those include ultra-light, deployable reflectarray antennas for the radar interferometer; a novel five frequency feed horn for the radiometer and altimeter; a lightweight, low power integrated three frequency radiometer; and a field programmable gate array-based onboard data processor. Finally, we discuss recent algorithm developments for the onboard date processing, and present the expected instatements performance improvements over previously reported results.
Leitao, C. D.; Huang, N. E.; Parra, C. G.
Remote Sensing of the ocean surface from the GEOS-3 satellite using radar altimeter data has confirmed that the altimeter can detect the dynamic ocean topographic elevations relative to an equipotential surface, thus resulting in a reliable direct measurement of the ocean surface. Maps of the ocean dynamic topography calculated over a one month period and with 20 cm contour interval are prepared for the last half of 1975. The Gulf Stream is observed by the rapid slope change shown by the crowding of contours. Cold eddies associated with the current are seen as roughly circular depressions.
Ormesher, Richard C.; Axline, Robert M.
Interfering clutter in radar pulses received by an airborne radar system from a radar transponder can be suppressed by developing a representation of the incoming echo-voltage time-series that permits the clutter associated with predetermined parts of the time-series to be estimated. These estimates can be used to estimate and suppress the clutter associated with other parts of the time-series.
Ferraro, Ellen J.; Swift. Calvin T.
This paper presents radar-altimeter scattering models for each of the diagenetic zones of the Greenland ice sheet. AAFE radar- altimeter waveforms obtained during the 1991 and 1993 NASA multi-sensor airborne altimetry experiments over Greenland reveal that the Ku-band return pulse changes significantly with the different diagenetic zones. These changes are due to varying amounts of surface and volume scattering in the return waveform. In the ablation and soaked zones, where surface scattering dominates the AAFE return, geophysical parameters such as rms surface height and rms surface slope are obtained by fitting the waveforms to a surface-scattering model. Waveforms from the percolation zone show that the sub-surface ice features have a much more significant effect on the return pulse than the surrounding snowpack. Model percolation waveforms, created using a combined surface- and volume-scattering model and an ice-feature distribution obtained during the 1993 field season, agree well with actual AAFE waveforms taken in the same time period. Using a combined surface- and volume-scattering model for the dry-snow-zone return waveforms, the rms surface height and slope and the attenuation coefficient of the snowpack are obtained. These scattering models not only allow geophysical parameters of the ice sheet to be measured but also help in the understanding of satellite radar-altimeter data.
Leitao, C. D.; Huang, N. E.; Parra, C. G.
Both quasi-stationary and dynamic departures from the marine geoid were successfully detected using altitude measurements from the GEOS-3 radar altimeter. The quasi-stationary departures are observed either as elevation changes in single pass profiles across the Gulf Stream or at the crowding of contour lines at the western and northern areas of topographic maps generated using altimeter data spanning one month or longer. Dynamic features such as current meandering and spawned eddies can be monitored by comparing monthly mean maps. Comparison of altimeter inferred eddies with IR detected thermal rings indicates agreement of the two techniques. Estimates of current velocity are made using derived slope estimates in conjunction with the geostrophic equation.
Gommenginger, C.; Challenor, P.; Srokosz, M.; Quartly, G.; Berry, P.; Freeman, J.; Rogers, C.; Haynes, S.; Benveniste, J.
The ENVISAT Radar Altimeter (RA-2) is the first spaceborne altimeter to provide bursts of up to 2000 un- averaged individual echoes (IE), and for which both amplitude and phase data are available. This paper presents latest findings in our ongoing investigations into the exploitation of these new data products for new scientific applications over the ocean, land and ice surfaces. Analyses of the amplitude of individual echoes bursts already indicate much greater information content and the possibility for much higher spatial resolution over non-ocean surfaces than previously thought possible. More recent investigations of the phase have revealed particularly exciting new avenues of research, including the exploitation of phase fluctuations over the ocean to derive new information on the ocean wave spectrum. Equally unexpected and promising are the new results obtained when exploring the behaviour of the altimeter phase over land and ice surfaces.
Garcia-Mondejar, Albert; Martinez Val, Bernat; Escorihuela, Ma Jose; Nilo Garcia, Pablo; Martin-Puig, Cristina; Yang, Jungang; Liao, Jingjuan
The lake-level change is one of the important indicators for the water balance of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). In this region lake level is directly affected by the temperature both upstream and in the surroundings. In addition, other factors like: precipitation, evaporation, glaciers, perennial snow cover and permafrost do have an impact as well. With global climate warming, it is becoming more necessary to strengthen the monitoring of lake levels. Although there are thousands of lakes in the QTP, most of them are in remote areas with difficult accessibility. Therefore, it is difficult to set up hydrological stations for the monitoring. Remote sensing offers a convenient solution for continuous monitoring over that region This paper presents the comparison of the lake level evolutions measured with current altimeters since 2010 and the followed methodology to process and cross calibrate the data. A description of the improvements achieved with the incorporation of the new high resolution altimeters, the Chinese first altimeter and the Ka band altimeter will also be incorporated. The Qinghai and the Zhari Namco lakes have been selected in order to validate the methodology independently for each radar altimeter and later retrieve the time series for the rest of the Plateau lakes. This is an ongoing study. The mid-term results presented here will be updated and presented in the following Dragon-3 symposiums.
Parke, M. E.
The detection of tides on the Patagonian shelf off Argentina by the SEASAT satellite radar altimeter is reported. The satellite data was obtained during two passes of the satellite over the shelf on August 1 and August 4, 1978, and compared with empirical estimates of the tidal elevation along the satellite ground tracks based on coastal tide gage data, an estimate of tidal variation over the shelf, and the tidal prediction equations of Shureman (1958). Good agreement was observed between the satellite data of sea surface height with respect to a standard ellipsoid and the empirical estimate for the near-shore pass, with agreement degraded slightly for the pass further off shore. It is concluded that the generally good agreement found demonstrates the applicability of satellite radar altimeter data to the determination of tides and that small length scale fluctuations in the geoid are minor along the two ground tracks.
Lorenz, R. D.; Svedhem, H.; Trautner, R.; Kofman, W.; Herique, A.; Plettemeier, D.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Witasse, O.; Falkner, P.; Floury, N.; Ferri, F.
Results from the radar altimeters on board the Huygens probe are reported, noting the content of data archived on the NASA Planetary Data System and its ESA counterpart. These instruments provide unique high-resolution information on the topography and electrical properties of the Titan surface over a ∼15 km track across a boundary between a bright highland and the dark dissected alluvial terrain on which the probe landed. The highland appears ∼100 m higher than the dark terrain. The dark terrain has a fairly high nadir radar backscatter, consistent with terrestrial lakebeds and alluvial surfaces, and shows small (5-10 m) elevation fluctuations. Possible signatures of surface or volume scattering in the backscatter amplitude and intermediate frequency spectrum are discussed. A previously-undocumented characteristic of the Automatic Gain Control (AGC) on the flight altimeter is noted.
Leitao, C. D.; Mcgoogan, J. T.
Short-wavelength anomalies in sea surface topography, caused by the gravitational effects of major ocean bottom topographic features, have been detected by the radar altimeter aboard Skylab. Some features, such as deep ocean trenches, seamounts, and escarpments, displace the ocean surface by as much as 15 meters over 100-kilometer wavelengths. This experiment demonstrates the potential of satellite altimetry for determining the ocean geoid and for mapping major features of the ocean bottom.
Leitao, C D; McGoogan, J T
Short-wavelength anomalies in sea surface topography, caused by the gravitational effects of major ocean bottom topographic features, have been detected by the radar altimeter aboard Skylab. Some features, such as deep ocean trenches, seamounts, and escarpments, displace the ocean surface by as much as 15 meters over 100-kilometer wavelengths. This experiment demonstrates the potential of satellite altimetry for determining the ocean geoid and for mapping major features of the ocean bottom. PMID:17833933
Yu, Tao; Jiu, Dehang
The Offset Center of Gravity (OCOG) algorithm is a new tracking algorithm based on estimate of the pulse amplitude, the pulse width and the true center of area of the pulse. It's obvious that this algorithm is sufficiently robust to permit the altimeter to keep tracking many kinds of surfaces. Having analyzed the performance of this algorithm, it is discovered that the algorithm performs satisfactorily in high SNR environments, but fails in low SNR environments. The cause of the degradation of its performance is studied and it is pointed out that to the Brown return model and the sea ice return model, the performance of the OCOG algorithm can be improved in low SNR environments by using noise gate.
Durden, S. L.; Im, E.; Haddad, Z. S.; Li, L.
The first spaceborne weather radar is the precipitation radar (PR) on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), which was launched in 1997. As part of the TRMM calibration and validation effort, an airborne rain-mapping radar (ARMAR) was used to make underflights of TRMM during the B portion of the Texas and Florida Underflights (TEFLUN-B) and the third Convection and Moisture Experiment (CAMEX-3) in 1998 and the Kwajalein Experiment (KWAJEX) in 1999. The TRMM PR and ARMAR both operate at 14 GHz, and both instruments use a downward-looking, cross-track scanning geometry, which allows direct comparison of data. Nearly simultaneous PR and ARMAR data were acquired in seven separate cases. These data are compared to examine the effects of larger resolution volume and lower sensitivity in the PR data relative to ARMAR. The PR and ARMAR data show similar structures, although the PR data tend to have lower maximum reflectivities and path attenuations because of nonuniform beam-filling effects. Nonuniform beam filling can also cause a bias in the observed path attenuation relative to that corresponding to the beam-averaged rain rate. The PR rain-type classification is usually consistent with the ARMAR data.
Hodges, Richard E.; Zawadzki, Mark
We describe the design of a large dual-beam, dual polarized reflectarray designed for a space-based radar altimeter. This application requires a 2.16 X 0.35 m aperture that can be folded for launch stowage. Low mass and >50% efficiency are also required. A reflectarray antenna offers the best approach but also presents unique technical challenges since a reflectarry has never been used in a space based radar application. In what follows, we describe the design, analysis and measurements of a breadboard test array built to demonstrate the reflectarray concept.
Mcgoogan, J. T.; Miller, L. S.; Brown, G. S.; Hayne, G. S.
The Skylab S-193 altimeter experiment utilizes a 10- and 100-ns pulse length, 13.9-GHz earth-pointed radar system to obtain earth-surface backscatter measurements from the Skylab spacecraft. Objectives of the experiment are to obtain precision measurements of surface profile for uses in geodesy, oceanography, and earth physics, and to measure radar-signal characteristics from an earth-orbit geometry to provide design information for future radar remote-sensors. The technical approach is that of measuring the power impulse response of the scattering surface. The hardware is designed to operate in five modes: waveform or impulse-response measurement and altitude determination; radar cross-section experiment; signal correlation experiment; 10-nsec pulse-compression evaluation; and nadir-seeker experiment.
Galin, Natalia; Worby, Anthony; Markus, Thorsten; Leuschen, Carl; Gogineni, Prasad
Antarctic sea ice and its snow cover are integral components of the global climate system, yet many aspects of their vertical dimensions are poorly understood, making their representation in global climate models poor. Remote sensing is the key to monitoring the dynamic nature of sea ice and its snow cover. Reliable and accurate snow thickness data are currently a highly sought after data product. Remotely sensed snow thickness measurements can provide an indication of precipitation levels, predicted to increase with effects of climate change in the polar regions. Airborne techniques provide a means for regional-scale estimation of snow depth and distribution. Accurate regional-scale snow thickness data will also facilitate an increase in the accuracy of sea ice thickness retrieval from satellite altimeter freeboard estimates. The airborne data sets are easier to validate with in situ measurements and are better suited to validating satellite algorithms when compared with in situ techniques. This is primarily due to two factors: better chance of getting coincident in situ and airborne data sets and the tractability of comparison between an in situ data set and the airborne data set averaged over the footprint of the antennas. A 28-GHz frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar loaned by the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets to the Australian Antarctic Division is used to measure snow thickness over sea ice in East Antarctica. Provided with the radar design parameters, the expected performance parameters of the radar are summarized. The necessary conditions for unambiguous identification of the airsnow and snowice layers for the radar are presented. Roughnesses of the snow and ice surfaces are found to be dominant determinants in the effectiveness of layer identification for this radar. Finally, this paper presents the first in situ validated snow thickness estimates over sea ice in Antarctica derived from an FMCW radar on a helicopterborne platform.
Bryan, J.; Rabine, David L.
The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) is an airborne laser altimeter designed to quickly and extensively map surface topography as well as the relative heights of other reflecting surfaces within the laser footprint. Since 1997, this instrument has primarily been used as the airborne simulator for the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) mission, a spaceborne mission designed to measure tree height, vertical structure and ground topography (including sub-canopy topography). LVIS is capable of operating from 500 m to 10 km above ground level with footprint sizes from 1 to 60 m. Laser footprints can be randomly spaced within the 7 degree telescope field-of-view, constrained only by the operating frequency of the ND:YAG Q-switched laser (500 Hz). A significant innovation of the LVIS altimeter is that all ranging, waveform recording, and range gating are performed using a single digitizer, clock base, and detector. A portion of the outgoing laser pulse is fiber-optically fed into the detector used to collect the return signal and this entire time history of the outgoing and return pulses is digitized at 500 Msamp/sec. The ground return is then located using software digital signal processing, even in the presence of visibly opaque clouds. The surface height distribution of all reflecting surfaces within the laser footprint can be determined, for example, tree height and ground elevation. To date, the LVIS system has been used to monitor topographic change at Long Valley caldera, CA, as part of NASA's Topography and Surface Change program, and to map tree structure and sub-canopy topography at the La Selva Biological Research Station in Costa Rica, as part of the pre-launch calibration activities for the VCL mission. We present results that show the laser altimeter consistently and accurately maps surface topography, including sub-canopy topography, and vegetation height and structure. These results confirm the measurement concept of VCL and highlight the benefits of
Olbers, Dirk; Alpers, W.; Hasselmann, K.; Maier-Reimer, E.; Kase, R.; Krauss, W.; Siedler, G.; Willebrand, J.; Zahel, W.
The project will investigate the use of radar altimetry (RA) data in the determination of the ocean circulation models. RA data will be used to verify prognostic experiments of the steady state and seasonal cycle of large-scale circulation models and the statistical steady state of eddy-resolving models. The data will serve as initial and update conditions in data assimilation experiments and as constraints in inverse calculations. The aim of the project is a better understanding of ocean physics, the determination and mapping of ocean currents, and a contribution to the establishment of ocean circulation models for climate studies. The goal of the project is to use satellite radar altimetry data for improving our knowledge of ocean circulation both in a descriptive sense and through the physics that govern the circulation state. The basic tool is a series of ocean circulation models. Depending on the model, different techniques will be applied to incorporate the RA data.
Townsend, W. F.
The results of an initial on-orbit engineering assessment of the performance achieved by the radar altimeter system flown on SEASAT-1 are presented. Additionally, the general design characteristics of this system are discussed and illustrations of altimeter data product are provided. The instrument consists of a 13.5 GHz monostatic radar system that tracks in range only using a one meter parabolic antenna pointed at the satellite nadir. Two of its unique features are a linear FM transmitter with 320 MHz bandwidth which yields a 3.125 nanosecond time delay resolution, and microprocessor implemented closed loop range tracking, automatic gain control (AGC), and real time estimation of significant wave height (SWH). Results presented show that the altimeter generally performed in accordance with its orginal performance requirments of measuring altitude to a precision of less the 10 cm RMS, significant wave height to an accuracy of + or - 0.5 m or 10%, whichever is greater, and ocean backscatter coefficient to an accuracy of + or - 1 db, all over an SWH range of 1 to 20 meters.
Degnan, John J.
We consider the optimum design of photon-counting microlaser altimeters operating from airborne and spaceborne platforms under both day and night conditions. Extremely compact, passively Q-switched microlaser transmitters produce trains of low energy pulses at multi-kHz rates and can easily generate subnanosecond pulsewidths for precise ranging. To guide the design, we have modeled the solar noise background and developed simple algorithms, based on post-detection Poisson filtering (PDPF), to optimally extract the weak altimeter signal from a high noise background during daytime operations. The advantages of photon-counting detector arrays followed by multichannel timing receivers for high resolution topographic mapping are discussed. Practical technology issues, such as detector and/or receiver dead times and their impact on signal detection and ranging accuracy and resolution, have also been considered in the analysis. The theoretical results are reinforced by data from an airborne microlaser altimeter, developed under NASA's Instrument Incubator Program. The latter instrument has operated at several kHz rates from aircraft cruise altitudes up to 6.7 km with laser pulse energies on the order of a few microjoules. The instrument has successfully recorded decimeter accuracy or better single photon returns from man-made structures, tree canopies and underlying terrain and has demonstrated shallow water bathymetry at depths to a few meters. We conclude the discussion by analyzing a photon counting instrument designed to produce, over a mission life of 3 years, a globally contiguous map of the Martian surface, with 5 m horizontal resolution and decimeter vertical accuracy, from an altitude of 300 km. The transmitter power-receive aperture product required is comparable to the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) but the number of individual range measurements to the surface is increased by three to four orders of magnitude. For more modest scientific goals, on a
Degnan, John J.; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)
We consider the optimum design of photon-counting microlaser altimeters operating from airborne and spaceborne platforms under both day and night conditions. Extremely compact Q-switched microlaser transmitters produce trains of low energy pulses at multi-kHz rates and can easily generate subnanosecond pulse-widths for precise ranging. To guide the design, we have modeled the solar noise background and developed simple algorithms, based on Post-Detection Poisson Filtering (PDPF), to optimally extract the weak altimeter signal from a high noise background during daytime operations. Practical technology issues, such as detector and/or receiver dead times, have also been considered in the analysis. We describe an airborne prototype, being developed under NASA's instrument Incubator Program, which is designed to operate at a 10 kHz rate from aircraft cruise altitudes up to 12 km with laser pulse energies on the order of a few microjoules. We also analyze a compact and power efficient system designed to operate from Mars orbit at an altitude of 300 km and sample the Martian surface at rates up to 4.3 kHz using a 1 watt laser transmitter and an 18 cm telescope. This yields a Power-Aperture Product of 0.24 W-square meter, corresponding to a value almost 4 times smaller than the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter (0. 88W-square meter), yet the sampling rate is roughly 400 times greater (4 kHz vs 10 Hz) Relative to conventional high power laser altimeters, advantages of photon-counting laser altimeters include: (1) a more efficient use of available laser photons providing up to two orders of magnitude greater surface sampling rates for a given laser power-telescope aperture product; (2) a simultaneous two order of magnitude reduction in the volume, cost and weight of the telescope system; (3) the unique ability to spatially resolve the source of the surface return in a photon counting mode through the use of pixellated or imaging detectors; and (4) improved vertical and
Walsh, E. J.; Monaldo, F. M.; Goldhirsh, J.
The effects of inhomogeneous spatial attenuation resulting from clouds and rain on the altimeter estimate of the range to mean sea level are modelled. It is demonstrated that typical cloud and rain attenuation variability at commonly expected spatial scales can significantly degrade altimeter range precision. Rain cell and cloud scale sizes and attenuations are considered as factors. The model simulation of altimeter signature distortion is described, and the distortion of individual radar pulse waveforms by different spatial scales of attenuation is considered. Examples of range errors found for models of a single cloud, a rain cell, and cloud streets are discussed.
Clary, G. R.
Airborne radar approach (ARA) concepts are being investigated as a part of NASA's Rotorcraft All-Weather Operations Research Program on advanced guidance and navigation methods. This research is being conducted using both piloted simulations and flight test evaluations. For the piloted simulations, a mathematical model of the airborne radar was developed for over-water ARAs to offshore platforms. This simulated flight scenario requires radar simulation of point targets, such as oil rigs and ships, distributed sea clutter, and transponder beacon replies. Radar theory, weather radar characteristics, and empirical data derived from in-flight radar photographs are combined to model a civil weather/mapping radar typical of those used in offshore rotorcraft operations. The resulting radar simulation is realistic and provides the needed simulation capability for ongoing ARA research.
Yang, Le; Liu, Qinhuo
The aerodynamic surface roughness z0 is a key parameter for climate and land-surface models to study surfaceatmosphere exchanges of mass and energy. The roughness length is difficult to estimate without wind speed profile data, which is intractable at regional to global scale. Theoretical formulations of roughness have been developed in terms of canopy attributes such as frontal area, height, and drag coefficient. This paper discusses the potential of radar altimetry, which provides the backscatter coefficient of the land surface at nadir view, to characterise the surface roughness at km scale. The AIEM model and ProSARproSIM are employed to simulate the backscatter coefficient under different surface condition and different observation geometry at bare soil and at pine forest, respectively. The altimetry backscatter decreases with increase of geometric roughness. The microwave backscatter measured at the nadir view is more sensitive to the surface roughness than that at the oblique observation, especially for the smooth surface. The direct forest return is the dominated scattering mechanism for normal incidence at forest area. Since we failed to collect the z0 measurement at arid and semi-arid area with sparse vegetation, the backscatter measurements at Ku and C band of altimeter Jason1 were analyzed with the ground measured aerodynamic surface roughness at three vegetated sites (Da yekou, Yin ke, and Chang Baisan) of China. The relationships we found between Jason1 sigma0 and z0 is not significant, since Jason1 lost track seriously at the three sites. Further research using the altimeter data of Jason2 and Cryosat is possible to demonstrate the potential to map z0 from orbit using radar altimeters.
Enjolras, Vivien; Vincent, Patrick; Souyris, Jean-Claude; Rodriguez, Ernesto; Phalippou, Laurent; Cazenave, Anny
The main limitations of standard nadir-looking radar altimeters have been known for long. They include the lack of coverage (intertrack distance of typically 150 km for the T/P / Jason tandem), and the spatial resolution (typically 2 km for T/P and Jason), expected to be a limiting factor for the determination of mesoscale phenomena in deep ocean. In this context, various solutions using off-nadir radar interferometry have been proposed by Rodriguez and al to give an answer to oceanographic mission objectives. This paper addresses the performances study of this new generation of instruments, and dedicated mission. A first approach is based on the Wide-Swath Ocean Altimeter (WSOA) intended to be implemented onboard Jason-2 in 2004 but now abandoned. Every error domain has been checked: the physics of the measurement, its geometry, the impact of the platform and external errors like the tropospheric and ionospheric delays. We have especially shown the strong need to move to a sun-synchronous orbit and the non-negligible impact of propagation media errors in the swath, reaching a few centimetres in the worst case. Some changes in the parameters of the instrument have also been discussed to improve the overall error budget. The outcomes have led to the definition and the optimization of such an instrument and its dedicated mission.
Brooks, W. L.; Dooley, R. P.
The design of a high resolution radar for altimetry and ocean wave height estimation was studied. From basic principles, it is shown that a short pulse wide beam radar is the most appropriate and recommended technique for measuring both altitude and ocean wave height. To achieve a topographic resolution of + or - 10 cm RMS at 5.0 meter RMS wave heights, as required for SEASAT-A, it is recommended that the altimeter design include an onboard adaptive processor. The resulting design, which assumes a maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) processor, is shown to satisfy all performance requirements. A design summary is given for the recommended radar altimeter, which includes a full deramp STRETCH pulse compression technique followed by an analog filter bank to separate range returns as well as the assumed MLE processor. The feedback loop implementation of the MLE on a digital computer was examined in detail, and computer size, estimation accuracies, and bias due to range sidelobes are given for the MLE with typical SEASAT-A parameters. The standard deviation of the altitude estimate was developed and evaluated for several adaptive and nonadaptive split-gate trackers. Split-gate tracker biases due to range sidelobes and transmitter noise are examined. An approximate closed form solution for the altimeter power return is derived and evaluated. The feasibility of utilizing the basic radar altimeter design for the measurement of ocean wave spectra was examined.
Haines, Bruce J.
Long-term changes in the thickness of the polar ice sheets are important indicators of climate change. Understanding the contributions to the global water mass balance from the accumulation or ablation of grounded ice in Greenland and Antarctica is considered crucial for determining the source of the about 2 mm/yr sea-level rise in the last century. Though the Antarctic ice sheet is much larger than its northern counterpart, the Greenland ice sheet is more likely to undergo dramatic changes in response to a warming trend. This can be attributed to the warmer Greenland climate, as well as a potential for amplification of a global warming trend in the polar regions of the Northern Hemisphere. In collaboration with Drs. Curt Davis and Craig Kluever of the University of Missouri, we are using data from satellite radar altimeters to measure changes in the elevation of the Southern Greenland ice sheet from 1978 to the present. Difficulties with systematic altimeter measurement errors, particularly in intersatellite comparisons, beset earlier studies of the Greenland ice sheet thickness. We use altimeter data collected contemporaneously over the global ocean to establish a reference for correcting ice-sheet data. In addition, the waveform data from the ice-sheet radar returns are reprocessed to better determine the range from the satellite to the ice surface. At JPL, we are focusing our efforts principally on the reduction of orbit errors and range biases in the measurement systems on the various altimeter missions. Our approach emphasizes global characterization and reduction of the long-period orbit errors and range biases using altimeter data from NASA's Ocean Pathfinder program. Along-track sea-height residuals are sequentially filtered and backwards smoothed, and the radial orbit errors are modeled as sinusoids with a wavelength equal to one revolution of the satellite. The amplitudes of the sinusoids are treated as exponentially-correlated noise processes with a
McDonald, Michael; Damini, Anthony
Data containing the radar signature of amoving person on the groundwere collected at ranges of up to 30 kmfroma moving airborne platform using the DRDC Ottawa X-bandWideband Experimental Airborne Radar (XWEAR). The human target radar echo returns were found to possess a characteristic amplitude modulated (AM) and frequency modulated (FM) signature which could be usefully characterized in terms of conventional AM and FM modulation parameters. Human detection performance after space time adaptive processing is frequently limited by false alarms arising from incomplete cancellation of large radar cross-section discretes during the whitening step. However, the clutter discretes possess different modulation characteristics from the human targets discussed above. The ability of pattern classification techniques to use this parameter measurement space to distinguish between human targets and clutter discretes is explored and preliminary results presented.
Walsh, E. J.; Vandemark, D.; Wright, C. W.; Swift, R. N.; Scott, J. F.; Hines, D. E.
The geometry for the NASA Scanning Radar Altimeter (SRA) is shown. It transmits a 8-ns duration pulse at Ka-band (8.3 mm) and measures time of flight as it scans a 1 degree (two-way) beam from left to right across the aircraft ground track. The most recent configuration determines the surface elevation at 64 points spaced at uniform angular intervals of about 0.7 across a swath whose width is about 0.8 times the aircraft altitude. The system generates these raster lines of the surface topography beneath the aircraft at about a 10 Hz rate. In postflight processing the SRA wave topographic data are transformed with a two-dimensional Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) and Doppler corrected to produce directional wave spectra. The SRA is not absolutely calibrated in power, but by measuring the relative fall-off of backscatter with increasing incidence angle, the SRA can also determine the mean square slope (mss) of the sea surface, a surrogate for wind speed. For the slope-dependent specular point model of radar sea surface scattering, an expression approximated by a geometric optics form, for the relative variation with incidence angle of the normalized backscatter radar cross section would be sigma (sup 0) (sub rel) = sec (exp 4) theta exp (-tan squared theta/mss) where theta is the off-nadir incidence angle.
Davis, Curt H.
In this paper, we compare dry-snow extinction coefficients derived from radar altimeter data with brightness temperature data from passive microwave measurements over a portion of the East Antarctic plateau. The comparison between the extinction coefficients and the brightness temperatures shows a strong negative correlation, where the correlation coefficients ranged from -0.87 to -0.95. The extinction coefficient of the dry polar snow decreases with increasing surface elevation, while the average brightness temperature increases with surface elevation. Our analysis shows that the observed trends are related to geographic variations in scattering coefficient of snow, which in turn are controlled by variations in surface temperature and snow accumulation rate. By combining information present in the extinction coefficient and brightness temperature data sets, we develop a model that can be used to obtain quantitative estimates of the accumulation rate of dry polar snow.
Zheng, Q. A.; Klemas, V.; Hayne, G. S.; Huang, N. E.
Based on electromagnetic field theory of stratified media, the microwave reflectivity of a sea surface covered by whitecaps and foams at 13.9 GHz was computed. The computed results show that the reflectivity declines with increasing thickness of foams. The reflectivity of the sea surface without any whitecaps or foams is 0.6066 (20 C, S:35 per thousand), but it will be less than 0.15 when the thickness of foam cover is more than 0.3 cm. While gathering the data of whitecap and foam coverage in situ and reviewing whitecapping models, it can be shown that the effect of oceanic whitecaps and foams on the measured results of a pulse-limited radar altimeter working at high frequencies will not be negligible in high sea state conditions.
Huang, N. E.; Leitao, C. D.; Parra, C. G.
From data obtained by the GEOS 3 radar altimeter, sea surface heights are found by both editing and filtering the raw sea surface height measurements and then referencing these processed data to a 5 foot by 5 foot geoid. Any trend between the processed data and the geoid is removed by subtracting out a linear fit to the residuals in the open ocean. Data from individual passes are further processed by applying a minimum variance technique at the subsatellite crossing points to produce surface topography maps for the 6 months and an overall mean map which reveal important details about the Gulf Stream system. The differences between the monthly mean and the overall mean are calculated for each of the 6 months to show the temporal and spatial changes of the Gulf Stream front and spawned eddies. The standard deviation map is even more informative and shows preferred locations of Gulf Stream meanders.
Stanley, H. R.; Chan, B.; Munson, J. R.
Geographic locations of 1975 hurricanes and other tropical disturbances were correlated with the closest approaching orbits of the GEOS-3 satellite and its radar altimeter. The disturbance locations and altimeter data were gathered for a seven-month period beginning with GEOS-3 launch in mid-April 1975. Areas of coverage were the Atlantic Ocean, the Carribean, the Gulf of Mexico, the west coast of the continental United States, and the central and western Pacific Ocean. Volume 1 contains disturbance coverage data for the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Eastern Pacific Ocean. Central and Western Pacific coverage is documented in Volume II.
Taiwan and Tahiti are bordered by seas and are islands with mountain ranges up to 4000 m height. The gravity fields here are rough due to the geodynamic processes that create the islands. On and around the two islands, gravity data have been collected by land gravimeters in relative gravity networks (point-wise), by airborne and shipborne (along-track) methods and by transformations from sea surface heights (altimeter-derived). Typically, network-adjusted land gravity values have accuracies of few tens of micro gals and contain the full gravity spectrum. Airborne gravity values are obtained by filtering original one-HZ along-track gravity values collected at varying flight altitudes that are affected by aircraft dynamics, GPS positioning error and gravimeter error. At a 5000-m flight height, along-track airborne gravity has a typical spatial resolution of 4 km and an accuracy of few mgal. Shipborne gravity is similar to airborne gravity, but with higher spatial resolutions because of ship's lower speed. Altimeter-derived gravity has varying spatial resolutions and accuracies, depending on altimeter data, processing method and extent of waveform interference. Using the latest versions of Geosat/GM, ERS-1/GM, ENVISAT, Jason-1/GM, Cryosat-2 and SARAL altimeter data, one can achieve accuracies at few mgal. The synergy of the four kinds of gravity datasets is made by the band-limited least-squares collocation, which best integrates datasets of different accuracies and spatial resolutions. The method uses the best contributions from a DEM, a global gravity model, available gravity datasets to form an optimal gravity grid. We experiment with different optimal spherical harmonic degrees of EGM08 for use around the two islands. For Tahiti, the optimal degree is 1500. New high-resolution gravity and geoid grids are constructed for the two islands and can be used in future geophysical and geodetic studies.
Dabney, P.; Harding, D. J.; Huss, T.; Valett, S.; Yu, A. W.; Zheng, Y.
The Slope Imaging Multi-polarization Photon-counting Lidar (SIMPL) is an airborne laser altimeter developed through the NASA Earth Science Technology Office Instrument Incubator Program with a focus on cryopshere remote sensing. The SIMPL instrument incorporates a variety of advanced technologies in order to demonstrate measurement approaches of potential benefit for improved airborne laser swath mapping and spaceflight laser altimeter missions. SIMPL incorporates beam splitting, single-photon ranging and polarimetry technologies at green and near-infrared wavelengths in order to achieve simultaneous sampling of surface elevation, slope, roughness and scattering properties, the latter used to differentiate surface types. The transmitter is a 1 nsec pulse width, 11 kHz, 1064 nm microchip laser, frequency doubled to 532 nm and split into four plane-polarized beams using birefringent calcite crystal in order to maintain co-alignment of the two colors. The 16 channel receiver splits the received energy for each beam into the two colors and each color is split into energy parallel and perpendicular to the transmit polarization plane thereby proving a measure of backscatter depolarization. The depolarization ratio is sensitive to the proportions of specular reflection and surface and volume scattering, and is a function of wavelength. The ratio can differentiate, for example, water, young translucent ice, older granular ice and snow. The solar background count rate is controlled by spatial filtering using a pinhole array and by spectral filtering using temperature-controlled narrow bandwidth filters. The receiver is fiber coupled to 16 Single Photon Counting Modules (SPCMs). To avoid range biases due to the long dead time of these detectors the probability of detection per laser fire on each channel is controlled to be below 30%, using mechanical irises and flight altitude. Event timers with 0.1 nsec resolution in combination the narrow transmit pulse yields single
Ka, Min-Ho; Baskakov, Aleksandr I.; Terekhov, Vladimir A.
In the work we introduce novel approach to remote sensing from space for the estimation of sea wave heights with a spaceborne high precision two-frequency radar altimeter with nadir synthesis antenna aperture. Experiments show considerable reduction of the decorrelation factor of the correlation coefficient and so significant enhancement of the sensitivity of the altimeter for the estimation for the sea wave status.
Lou, Yunling; Kim, Yunjin; van Zyl, Jakob
None given. (From introduction): ...we will briefly describe the instrument characteristics, the evolution of the various radar modes, the instrument performance and improvement in the knowledge of the positioning and attitude information of the radar. In addition, we will summarize the [rogress of the data processing effort, especially in the interferometry processing. Finally, we will address the issue of processing and calibrating the cross-track interferometry (XTI) data.
Borlett. C/ < /; Beckley, B.
Many inland water investigations utilize archival and near-real time radar altimetry data to enable observation of the variation in surface water level. A multi-altimeter approach allows a more global outlook with improved spatial resolution, and combined long-term observations improve statistical analyses. Central to all programs is a performance assessment of each instrument. Here, we focus on data quantity and quality pertaining to the Poseidon-3 radar altimeter onboard the Jason-2/OSTM satellite.Utilizing an interim data set (IGDR), studies show that the new on-board DIODE/median and DIODE/DEM tracking modes are performing well, acquiring and maintaining the majority of lake and reservoir surfaces in varying terrains. The 20-Hz along-track resolution of the data, and particularly the availability of the range output from the ice-retracker algorithm, also improves the number of valid height measurements. Based on test-case lakes and reservoirs, output from the ice-retracker algorithm is also seen to have a clear advantage over the ocean-retracker having better height stability across calm and icy surfaces, a greater ability to gain coastline waters, and less sensitivity to loss of water surface when there is island contamination in the radar echo. Such on-board tracking and postprocessing retracking enables the lake waters to be quickly gained after coastline crossing. Values can range from <0.1 s to 2.5 s, but the majority of measurements are obtained in less than 0.4 s or <2.3 km from the coast. Validation exercises reveal that targets of 150 km2 surface area and 0.8 km width are able to be monitored offering greater potential to acquire lakes in the 100 C300 km2 size-category. Time series of height variations are also found to be accurate to 3 to 33 cm rms depending on target size and the presence of winter ice. These findings are an improvement over the IGDR/GDR results from the predecessor Jason-1 and TOPEX/Poseidon missions and can satisfy the accuracy
Panzer, B.; Gomez-Garcia, D.; Leuschen, C.; Paden, J. D.; Gogineni, P. S.
Over the last decade, multiple satellite-based laser and radar altimeters, optimized for polar observations, have been launched with one of the major objectives being the determination of global sea ice thickness and distribution [5, 6]. Estimation of sea-ice thickness from these altimeters relies on freeboard measurements and the presence of snow cover on sea ice affects this estimate. Current means of estimating the snow depth rely on daily precipitation products and/or data from passive microwave sensors [2, 7]. Even a small uncertainty in the snow depth leads to a large uncertainty in the sea-ice thickness estimate. To improve the accuracy of the sea-ice thickness estimates and provide validation for measurements from satellite-based sensors, the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets deploys the Snow Radar as a part of NASA Operation IceBridge. The Snow Radar is an ultra-wideband, frequency-modulated, continuous-wave radar capable of resolving snow depth on sea ice from 5 cm to more than 2 meters from long-range, airborne platforms . This paper will discuss the algorithm used to directly extract snow depth estimates exclusively using the Snow Radar data set by tracking both the air-snow and snow-ice interfaces. Prior work in this regard used data from a laser altimeter for tracking the air-snow interface or worked under the assumption that the return from the snow-ice interface was greater than that from the air-snow interface due to a larger dielectric contrast, which is not true for thick or higher loss snow cover [1, 3]. This paper will also present snow depth estimates from Snow Radar data during the NASA Operation IceBridge 2010-2011 Antarctic campaigns. In 2010, three sea ice flights were flown, two in the Weddell Sea and one in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas. All three flight lines were repeated in 2011, allowing an annual comparison of snow depth. In 2011, a repeat pass of an earlier flight in the Weddell Sea was flown, allowing for a
Harrah, S. D.; Bracalente, E. M.; Schaffner, P. R.; Baxa, E. G.
An airborne, forward-looking, pulse, Doppler radar has been developed in conjunction with the joint FAA/NASA Wind Shear Program. This radar represents a first in an emerging technology. The radar was developed to assess the applicability of an airborne radar to detect low altitude hazardous wind shears for civil aviation applications. Such a radar must be capable of looking down into the ground clutter environment and extracting wind estimates from relatively low reflectivity weather targets. These weather targets often have reflectivities several orders of magnitude lower than the surrounding ground clutter. The NASA radar design incorporates numerous technological and engineering achievements in order to accomplish this task. The basic R/T unit evolved from a standard Collins 708 weather radar, which supports specific pulse widths of 1-7 microns and Pulse Repetition Frequencies (PRF) of less than 1-10 kHz. It was modified to allow for the output of the first IF signal, which fed a NASA developed receiver/detector subsystem. The NASA receiver incorporated a distributed, high-speed digital attenuator, producing a range bin to range bin automatic gain control system with 65 dB of dynamic range. Using group speed information supplied by the aircraft's navigation system, the radar signal is frequency demodulated back to base band (zero Doppler relative to stationary ground). The In-phase & Quadrature-phase (I/Q) components of the measured voltage signal are then digitized by a 12-bit A-D converter (producing an additional 36 dB of dynamic range). The raw I/Q signal for each range bin is then recorded (along with the current radar & aircraft state parameters) by a high-speed Kodak tape recorder.
Barrick, D. E.
Using the specular point theory of scatter from a very rough surface, the average backscatter cross section per unit area per radar cell width is derived for a cell located at a given height above the mean sea surface. This result is then applied to predict the average radar cross section observed by a short-pulse altimeter as a function of time for two modes of operation: pulse-limited and beam-limited configurations. For a pulse-limited satellite altimeter, a family of curves is calculated showing the distortion of the leading edge of the receiver output signal as a function of sea state (i.e., wind speed). A signal processing scheme is discussed that permits an accurate determination of the mean surface position--even in high seas--and, as a by-product, the estimation of the significant seawave height (or wind speed above the surface). Comparison of these analytical results with experimental data for both pulse-limited and beam-limited operation lends credence to the model. Such a model should aid in the design of short-pulse altimeters for accurate determination of the geoid over the oceans, as well as for the use of such altimeters for orbital sea-state monitoring.
Ulaby, F. T. (Principal Investigator); Li, R. Y.; Shanmugam, K. S.
Airborne radar data acquired with a 13.3 GHz scatterometer over a test-site near Colby, Kansas were used to investigate the statistical properties of the scattering coefficient of three types of vegetation cover and of bare soil. A statistical model for radar data was developed that incorporates signal-fading and natural within-field variabilities. Estimates of the within-field and between-field coefficients of variation were obtained for each cover-type and compared with similar quantities derived from LANDSAT images of the same fields. The classification accuracy provided by LANDSAT alone, radar alone, and both sensors combined was investigated. The results indicate that the addition of radar to LANDSAT improves the classification accuracy by about 10; percentage-points when the classification is performed on a pixel basis and by about 15 points when performed on a field-average basis.
Gommenginger, C.; Challenor, P.; Gomez-Enri, J.; Quartly, G.; Srokosz, M.; Berry, P. A. M.; Garlick, J.; Cotton, D.; Carter, D.; Rogers, C.; Haynes, S.; LeDuc, I.; Pilar Milagro, M.; Benveniste, J.
The Radar Altimeter on ENVISAT (RA-2) is the first space borne altimeter to provide average waveforms at two radar frequencies as well as bursts of up to 2000 individual echo samples at Ku band, in addition to standard altimeter geophysical products. This paper presents results of a recent study which investigates new scientific applications for ocean, land and ice remote sensing using ENVISAT RA-2 individual echoes. Examples of new applications include the possible use of RA-2 individual waveforms phase measurements to derive new ocean wave spectrum information and the development of improved re-tracking algorithms for rapidly varying land and ice surfaces. Analyses of bursts of individual echoes indicate much greater information content and that higher spatial resolution can be obtained over non-ocean surfaces than previously thought possible. Averaged waveform data at Ku and S band serve also to examine the change of response of ocean and land/ice surfaces with radar wavelength, with implications for a wide range of applications including vegetation and texture studies over land/ice, as well as for rain cell and improved sea state measurements over the ocean and the coastal zone.
Hancock, David W., III; Lockwood, D. W.; Hayne, G. S.; Brooks, R. L.
This is the eleventh in a series of TOPEX Radar Engineering Assessment Reports, The initial TOPEX Radar Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report, in February 1994, presented performance results for the NASA Radar Altimeter on the TOPEX/POSEIDON spacecraft, from the time of its launch in August 1992 to February 1994. Since the time of that initial report and prior to this report, there have been nine interim supplemental Engineering Assessment Reports, issued in March 1995, May 1996, March 1997, June 1998, August 1999, September 2000, June 2001, March 2002 and again in May 2003.The sixth supplement in September 2000 was the first assessment report that addressed Side B performance, and presented the altimeter performance from the turn-on of Side B until the end of calendar year 1999. This report extends the performance assessment of Side B to the end of calendar year 2003 and includes the performance assessment of Jason-1, the TOPEX follow-on mission, launched on December 7, 2001.
Walsh, Edward J.
Work continues on estimating tilt modulation distortions in the wave topography measured by a scanning radar altimeter. To quantify this effect, a two-dimensional simulation has been performed in the cross-track plane only which assumed that sinusoidal waves of constant wavelength propagate in the cross-track direction (and are infinitely long-crested in the along-track direction). The initial results reported earlier for a Gaussian surface scattering model indicated that when the highest reasonable value of mss is used in the simulation (the Plant limit of 0.08), the nadir values of the ratio of the apparent to actual wave height are the same as for the omnidirectional scattering case. But as the off-nadir angle increased, the apparent wave height increased and became larger than the actual wave height by about 10 degrees off-nadir. And the shorter the wavelength, the larger the apparent wave height increase. This represented a systematic over-estimate of the wave amplitude for waves propagating in the cross-track direction. For lower values of mss the situation worsened. The simulation has been improved by incorporating actual variations of backscattered power with incidence angle measured by the SRA instead of the Gaussian model. The resulting distortion was about half that originally reported. The 3-dimensional simulation to model waves propagating at various azimuthal angles relative to the cross-track plane is still in progress. The results of this model will be verified by comparing them with Scanning Radar Altimeter (SRA) data and optimum correction procedures will be developed. An assessment of the improved 2-dimensional model indicates that the distortion will generally be small in the data taken during the Southern Ocean Waves Experiment (SOWEX) presently be analyzed. But tilt modulation effects are of great concern for SRA data collected during the 1998 hurricane season since the minimum aircraft altitude was 1.5 km and it frequently flew higher. For a
Herzfeld, Ute C.
The central objective of this project has been the development of geostatistical methods fro mapping elevation and ice surface characteristics from satellite radar altimeter (RA) and Syntheitc Aperture Radar (SAR) data. The main results are an Atlas of elevation maps of Antarctica, from GEOSAT RA data and an Atlas from ERS-1 RA data, including a total of about 200 maps with 3 km grid resolution. Maps and digital terrain models are applied to monitor and study changes in Antarctic ice streams and glaciers, including Lambert Glacier/Amery Ice Shelf, Mertz and Ninnis Glaciers, Jutulstraumen Glacier, Fimbul Ice Shelf, Slessor Glacier, Williamson Glacier and others.
Schroeder, D. M.; Seroussi, H. L.
The temperature structure of ice sheet and glaciers is a fundamental control on ice flow, rheology, and stability. However, it is difficult to observationally constrain temperature structures at the catchment to ice-sheet scale. The englacial attenuation of radar sounding data is strongly dependent on the temperature structure of the ice sheets. Therefore, echo strength profiles from airborne radar sounding observation do contain temperature information. However, direct interpretation of englacial attenuation rates from radar sounding profiles is often difficult or impossible due to the ambiguous contribution the geometric and material properties of the bed to echo strength variations. To overcome this challenge, we presents techniques that treat radar sounding echo strength and ice thickness profiles as continuous signals, taking advantage of along-profile ice thickness and echo strength variations to constrain the spatial pattern of englacial attenuation and basal reflectivity. We then apply these techniques to an airborne radar sounding survey in order to characterize the englacial and subglacial temperature structure of the Thwaites Glacier catchment in West Antarctic. We then interpreted this structure in context of local ice sheet velocity, advection, force balance, and bed conditions using the ISSM ice sheet model.
Vanzyl, Jakob J. (Editor)
The Third Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) Workshop was held on 23-24 May 1991 at JPL. Thirty oral presentations were made and 18 poster papers displayed during the workshop. Papers from these 25 presentations are presented which include analyses of AIRSAR operations and studies in SAR remote sensing, ecology, hydrology, soil science, geology, oceanography, volcanology, and SAR mapping and data handling. Results from these studies indicate the direction and emphasis of future orbital radar-sensor missions that will be launched during the 1990's.
Lou, Yunling; Kim,Yunjin; vanZyl, Jakob
In this paper we will briefly describe the instrument characteristics, the evolution of various radar modes, the instrument performance and improvement in the knowledge of the positioning and attitude information of the NASA/JPL airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR). This system operates in the fully polarimetric mode in the P, L, and C band simultaneously or in the interferometric mode in both the L and C band simultaneously. We also summarize the progress of the data processing effort, especially in the interferometry processing and we address the issue of processing and calibrating the cross-track interferometry data.
Kumagai, H.; Meneghini, R.; Kozu, T.
Results from a multiparameter airborne radar/radiometer experiment (the Typhoon experiment) are presented. The experiment was conducted in the western Pacific with the NASA DC-8 aircraft, in which a dual-wavelength at X-band and Ka-band and dual-polarization at X-band radar was installed. The signatures of dBZ(X), dBZ(Ka), LDR (linear depolarization ratio) at X-band and DZ=dBZ(X)-dBZ(Ka) are discussed for the data obtained in the penetration of the typhoon Flo. With emphasis on discrimination of hydrometeor particles, some statistical features of the brightband in stratiform rain are discussed.
Blom, Ronald; Elachi, Charles
Airborne radar scatterometer data on sand dunes, acquired at multiple frequencies and polarizations, are reported. Radar backscatter from sand dunes is very sensitive to the imaging geometry. At small incidence angles the radar return is mainly due to quasi-specular reflection from dune slopes favorably oriented toward the radar. A peak return usually occurs at the incidence angle equal to the angle of repose for the dunes. The peak angle is the same at all frequencies as computed from specular reflection theory. At larger angles the return is significantly weaker. The scatterometer measurements verified observations made with airborne and spaceborne radar images acquired over a number of dune fields in the U.S., central Africa, and the Arabian peninsula. The imaging geometry constraints indicate that possible dunes on other planets, such as Venus, will probably not be detected in radar images unless the incidence angle is less than the angles of repose of such dunes and the radar look direction is approximately orthogonal to the dune trends.
Vivekanandan, J.; Ellis, S.; Tsai, P.; Loew, E.; Lee, W. C.; Emmett, J.; Dixon, M.; Burghart, C.; Rauenbuehler, S.
This paper describes a novel, airborne pod-based millimeter wavelength radar. Its frequency of operation is 94 GHz (3 mm wavelength). The radar has been designed to fly on the NCAR Gulfstream V HIAPER aircraft; however, it could be deployed on other similarly equipped aircraft. The pod-based configuration occupies minimum cabin space and maximizes scan coverage. The radar system is capable of collecting observations in a staring mode between zenith and nadir or in a scanning mode. Standard pulse-pair estimates of moments and raw time series of backscattered signals are recorded. The radar system design and characteristics, as well as techniques for calibrating reflectivity and correcting Doppler velocity for aircraft attitude and motion are described. The radar can alternatively be deployed in a ground-based configuration, housed in the 20 ft shipping container it shares with the High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL). The radar was tested both on the ground and in flight. Preliminary measurements of Doppler and polarization measurements were collected and examples are presented.
Vivekanandan, J.; Ellis, S.; Tsai, P.; Loew, E.; Lee, W.-C.; Emmett, J.; Dixon, M.; Burghart, C.; Rauenbuehler, S.
This paper describes a novel, airborne pod-based millimeter (mm) wavelength radar. Its frequency of operation is 94 GHz (3 mm wavelength). The radar has been designed to fly on the NCAR Gulfstream V HIAPER aircraft; however, it could be deployed on other similarly equipped aircraft. The pod-based configuration occupies minimum cabin space and maximizes scan coverage. The radar system is capable of collecting observations in a staring mode between zenith and nadir or in a scanning mode. Standard pulse-pair estimates of moments and raw time series of backscattered signals are recorded. The radar system design and characteristics as well as techniques for calibrating reflectivity and correcting Doppler velocity for aircraft attitude and motion are described. The radar can alternatively be deployed in a ground-based configuration, housed in the 20 ft shipping container it shares with the High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL). The radar was tested both on the ground and in flight. Preliminary measurements of Doppler and polarization measurements were collected and examples are presented.
Harding, David; Dabney, Philip; Valett, Susan; Yu, Anthony; Vasilyev, Aleksey; Kelly, April
The ICESat-2 mission will continue NASA's spaceflight laser altimeter measurements of ice sheets, sea ice and vegetation using a new measurement approach: micropulse, single photon ranging at 532 nm. Differential penetration of green laser energy into snow, ice and water could introduce errors in sea ice freeboard determination used for estimation of ice thickness. Laser pulse scattering from these surface types, and resulting range biasing due to pulse broadening, is assessed using SIMPL airborne data acquired over icecovered Lake Erie. SIMPL acquires polarimetric lidar measurements at 1064 and 532 nm using the micropulse, single photon ranging measurement approach.
Bracalente, Emedio M.; Jones, William R.; Britt, Charles L.
As part of an integrated windshear program, the Federal Aviation Administration, jointly with NASA, is sponsoring a research effort to develop airborne sensor technology for the detection of low altitude windshear during aircraft take-off and landing. One sensor being considered is microwave Doppler radar operating at X-band or above. Using a Microburst/Clutter/Radar simulation program, a preliminary feasibility study was conducted to assess the performance of Doppler radars for this application. Preliminary results from this study are presented. Analysis show, that using bin-to-bin Automatic Gain Control (AGC), clutter filtering, limited detection range, and suitable antenna tilt management, windshear from a wet microburst can be accurately detected 10 to 65 seconds (.75 to 5 km) in front of the aircraft. Although a performance improvement can be obtained at higher frequency, the baseline X-band system that was simulated detected the presence of a windshear hazard for the dry microburst. Although this study indicates the feasibility of using an airborne Doppler radar to detect low altitude microburst windshear, further detailed studies, including future flight experiments, will be required to completely characterize the capabilities and limitations.
Hibey, Joseph L.; Khalaf, Camille S.
The objectives and accomplishments of the two-and-a-half year effort to describe how returns from on-board Doppler radar are to be used to detect the presence of a wind shear are reported. The problem is modeled as one of first passage in terms of state variables, the state estimates are generated by a bank of extended Kalman filters working in parallel, and the decision strategy involves the use of a voting algorithm for a series of likelihood ratio tests. The performance issue for filtering is addressed in terms of error-covariance reduction and filter divergence, and the performance issue for detection is addressed in terms of using a probability measure transformation to derive theoretical expressions for the error probabilities of a false alarm and a miss.
Connor, Laurence; Farrell, Sinead; McAdoo, David; Krabill, William; Laxon, Seymour; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline; Markus, Thorsten
The past few years have seen the emergence of satellite altimetry as valuable tool for taking quantitative sea ice monitoring beyond the traditional surface extent measurements and into estimates of sea ice thickness and volume, parameters that arc fundamental to improved understanding of polar dynamics and climate modeling. Several studies have now demonstrated the use of both microwave (ERS, Envisat/RA-2) and laser (ICESat/GLAS) satellite altimeters for determining sea ice thickness. The complexity of polar environments, however, continues to make sea ice thickness determination a complicated remote sensing task and validation studies remain essential for successful monitoring of sea ice hy satellites. One such validation effort, the Arctic Aircraft Altimeter (AAA) campaign of2006. included underflights of Envisat and ICESat north of the Canadian Archipelago using NASA's P-3 aircraft. This campaign compared Envisat and ICESat sea ice elevation measurements with high-resolution airborne elevation measurements, revealing the impact of refrozen leads on radar altimetry and ice drift on laser altimetry. Continuing this research and validation effort, the Canada Basin Sea Ice Thickness (CBSIT) experiment was completed in April 2009. CBSIT was conducted by NOAA. and NASA as part of NASA's Operation Ice Bridge, a gap-filling mission intended to supplement sea and land ice monitoring until the launch of NASA's ICESat-2 mission. CBIST was flown on the NASA P-3, which was equipped with a scanning laser altimeter, a Ku-band snow radar, and un updated nadir looking photo-imaging system. The CB5IT campaign consisted of two flights: an under flight of Envisat along a 1000 km track similar to that flown in 2006, and a flight through the Nares Strait up to the Lincoln Sea that included an overflight of the Danish GreenArc Ice Camp off the coast of northern Greenland. We present an examination of data collected during this campaign, comparing airborne laser altimeter measurements
Overly, Thomas B.; Hawley, Robert L.; Helm, Veit; Morris, Elizabeth M.; Chaudhary, Rohan N.
We report annual snow accumulation rates from 1959 to 2004 along a 250 km segment of the Expéditions Glaciologiques Internationales au Groenland (EGIG) line across central Greenland using Airborne SAR/Interferometric Radar Altimeter System (ASIRAS) radar layers and high resolution neutron-probe (NP) density profiles. ASIRAS-NP-derived accumulation rates are not statistically different (95 % confidence interval) from in situ EGIG accumulation measurements from 1985 to 2004. ASIRAS-NP-derived accumulation increases by 20 % below 3000 m elevation, and increases by 13 % above 3000 m elevation for the period 1995 to 2004 compared to 1985 to 1994. Three Regional Climate Models (PolarMM5, RACMO2.3, MAR) underestimate snow accumulation below 3000 m by 16-20 % compared to ASIRAS-NP from 1985 to 2004. We test radar-derived accumulation rates sensitivity to density using modeled density profiles in place of NP densities. ASIRAS radar layers combined with Herron and Langway (1980) model density profiles (ASIRAS-HL) produce accumulation rates within 3.5 % of ASIRAS-NP estimates in the dry snow region. We suggest using Herron and Langway (1980) density profiles to calibrate radar layers detected in dry snow regions of ice sheets lacking detailed in situ density measurements, such as those observed by the Operation IceBridge campaign.
Miller, L. S.
A number of GEOS-3 passes over the Atlantic Ocean and Southeastern U.S. are examined. Surface-truth and radar altimeter data comparisons are given in terms of surface correlation length, signal fluctuation characteristics, and altitude tracker dynamic response. Detailed analyses are given regarding spatial resolution and its dependency on angular backscatter behavior. These analyses include data from passes over ocean (diffuse scatter), land (large body scatter), and mirror-like inland water areas (pseudo-specular scatter). Altimeter data are examined for a pass over a large reservoir and marsh area of differing water levels; this geometry represents a stepchange in altitude which is usable in determination of the transient response of the tracker. The extent to which pulse-length limited operation pertains over-land is examined. A Wiener filter altitude algorithm is discussed which permits specification of tracker variance and geoidal spectral characteristics during operation.
Blair, J. B.; Hofton, M. A.; Rabine, D. L.; Luthcke, S. B.; Greim, H.
The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) is an airborne, medium-sized footprint laser altimeter system. By digitally recording the shape of the returning laser pulse (waveform), LVIS provides a precise and accurate view of the vertical structure within each footprint/pixel including both the sub-canopy and canopy-top topography. Applications of LVIS data include biomass estimation for a wide variety of forest types, ground surface change detection for tectonic studies, mapping sea surface topography to assist in coastal hazard assessment, and hydrology studies utilizing sub-canopy topography in densely forested regions. Since 1998, LVIS data have been collected in various areas of New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Panama and Costa Rica. The data calibration and geolocation processing system utilizes a formal Bayesian least-squares-estimation of pointing, ranging and timing parameters based on a batch reduction of altimeter range residuals. Data are released publicly on the LVIS website at http://lvis.gsfc.nasa.gov. Results show data precisions of <50 cm are routinely achieved in all forest types and <5 cm in bare ground conditions. Because of its unique capability to simultaneously map vegetation and sub-canopy ground topography, LVIS data can be used to assess the accuracy of other remote sensing systems. For example, ground and canopy top elevations generated by LVIS were used to assess the accuracy of Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) elevations at study sites with different levels of relief and land cover type. Results showed that the mean vertical offset between the SRTM elevations and LVIS ground elevations varied with landcover type and study site location. Comparisons between LVIS and ICESat will also be presented.
Hancock, D. W.; Forsythe, R. G.; Mcmillan, J. D.
A description of all algorithms required for altimeter processing is given. Each description includes title, description, inputs/outputs, general algebraic sequences and data volume. All required input/output data files are described and the computer resources required for the entire altimeter processing system were estimated. The majority of the data processing requirements for any radar altimeter of the Seasat-1 type are scoped. Additions and deletions could be made for the specific altimeter products required by other projects.
Heymsfield, G. M.; Heymsfield, A. J.; Belcher, L.
NASA conducted the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers (CRYSTAL) Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (FACE) during July 2002 for improved understanding of tropical cirrus. One of the goals was to improve the understanding of cirrus generation by convective updrafts. The reasons why some convective storms produce extensive cirrus anvils is only partially related to convective instability and the vertical transport ice mass by updrafts. Convective microphysics must also have an important role on cirrus generation, for example, there are hypotheses that homogeneous nucleation in convective updrafts is a major source of anvil ice particles. In this paper, we report on one intense CRYSTAL-FACE convective case on 16 July 2002 that produced extensive anvil. During CRYSTAL-FACE, up to 5 aircraft flying from low- to high-altitudes, were coordinated for the study of thunderstorm-generated cirrus. The NASA high-altitude (20 km) ER-2 aircraft with remote sensing objectives flew above the convection, and other aircraft such as the WB-57 performing in situ measurements flew below the ER-2. The ER-2 remote sensing instruments included two nadir viewing airborne radars. The CRS 94 GHz radar and the EDOP 9.6 GHz radar were flown together for the first time during CRYSTAL-FACE and they provided a unique opportunity to examine the structure of 16 July case from a dual-wavelength perspective. EDOP and CRS are complementary for studying convection and cirrus since CRS is more sensitive than EDOP for cirrus, and EDOP is considerably less attenuating in convective regions. In addition to the aircraft, coordinated ground-based radar measurements were taken with the NPOL S-Band (3 GHz) multiparameter radar. One of the initial goals was to determine whether dual-wavelength airborne measurements could identify supercooled water regions.
Kim, Yun-Jin; Lou, Yun-Ling; vanZyl, Jakob
The NASA/JPL airborne SAR (AIRSAR) system operates in the fully polarimetric mode at P-, L- and C-band simultaneously or in the interferometric mode in both L- and C-band simultaneously. The system became operational in late 1987 and flew its first mission aboard a DC-8 aircraft operated by NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Since then, the AIRSAR has flown missions every year and acquired images in North, Central and South America, Europe and Australia. In this paper, we will briefly describe the instrument characteristics, the evolution of the various radar modes, the instrument performance, and improvement in the knowledge of the positioning and attitude information of the radar. In addition, we will summarize the progress of the data processing effort especially in the interferometry processing. Finally, we will address the issue of processing and calibrating the cross-track interferometry (XTI) data.
Gillberg, Jeff; Pockrandt, Mitch; Symosek, Peter; Benser, Earl T.
Honeywell has developed algorithms for the detection of wind shear/microburst using airborne Doppler radar. The Honeywell algorithms use three dimensional pattern recognition techniques and the selection of an associated scanning pattern forward of the aircraft. This 'volumetric scan' approach acquires reflectivity, velocity, and spectral width from a three dimensional volume as opposed to the conventional use of a two dimensional azimuthal slice of data at a fixed elevation. The algorithm approach is based on detection and classification of velocity patterns which are indicative of microburst phenomenon while minimizing the false alarms due to ground clutter return. Simulation studies of microburst phenomenon and x-band radar interaction with the microburst have been performed and results of that study are presented. Algorithm performance indetection of both 'wet' and 'dry' microbursts is presented.
Heymsfield, Gerald M.; Tian, Lin; Li, Lihua; McLinden, Matthew; Cervantes, Jaime I.
A new dual-frequency (Ku and Ka band) nadir-pointing Doppler radar on the high-altitude NASA ER-2 aircraft, called the High-Altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler (HIWRAP), has collected data over severe thunderstorms in Oklahoma and Kansas during the Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E). The overarching motivation for this study is to understand the behavior of the dualwavelength airborne radar measurements in a global variety of thunderstorms and how these may relate to future spaceborne-radar measurements. HIWRAP is operated at frequencies that are similar to those of the precipitation radar on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (Ku band) and the upcoming Global Precipitation Measurement mission satellite's dual-frequency (Ku and Ka bands) precipitation radar. The aircraft measurements of strong hailstorms have been combined with ground-based polarimetric measurements to obtain a better understanding of the response of the Ku- and Ka-band radar to the vertical distribution of the hydrometeors, including hail. Data from two flight lines on 24 May 2011 are presented. Doppler velocities were approx. 39m/s2at 10.7-km altitude from the first flight line early on 24 May, and the lower value of approx. 25m/s on a second flight line later in the day. Vertical motions estimated using a fall speed estimate for large graupel and hail suggested that the first storm had an updraft that possibly exceeded 60m/s for the more intense part of the storm. This large updraft speed along with reports of 5-cm hail at the surface, reflectivities reaching 70 dBZ at S band in the storm cores, and hail signals from polarimetric data provide a highly challenging situation for spaceborne-radar measurements in intense convective systems. The Ku- and Ka-band reflectivities rarely exceed approx. 47 and approx. 37 dBZ, respectively, in these storms.
Vandemark, D.; Gourrion, J.; Bailey, S.; Chapron, B.; Zukor, Dorothy (Technical Monitor)
The development and validation of a new altimeter wind speed model will be presented. This algorithm provides a direct mapping of TOPEX-measured backscatter and significant wave height to 10 m wind speed. A large scatterometer/altimeter crossover data set was assembled to develop the routine and several large ancillary data sets have been assembled for validation purposes. Validation results suggest that this two input routine provides marginal, yet measurable improvements over the standard single-parameter MCW algorithm.
Karmarkar, J.; Clark, D.
Software developed to provide a real time simulation of an airborne radar for overwater approaches to oil rig platforms is documented. The simulation is used to study advanced concepts for enhancement of airborne radar approaches (ARA) in order to reduce crew workload, improve approach tracking precision, and reduce weather minimums. ARA's are currently used for offshore helicopter operations to and from oil rigs.
Ilisei, Ana-Maria; Bruzzone, Lorenzo
Understanding the dynamics and processes of the ice sheets is crucial for predicting the behavior of climate change. A potential approach to achieve this is by using high resolution (HR) digital elevation models (DEMs) of the ice surface derived from remote sensing radar or laser altimeters. Unfortunately, at present HR DEMs of large portions of the ice sheets are not available. To address this issue, in this paper we propose a multisensor data fusion technique for the generation of a HR DEM of the ice sheets, which fuses two types of data, i.e., radargrams acquired by radar sounder (RS) instruments and ice surface elevation data measured by altimeter (ALT) instruments. The aim of the technique is to generate a DEM of the ice surface at the best possible horizontal resolution by exploiting the complementary characteristics of the RS and ALT data. This is done by defining a novel processing scheme that involves image processing techniques based on data rescaling, geostatistical interpolation and multiresolution analysis (MRA). The method has been applied to a subset of RS and ALT data acquired over a portion of the Byrd Glacier in Antarctica. Experimental results confirm the effectiveness of the proposed method.
Heggy, E.; Fadlelmawla, A.; Farr, T. G.; Al-Rashed, M.
Most of the global warming observations, scientific interest and data analyses have concentrated on the earth Polar Regions and forested areas, as they provide direct measurable impacts of large scale environmental changes. Unfortunately, the arid environments, which represent ~20% of the earth surface, have remained poorly studied. Yet water rarity and freshness, drastic changes in rainfall, flash floods, high rates of aquifer discharge and an accelerated large-scale desertification process are all alarming signs that suggest a substantial large-scale climatic variation in those areas that can be correlated to the global change that is affecting the volatile dynamic in arid zones. Unfortunately the correlations, forcings and feedbacks between the relevant processes (precipitation, surface fresh water, aquifer discharge, sea water rise and desertification) in these zones remain poorly observed, modeled, let alone understood. Currently, local studies are often oriented toward understanding small-scale or regional water resources and neither benefit from nor feedback to the global monitoring of water vapor, precipitation and soil moisture in arid and semi-arid areas. Furthermore techniques to explore deep subsurface water on a large scale in desertic environments remain poorly developed making current understanding of earth paleo-environment, water assessment and exploration efforts poorly productive and out-phased with current and future needs to quantitatively understand the evolution of earth water balance. To address those deficiencies we performed a comprehensive test mapping of shallow subsurface hydro-geological structures in the western Arabic peninsula in Kuwait, using airborne low frequency sounding radars with the main objectives to characterize shallow fossil aquifers in term of depth, sizes and water freshness. In May 2011, an experimental airborne radar sounder operating at 50 MHz was deployed in Kuwait and demonstrated an ability to penetrate down to
Peters, M. E.; Blankenship, D. D.; Morse, D. L.
Ice sheets are sensitive indicators of global change including sea-level rise. An ice sheet's subglacial interface is an important factor controlling its dynamic behavior. In particular, the grounding zones of ice streams and subglacial lakes are complex systems involving the interaction of the moving ice mass with underlying materials such as liquid water, saturated lubricating tills, and rough or frozen bedrock sticky spots. Imaging and characterizing the subglacial environment of ice sheets is fundamental to understanding these complex systems. Airborne radar sounding is a powerful and well-known technique for studying ice sheets and glaciers and their contiguous underlying environments. We present results from data acquired in 2001 over the ice stream C grounding zone in West Antarctica, as well as over a hypothesized subglacial lake near the South Pole. These data were acquired using a uniquely configured coherent airborne radar system. Our focus has been to characterize the subglacial interface through radar echo analysis based on reflection and scattering theory. The radar system uses a programmable signal source linked to a 10 kW transmitter and a dual-channel coherent down-conversion receiver. The radar operates in chirped pulse mode at 60 MHz with 15 MHz bandwidth. High and low-gain channels allow for recording a wide dynamic range of echoes simultaneously and without range-dependent gain control. Data acquisition includes integrations of 16 returned radar signals about every 15 cm along-track. Pulse compression and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) processing were components of data analysis. Subglacial echoes are influenced by the physical properties of the interface such as the composition and roughness of the materials at the interface. Other important factors include dielectric losses and volumetric scattering losses from propagation through the ice as well as transmission and refraction at the air-ice interface. Unfocussed SAR narrows the along
Recent surface mass balance changes in space and time over the polar ice sheets need to be better constrained in order to estimate the ice-sheet contribution to sea-level rise. The mass balance of any ice body is obtained by subtracting mass losses from mass gains. In response to climate changes of the recent decades, ice-sheet mass losses have increased, making ice-sheet mass balance negative and raising sea level. In this work, I better quantify the mass gained by snowfall across the polar ice sheets; I target specific regions over both Greenland and West Antarctica where snow accumulation changes are occurring due to rising air temperature. Southeast Greenland receives 30% of the total snow accumulation of the Greenland ice sheet. In this work, I combine internal layers observed in ice-penetrating radar data with firn cores to derive the last 30 years of accumulation and to measure the spatial pattern of accumulation toward the southeast coastline. Below 1800 m elevation, in the percolation zone, significant surface melt is observed in the summer, which challenges both firn-core dating and internal-layer tracing. While firn-core drilling at 1500 m elevation, liquid water was found at ˜20-m depth in a firn aquifer that persisted over the winter. The presence of this water filling deeper pore space in the firn was unexpected, and has a significant impact on the ice sheet thermal state and the estimate of mass balance made using satellite altimeters. Using a 400-MHz ice-penetrating radar, the extent of this widespread aquifer was mapped on the ground, and also more extensively from the air with a 750-MHz airborne radar as part of the NASA Operation IceBridge mission. Over three IceBridge flight campaigns (2011-2013), based on radar data, the firn aquifer is estimated to cover ˜30,000 km2 area within the wet-snow zone of the ice sheet. I use repeated flightlines to understand the temporal variability of the water trapped in the firn aquifer and to simulate its
Li, Jilu; Gogineni, Sivaprasad; Yan, Stephen; Mahmood, Ali; Awasthi, Abhishek; Rodriguez-Morales, Fernando
Recovery Glacier in East Antarctica drains a large volume of ice into Filchner Ice Shelf towards Weddell Sea. The existence of several subglacial lakes beneath the channel has been speculated based on satellite observations of elevation changes on the ice surface. Because of its important role in East Antarctic ice mass balance and its unique function in the ice-flow dynamics of Recovery Ice Stream, two NASA Operation IceBridge (OIB) missions have been flown over Recovery Glacier, the first in October 2012 and the second in October 2014. The airborne radar depth sounder (RDS) data collected during these two missions by the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) Multi-channel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder/Imager (MCoRDS/I) have revealed both the presence of a very deep channel and its complex shape, data that contribute to the study of the ice-flow dynamics of the glacier and estimations of its mass balance. In this paper, we will report the results of measurements collected during the 2014 Antarctica DC-8 mission for OIB. Data were collected using an improved version of the CReSIS MCoRDS/I. We increased transmit power to each element of the transmit-array from about 200 W to 1000 W and increased the chirp bandwidth to 50 MHz, compared to 9.5 MHz used in earlier OIB missions. These improvements have led to a more complete mapping of the deepest part of the channel, which is more than 3.7 km deep, and fine-resolution mapping of internal layers. Our preliminary analysis of radar echoes does not indicate the presence of water or a wet surface in subglacier lakes. This paper presents an overview of the radar system, results from our recent measurements, and analysis of these results.
Gopalsami, N.; Raptis, A. C.; Energy Technology
This paper discusses the development of a millimeter-wave radar chemical sensor for applications in environmental monitoring and arms-control treaty verification. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of fingerprint-type molecular rotational signatures in the millimeter-wave spectrum to sense airborne chemicals. The millimeter-wave sensor, operating in the frequency range of 225-315 GHz, can work under all weather conditions and in smoky and dusty environments. The basic configuration of the millimeter-wave sensor is a monostatic swept-frequency radar that consists of a millimeter-wave sweeper, a hot-electron bolometer or Schottky barrier detector, and a corner-cube reflector. The chemical plume to be detected is situated between the transmitter/detector and reflector. Millimeter-wave absorption spectra of chemicals in the plume are determined by measuring the swept-frequency radar return signals with and without the plume in the beam path. The problem of pressure broadening, which hampered open-path spectroscopy in the past, has been mitigated in this paper by designing a fast sweeping source over a broad frequency range. The heart of the system is a backward-wave oscillator (BWO) tube that can be tuned over 220-350 GHz. Using the BWO tube, we built a millimeter-wave radar system and field-tested it at the Department of Energy Nevada Test Site, Frenchman Flat, near Mercury, NV, at a standoff distance of 60 m, The millimeter-wave system detected chemical plumes very well; detection sensitivity for polar molecules such as methylchloride was down to 12 ppm for a 4-m two-way pathlength.
Chuah, Teong Sek; Gogineni, Siva Prasad; Allen, Christopher; Wohletz, Brad; Wong, Y. C.; Ng, P. Y.; Ajayi, E.
We performed ice thickness measurements over the southern part of the Greenland ice sheet during June and July 1993. We used an airborne coherent radar depth sounder for these measurements. The radar was operated from a NASA P-3 aircraft equipped with GPS receivers. Radar data were collected in conjunction with laser altimeter and microwave altimeter measurements of ice surface elevation. This report provides radio echograms and thickness profiles from data collected during 1993.
Arens, W. E. (Inventor)
Processing of raw analog echo data from synthetic aperture radar receiver into images on board an airborne radar platform is discussed. Processing is made feasible by utilizing charge-coupled devices (CCD). CCD circuits are utilized to perform input sampling, presumming, range correlation and azimuth correlation in the analog domain. These radar data processing functions are implemented for single-look or multiple-look imaging radar systems.
Biggs, Albert W.
In order to determine susceptibilities of airborne radar to electronic countermeasures and electronic counter-countermeasures simulations of multistatic and backscattering cross sections were developed as digital modules in the form of algorithms. Cross section algorithms are described for prolate (cigar shape) and oblate (disk shape) spheroids. Backscattering cross section algorithms are also described for different categories of terrain. Backscattering cross section computer programs were written for terrain categorized as vegetation, sea ice, glacial ice, geological (rocks, sand, hills, etc.), oceans, man-made structures, and water bodies. PROGRAM SIGTERRA is a file for backscattering cross section modules of terrain (TERRA) such as vegetation (AGCROP), oceans (OCEAN), Arctic sea ice (SEAICE), glacial snow (GLASNO), geological structures (GEOL), man-made structures (MAMMAD), or water bodies (WATER). AGCROP describes agricultural crops, trees or forests, prairies or grassland, and shrubs or bush cover. OCEAN has the SLAR or SAR looking downwind, upwind, and crosswind at the ocean surface. SEAICE looks at winter ice and old or polar ice. GLASNO is divided into a glacial ice and snow or snowfields. MANMAD includes buildings, houses, roads, railroad tracks, airfields and hangars, telephone and power lines, barges, trucks, trains, and automobiles. WATER has lakes, rivers, canals, and swamps. PROGRAM SIGAIR is a similar file for airborne targets such as prolate and oblate spheroids.
Wolde, Mengistu Yirdaw
This study presents results from analyses of 95 GHz airborne polarimetric radar measurements and other in situ data in a variety of ice clouds. Measurements were made in winter clouds over Wyoming and Colorado. Radar parameters analyzed were the differential reflectivity factor (ZDR) and the linear depolarization ratio (LDR). Examination of the specific signatures for different crystal forms, and the dependence of the signatures on beam angle, led to a diagnostic matrix in terms ZDR and LDR values. Planar crystals, columnar crystals, and melting particles can be differentiated based on combined ZDR and LDR measurements at various radar elevation angles. Unique LDR signatures were also observed in Cu con. clouds containing large graupel particles and high concentrations of small particles. It is also shown that among planar crystals P1a and P1d types can be differentiated from P1e types. Overall, the frequencies of occurrence of significant polarimetric signatures were only few percent in the cloud volumes examined, but can approach near 100% in certain clouds. Polarimetric signatures were found to be most frequent in the temperature interval -10 to -18°C due to plate-like crystals growing there. The presence of significant polarimetric signatures is associated with the absence of riming and provides a means of identifying cloud regions where diffusional crystal growth dominates. In the second part of the dissertation, cloud structure and crystal growth in Ns clouds sampled in Wyoming and Oregon are presented. In spite of differences in location and time, the two Ns data sets have shown similar features. In both cases, generating cells were present near cloud top and the melting layer was well defined in the radar images. Thin dry layers just above the melting layer were also observed in both cases. In accordance with earlier studies, particle spectra in these clouds are adequately described by exponential relationships. The slope and intercept parameters of the
McGill, Matthew; Markus, Thorsten; Scott, V. Stanley; Neumann, Thomas
The Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission is currently under development by NASA. The primary mission of ICESat-2 will be to measure elevation changes of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, document changes in sea ice thickness distribution, and derive important information about the current state of the global ice coverage. To make this important measurement, NASA is implementing a new type of satellite-based surface altimetry based on sensing of laser pulses transmitted to, and reflected from, the surface. Because the ICESat-2 measurement approach is different from that used for previous altimeter missions, a high-fidelity aircraft instrument, the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), was developed to demonstrate the measurement concept and provide verification of the ICESat-2 methodology. The MABEL instrument will serve as a prototype for the ICESat-2 mission and also provides a science tool for studies of land surface topography. This paper outlines the science objectives for the ICESat-2 mission, the current measurement concept for ICESat-2, and the instrument concept and preliminary data from MABEL.
Lockwood, Dennis W.; Hancock, David W., III; Hayne, George S.; Brooks, Ronald L.
This is the thirteenth and final report in a series of TOPEX Radar Altimeter Engineering Assessment Reports. The initial TOPEX Radar Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report, in February 1994, presented performance results for the NASA Radar Altimeter on the TOPEX/POSEIDON spacecraft, from its launch in August 1992 to February 1994. Since the time of that initial report and prior to this report, there have been eleven interim supplemental Engineering Assessment Reports, issued in March 1995, May 1996, March 1997, June 1998, August 1999, September 2000, June 2001, March 2002, May 2003, April 2004 and September 2005. The sixth supplement in September 2000 was the first assessment report that addressed Side B performance, and presented the altimeter performance from Side B turn-on until the end of calendar year 1999. This report extends the performance assessment of Side B to the final collection of data on October 9, 2005, and includes the performance assessment of Jason-1, the TOPEX follow-on mission, launched on December 7, 2001. This report provides some comparisons of Side A and Side B performance.
Stanley, H. R.; Taylor, R. L.
All of the GEOS 3 satellite altimeter schedule information were collected with all of the available 1977 and 1978 tropical cyclone positional information. The time period covers from March 23, 1977 through Nov. 23, 1978. The geographical region includes all ocean area north of the equator divided into the following operational areas: the Atlantic area (which includes the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico); the eastern Pacific area; the central and western Pacific area; and the Indian Ocean area. All available source material concerning tropical cyclones was collected. The date/time/location information was extracted for each disturbance. This information was compared with the GEOS 3 altimeter ON/OFF history information to determine the existence of any altimeter data close enough in both time and location to make the data potentially useful for further study (the very liberal criteria used was time less than 24 hours and location within 25 degrees). Geographic plots (cyclone versus GEOS 3 orbit track) were produced for all of the events found showing the approximate location of the cyclone and the GEOS 3 orbit traces for the full day.
Wang, Haijiang; Yang, Ling
In this paper, the application of vector analysis tool in the illuminated area and the Doppler frequency distribution research for the airborne pulse radar is studied. An important feature of vector analysis is that it can closely combine the geometric ideas with algebraic calculations. Through coordinate transform, the relationship between the frame of radar antenna and the ground, under aircraft motion attitude, is derived. Under the time-space analysis, the overlap area between the footprint of radar beam and the pulse-illuminated zone is obtained. Furthermore, the Doppler frequency expression is successfully deduced. In addition, the Doppler frequency distribution is plotted finally. Using the time-space analysis results, some important parameters of a specified airborne radar system are obtained. Simultaneously, the results are applied to correct the phase error brought by attitude change in airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging.
Jeffries, M.O.; Sackinger, W.M. )
A 1:300,000 scale airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image of an area of the Arctic Ocean adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canadian High Arctic, is examined to determine the number and characteristics of ice islands in the image and to assess the capability of airborne and satellite SAR to detect ice islands. Twelve ice islands have been identified, and their dimensions range from as large as 5.7 km by 8.7 km to as small as 0.15 km by 0.25 km. A significant SAR characteristic of the shelf ice portions of ice islands is a return with a ribbed texture of alternating lighter and darker grey tones resulting from the indulating shelf ice surfaces of the ice islands. The appearance of the ribbed texture varies according to the ice islands' orientation relative to the illumination direction and consequently the incidence angle. Some ice islands also include extensive areas of textureless dark tone attached to the shelf ice. The weak returns correspond to (1) multiyear landfast sea ice that was attached to the front of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf at the time of calving and which has remained attached since then and (2) multiyear pack ice that has become attached and consolidated since the calving, indicating that ice islands can increase their area and mass significantly as they drift. Ice islands are easily discernible in SAR images and for the future SAR represents a promising technique to obtain a census of ice islands in the Arctic Ocean. However, any SAR-based census probably will be conservative because ice islands smaller than 300-400 m across are likely to remain undetected, particularly in areas of heavy ice ridging which produces strong SAR clutter.
A view of the Airborne Synthetic Aperature Radar (AIRSAR) antenna on the left rear fuselage of the DC-8. The AIRSAR captures images of the ground from the side of the aircraft and can provide precision digital elevation mapping capabilities for a variety of studies. The AIRSAR is one of a number of research systems that have been added to the DC-8. NASA is using a DC-8 aircraft as a flying science laboratory. The platform aircraft, based at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., collects data for many experiments in support of scientific projects serving the world scientific community. Included in this community are NASA, federal, state, academic and foreign investigators. Data gathered by the DC-8 at flight altitude and by remote sensing have been used for scientific studies in archeology, ecology, geography, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, volcanology, atmospheric chemistry, soil science and biology.
Yang, Le; Liu, Qinhuo
This paper addresses the potential and limitations of radar altimetry inversion techniques for quantitative forest parameter estimation in tropical forests using Cryosat2 SIRAL waveform data of the synthetic aperture/interferometric (SARin) mode for very dense and tall forest canopies in Brazil, Amazon. The 20Hz waveform data of SARin mode of Cycle 5 subcycle 3 (August 20th, 2012) and subcycles 4 (September 18th, 2012) were analyzed and used to retrieve canopy height under Cryosat2 ground track. Waveform analysis shows that the power waveform exhibits interesting features in detecting forest vertical structures in different area. With the help of coherence waveform, the canopy height is derived by determining the key points of forest top and ground returns. Because of lack of field tree height measurement in 2012 at Amazon, we validated the results using the global forest height product based on ICEsat1 GLAS data in 2005 and the field measurements at Tapajos National Forest, Brazil in 1999. Results indicated that the mean value of the canopy height from Cryosat2/SIRAL is between that of the Lidar data and field measurements. The height estimated using Cryosat2/ SIRAL data is much closer to the Lorey’s height than the mean and maximum height. Radar altimeter has shown promise to map structure in high density regions of the tropics.
Hayne, G. S.; Miller, L. S.; Brown, G. S.
Techniques are described for preprocessing raw return waveform data from the GEOS-3 radar altimeter. Topics discussed include: (1) general altimeter data preprocessing to be done at the GEOS-3 Data Processing Center to correct altimeter waveform data for temperature calibrations, to convert between engineering and final data units and to convert telemetered parameter quantities to more appropriate final data distribution values: (2) time "tagging" of altimeter return waveform data quantities to compensate for various delays, misalignments and calculational intervals; (3) data processing procedures for use in estimating spacecraft attitude from altimeter waveform sampling gates; and (4) feasibility of use of a ground-based reflector or transponder to obtain in-flight calibration information on GEOS-3 altimeter performance.
Clary, G. R.; Cooper, P. G.
As a part of NASA's Rotorcraft All-Weather Operations Research Program, advanced airborne radar approach (ARA) concepts are being investigated. Since data from previous NASA/FAA flight tests showed significant ARA limitations, a research program was initiated at NASA Ames Research Center to determine the benefit that could be derived by automating certain radar functions and superimposing course display data on the radar display. To evaluate these concepts, a newly developed video tracking system which interfaces with weather radar was acquired. After the pilot designates a destination target, the system tracks the target video as it moves on the radar indicator. Using a small, efficient microprocessor, the autotracker presents valuable approach data on the radar screen and automatically adjusts the radar gain and tilt. Results of a limited flight test evaluation of the autotracker show that the course display concept, combined with automated gain and tilt functions, is effective for improving ARA's and reducing radar operator workload.
Walsh, Edward J.; Hancock, David W., III; Hines, Donald E.; Swift, Robert N.; Scott, John F.
The 36-gigahertz surface contour radar and the airborne oceanographic lidar were used in the SIR-B underflight mission off the coast of Chile in October 1984. The two systems and some of their wave-measurement capabilities are described. The surface contour radar can determine the directional wave spectrum and eliminate the 180-degree ambiguity in wave propagation direction that is inherent in some other techniques such as stereophotography and the radar ocean wave spectrometer. The Airborne Oceanographic Lidar can acquire profile data on the waves and produce a spectrum that is close to the nondirectional ocean-wave spectrum for ground tracks parallel to the wave propagation direction.
Smith, A. G.
Images from the Skylab S-193 radar altimeter were selected from data obtained on appropriate passes made by Skylabs 2, 3, and 4 missions for the following three objectives: (1) to serve as a precursor to an investigation for the planned GEOS-C mission, in which radar altimeter data will be analyzed to reveal ocean current related to surface topography; (2) to determine the value of satellite infrared and visual radiometer data as potential sources of ground truth data, the results of which be incorporated in the planning of the SEASAT program; and (3) to determine whether optimal data reduction techniques are useful for revealing clues on Gulf Stream topographic signature characteristics. The results obtained which apply to the stated objectives are discussed.
Overly, T. B.; Hawley, R. L.; Helm, V.; Morris, E. M.; Chaudhary, R. N.
We report annual snow accumulation rates from 1959 to 2004 along a 250 km segment of the Expéditions Glaciologiques Internationales au Groenland (EGIG) line across central Greenland using Airborne SAR/Interferometric Radar Altimeter System (ASIRAS) radar layers and detailed neutron-probe (NP) density profiles. ASIRAS-NP accumulation rates are not statistically different (C.I. 95 %) from in situ EGIG accumulation measurements from 1985 to 2004. Below 3000 m elevation, ASIRAS-NP increases by 20 % for the period 1995 to 2004 compared to 1985 to 1994. Above 3000 m elevation, accumulation increases by 13 % for 1995-2004 compared to 1985-1994. Model snow accumulation results from the calibrated Fifth Generation Mesoscale Model modified for polar climates (Polar MM5) underestimate mean annual accumulation by 16 % compared to ASIRAS-NP from 1985 to 2004. We test radar-derived accumulation rates sensitivity to density using modelled density profiles in place of detailed NP data. ASIRAS radar layers combined with Herron and Langway (1980) model density profiles (ASIRAS-HL) produce accumulation rates within 3.5 % of ASIRAS-NP estimates. We suggest using Herron and Langway (1980) density profiles to calibrate radar layers detected in dry snow regions of ice sheets lacking detailed in situ density measurements, such as those observed by the IceBridge campaign.
Hussein, Ziad A.; Green, Ken
A compact, dual-frequency, dual-polarization, wide-angle-scanning antenna system has been developed as part of an airborne instrument for measuring rainfall. This system is an upgraded version of a prior single-frequency airborne rain radar antenna system and was designed to satisfy stringent requirements. One particularly stringent combination of requirements is to generate two dual-polarization (horizontal and vertical polarizations) beams at both frequencies (13.405 and 35.605 GHz) in such a way that the beams radiated from the antenna point in the same direction, have 3-dB angular widths that match within 25 percent, and have low sidelobe levels over a wide scan angle at each polarization-and-frequency combination. In addition, the system is required to exhibit low voltage standing-wave ratios at both frequencies. The system (see figure) includes a flat elliptical scanning reflector and a stationary offset paraboloidal reflector illuminated by a common-aperture feed system that comprises a corrugated horn with four input ports one port for each of the four frequency-and-polarization combinations. The feed horn is designed to simultaneously (1) under-illuminate the reflectors 35.605 GHz and (2) illuminate the reflectors with a 15-dB edge taper at 13.405 GHz. The scanning mirror is rotated in azimuth to scan the antenna beam over an angular range of 20 in the cross-track direction for wide swath coverage, and in elevation to compensate for the motion of the aircraft. The design of common-aperture feed horn makes it possible to obtain the required absolute gain and low side-lobe levels in wide-angle beam scanning. The combination of the common-aperture feed horn with the small (0.3) focal-length-to-diameter ratio of the paraboloidal reflector makes it possible for the overall system to be compact enough that it can be mounted on a DC-8 airplane.
Durden, Stephen L.
Rainfall profile from the 14 GHz TRMM Precipitation Radar will require correction for attenuation effects. An important technique for this is the surface reference technique, which estimates the path attenuation through rain by comparing the clear air ocean backscatter with ocean backscatter in rain.
Luo, Xianyun; Zhang, Zhongzhi; Yin, Zhiying; Sun, Fang; Kang, Shifeng; Wang, Laibu; Yu, Yunchao; Wen, Fangru
Measurements of electromagnetic backscattering from sea surface at L band have been done with airborne side-looking radar system. Several flights are made for various sea states. Coherent radar data ta HH polarization and some truth data such as wave height, wind velocity and direction, temperature of sea water are recorded. Corner reflectors and active backscattering coefficient can be derived from the radar data and the cinematic data. The result presented in this paper include scattering coefficient and statistical analysis of radar echo with typical probability distribution functions such as Rayleigh, Weibull, Log-normal and K distribution.
Stanley, H. R.; Dwyer, R. E.
The procedures used to process the GEOS-3 radar altimeter data from raw telemetry data to a final user data product are described. In addition, the radar altimeter hardware design and operating parameters are presented to aid the altimeter user in understanding the altimeter data.
Yi, Donghui; Zwally, H. Jay; Cornejo, Helen G.; Barbieri, Kristine A.; DiMarzio, John P.
Radar-altimeter-measured surface elevations over ice sheets are sensitive to changes in the surface backscatter power that vary temporally and geographically. A correction is needed to extract the real elevation change (dH/dt) from the altimetry- measured ranges using either the backscatter coefficient (σ0) or the Automatic Gain control (AGC) as a measure of the backscatter power. We derive sensitivities between observed changes in elevation and changes in the backscatter power using three methods, which give different sensitivities (short-term, mixed-term, and long-term) and different correlation coefficients. The short-term sensitivities tend to be larger than the mixed term sensitivities and give larger corrections. The resulting corrected H(t) series show significant differences from the uncorrected H(t). In particular, the apparent seasonal cycle in the corrected H(t) is much smoother and smaller in amplitude. Also, in many locations the derived dH/dt from the corrected H(t) is quite different than from the uncorrected H(t).
Sundal, A. V.; Shepherd, A.; Wingham, D.; Muir, A.; Mcmillan, M.; Galin, N.
We present 19 years of continuous radar altimeter observations of the East and West Antarctic ice sheets acquired by the ERS-1, ERS-2, and ENVISAT satellites between May 1992 and September 2010. Time-series of surface elevation change were developed at 39,375 crossing points of the satellite orbit ground tracks using the method of dual cycle crossovers (Zwally et al., 1989; Wingham et al., 1998). In total, 46.5 million individual measurements were included in the analysis, encompassing 74 and 76 % of the East and West Antarctic ice sheet, respectively. The satellites were cross-calibrated by calculating differences between elevation changes occurring during periods of mission overlap. We use the merged time-series to explore spatial and temporal patterns of elevation change and to characterise and quantify the signals of Antarctic ice sheet imbalance. References: Wingham, D., Ridout, A., Scharroo, R., Arthern, R. & Shum, C.K. (1998): Antarctic elevation change from 1992 to 1996. Science, 282, 456-458. Zwally, H. J., Brenner, A. C., Major, J. A., Bindschadler, R. A. & Marsh, J. G. (1989): Growth of Greenland ice-sheet - measurements. Science, 246, 1587-1589.
Mastrogiuseppe, Marco; Hayes, Alex; Poggiali, Valerio; Lunine, Jonathan; Seu, Roberto; Hofgartner, Jason; Le Gall, Alice; Lorenz, Ralph
The Cassini RADAR's altimetry mode has been successfully used for probing the depth and composition of Titan's hydrocarbons seas. In May 2013, during the spacecraft's T91 flyby of Titan, the instrument demonstrated its capabilities as a radar sounder, presenting a unique opportunity to constraint the depth and composition of Titan's second largest sea, Ligeia Mare. Later, observations of Kraken Mare and Punga Mare were planned and executed in August 2014 (T104) and January 2015 (T108), respectively. While most of the seafloor was not detected at Kraken, suggesting the sea was either too deep or too absorptive in these areas to observe a return from the seafloor, shallow areas near Moray Sinus did show subsurface reflections. At Punga Mare, a clear detection of the subsurface was observed with a maximum depth of 120 m along the radar altimetry transect. Herein we present a re-analysis of altimetry data acquired over Ligeia Mare and, earlier in the Cassini mission (in December 2008 during T49), over the southern Ontario Lacus. Depths measurements and liquid composition are obtained using a novel technique which makes use of radar simulations and Monte Carlo-based inversions. Simulation is based on a two-layer model, where the surface is represented by a specular reflection and the seafloor is modeled using a facet-based synthetic surface, including thermal noise, speckle effects, analog to digital conversion (ADC), block adaptive quantization (BAQ), and allows for possible receiver saturation. This new analysis provides an update to the Ku-band attenuation (the Cassini RADAR operates at a wavelength of 2 cm) and results in a new estimate for loss tangent and composition. We found a value of specific attenuation of the liquid equal to 0.14±0.02 dB/m and 0.2±0.1 dB/m, which is equivalent to a loss tangent of 4.4±0.9x10^-5 and 7±3x10^-5 for Ligeia Mare and Ontario Lacus, respectively. Assuming that Titan's liquid bodies are composed by a ternary mixture of methane
Holt, J. W.; Blankenship, D. D.; Peters, M. E.; Kempf, S. D.; Williams, B. J.
The identification of features on Mars exhibiting morphologies consistent with ice/rock mixtures, near-surface ice bodies and near-surface liquid water, and the importance of such features to the search for water on Mars highlights the need for appropriate terrestrial analogs in order to prepare for upcoming radar missions targeting these and other water-related features. Climatic, hydrological, and geological conditions in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are analogous in many ways to those on Mars, and a number of ice-related features in the Dry Valleys may have direct morphologic and compositional counterparts on Mars. We have collected roughly 1,000 line-km of airborne radar sounding data in the Dry Valleys for Mars analog studies. A crucial first step in the data analysis process is the discrimination of echo sources in the radar data. The goal is to identify all returns from the surface of surrounding topography in order to positively identify subsurface echoes. This process will also be critical for radar data that will be collected in areas of Mars exhibiting significant topography, so that subsurface echoes are identified unambiguously. Using a Twin Otter airborne platform, data were collected in three separate flights during the austral summers of 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 using multiple systems, including a chirped 52.5 - 67.5 MHz coherent radar operating at 750 W and 8 kW peak power (with multiple receivers) and 1 - 2 microsecond pulse width, and a 60 MHz pulsed, incoherent radar operating at 8 kW peak power with 60 ns and 250 ns pulse width. The chirped, coherent data are suitable for the implementation of advanced pulse compression algorithms and SAR focusing. Flight elevation was nominally 500 m above the surface. Targets included permafrost, subsurface ice bodies, rock/ice glaciers, ice-covered saline lakes, and glacial deposits in Taylor and Beacon Valleys. A laser altimeter (fixed relative to the aircraft frame) was also used during both
Smith, W. H.
Serial correlation among successive radar echoes returned from the ocean surface is an important design constraint in satellite altimetry. Walsh [1974, 1982] established the conventional wisdom. Taking the radar footprint to be a uniformly radiating disk, he derived a theoretically expected echo decorrelation time of about 0.5 milliseconds. Following Walsh, ocean altimeters usually employ a pulse repetition frequency (PRF) around 2 kHz, in order to obtain statistically independent echoes at (so it is thought) the maximum possible rate. CryoSat, designed for ranging to ice surfaces, employs a PRF of 18.2 kHz in its SAR mode. CryoSat SAR echo sequences over ocean surfaces can be used to empirically determine the ocean echo decorrelation, and thus to test Walsh's model. Such a test is presented in this paper. The analysis begins by forming the ensemble average of complex cross products of pairs of echoes separated by a time lag L * PRI, where the pulse repetition interval (PRI) is 55 microseconds and the echo lag L runs from 0 to 32. The L = 0 case yields the conventional pulse-limited waveform, which is used to determine the sea state in each ensemble average. The averages of lagged echo cross products reveal the complex coherency, with sampling in both slow time (lag, L), and fast time (range, sampled in waveform gates). Data from many areas and sea states are analyzed, and the results are explained using a simple theory approximating the complex coherency expected from a Gaussian radar pulse. This theory generalizes the classical Brown  waveform model to lagged echo cross products, and generalizes Walsh's work to the case of footprints with non-uniform illumination and diffuse edges. Phase is due to vertical motion of the antenna. Amplitude variations in fast time are due to horizontal motion of the antenna, and are independent of wave height; their functional form confirms Brown's assumption that scattering is independent of azimuth. In slow time, the
Pereira, Eric Oliveira; Maillard, Philippe
Satellite altimeters on-board Envisat and SARAL (Altika) are routinely used to create virtual monitoring stations from the satellite path crossing with any river of significant width. These virtual stations have the advantage of having a low operational cost and providing near real-time absolute measurement of water level. However, many shortcomings still remain open questions and the precision of measurements can vary widely depending on a number of factors such as the river width and environmental conditions surrounding the water course. In this article we have concentrated our efforts on the relation between land cover classes, the shape of waveforms produced by the backscatter response and the separability among different land cover classes and water. Seven land cover classes often encountered nearby large river banks were analyzed: agriculture, native forest, planted forest, savanna, pasture, urban and open water. Waveforms of these classes were sampled to build a waveform library. They were compared among themselves using cross-correlation, cumulative difference and Kolmogorov-Smirnov distance. Average waveforms for each class were calculated and compared. The results show that only the "open water" and "forest" classes could be characterized as having a typical behavior, probably caused by the limitations of the measurements used. Furthermore, these two classes have very similar responses and could easily be confused. The other classes generally showed chaotic behavior which can mostly be attributed to variations in their cover characteristics. We expect that a better understanding of the influence of land cover on waveform shapes will increase accuracy of water level measurements.
Tanelli, Simone; Meagher, Jonathan P.; Durden, Stephen L.; Im, Eastwood
Following the successful Precipitation Radar (PR) of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, a new airborne, 14/35 GHz rain profiling radar, known as Airborne Precipitation Radar - 2 (APR-2), has been developed as a prototype for an advanced, dual-frequency spaceborne radar for a future spaceborne precipitation measurement mission. . This airborne instrument is capable of making simultaneous measurements of rainfall parameters, including co-pol and cross-pol rain reflectivities and vertical Doppler velocities, at 14 and 35 GHz. furthermore, it also features several advanced technologies for performance improvement, including real-time data processing, low-sidelobe dual-frequency pulse compression, and dual-frequency scanning antenna. Since August 2001, APR-2 has been deployed on the NASA P3 and DC8 aircrafts in four experiments including CAMEX-4 and the Wakasa Bay Experiment. Raw radar data are first processed to obtain reflectivity, LDR (linear depolarization ratio), and Doppler velocity measurements. The dataset is then processed iteratively to accurately estimate the true aircraft navigation parameters and to classify the surface return. These intermediate products are then used to refine reflectivity and LDR calibrations (by analyzing clear air ocean surface returns), and to correct Doppler measurements for the aircraft motion. Finally, the the melting layer of precipitation is detected and its boundaries and characteristics are identifIed at the APR-2 range resolution of 30m. The resulting 3D dataset will be used for validation of other airborne and spaceborne instruments, development of multiparametric rain/snow retrieval algorithms and melting layer characterization and statistics.
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) from an airborne platform has been proposed for imaging targets beneath the earth`s surface. The propagation of the radar`s energy within the ground, however, is much different than in the earth`s atmosphere. The result is signal refraction, echo delay, propagation losses, dispersion, and volumetric scattering. These all combine to make SAR image formation from an airborne platform much more challenging than a surface imaging counterpart. This report treats the ground as a lossy dispersive half-space, and presents a model for the radar echo based on measurable parameters. The model is then used to explore various imaging schemes, and image properties. Dynamic range is discussed, as is the impact of loss on dynamic range. Modified window functions are proposed to mitigate effects of sidelobes of shallow targets overwhelming deeper targets.
Britt, Charles L.
A description is provided of the Airborne Windshear Doppler Radar Simulation (AWDRS) program developed for NASA-Langley by the Research Triangle Institute. The radar simulation program is a comprehensive calculation of the signal characteristics and expected outputs of an airborne coherent pulsed Doppler radar system viewing a low level microburst along or near the approach path of the aircraft. The detailed nature of the simulation permits the quick evaluation of proposed trade-offs in radar system parameters and the evaluation of the performance of proposed configurations in various microburst/clutter environments. The simulation also provides a test bed for various proposed signal processing techniques for minimizing the effects of noise, phase jitter, and ground clutter and maximizing the useful information derived for avoidance of microburst windshear by aircraft.
Switzer, George F.; Britt, Charles L.
This document describes the simulation approach used to test the performance of the NASA airborne windshear radar. An explanation of the actual radar hardware and processing algorithms provides an understanding of the parameters used in the simulation program. This report also contains a brief overview of the NASA airborne windshear radar experimental flight test results. A description of the radar simulation program shows the capabilities of the program and the techniques used for certification evaluation. Simulation of the NASA radar is comprised of three steps. First, the choice of the ground clutter data must be made. The ground clutter is the return from objects in or nearby an airport facility. The choice of the ground clutter also dictates the aircraft flight path since ground clutter is gathered while in flight. The second step is the choice of the radar parameters and the running of the simulation program which properly combines the ground clutter data with simulated windshear weather data. The simulated windshear weather data is comprised of a number of Terminal Area Simulation System (TASS) model results. The final step is the comparison of the radar simulation results to the known windshear data base. The final evaluation of the radar simulation is based on the ability to detect hazardous windshear with the aircraft at a safe distance while at the same time not displaying false alerts.
NASA's Airborne Multikilohertz Microlaser Altimeter (Microaltimeter) is a scanning, photon-counting laser altimeter, which uses a low energy (less than 10 microJuoles), high repetition rate (approximately 10 kHz) laser, transmitting at 532 nm. A 14 cm diameter telescope images the ground return onto a segmented anode photomultiplier, which provides up to 16 range returns for each fire. Multiple engineering flights were made during 2001 and 2002 over the Maryland and Virginia coastal area, all during daylight hours. Post-processing of the data to geolocate the laser footprint and determine the terrain height requires post- detection Poisson filtering techniques to extract the actual ground returns from the noise. Validation of the instrument's ability to produce accurate terrain heights will be accomplished by direct comparison of data taken over Ocean City, Maryland with a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the region produced at Ohio State University (OSU) from other laser altimeter and photographic sources. The techniques employed to produce terrain heights from the Microaltimeter ranges will be shown, along with some preliminary comparisons with the OSU DEM.
Ford, J. P.; Wickland, D. E.; Sharitz, R. R.
Imaging radar backscatter in continuously forested areas contains information about the forest canopy; it also contains data about topography, landforms, and terrain texture. For purposes of radar image interpretation and geologic mapping researchers were interested in identifying and separating forest canopy effects from geologic or geomorphic effects on radar images. The objectives of this investigation was to evaluate forest canopy variables in multipolarization radar images under conditions where geologic and topographic variables are at a minimum. A subsidiary objective was to compare the discriminatory capabilities of the radar images with corresponding optical images of similar spatial resolution. It appears that the multipolarization images discriminate variation in tree density, but no evidence was found for discrimination between evergreen and deciduous forest types.
Zwally, H. J.; Beckley, M. A.; Brenner, A. C.; Giovinetto, M. B.; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)
Slant range analysis of radar altimeter data from the Seasat, Geosat, ERS-1 and ERS-2 databases are used to determine barrier location at particular times, and estimate barrier motion (km/yr) for major Antarctic ice shelves. The barrier locations, which are the seaward edges or fronts of floating ice shelves, advance with time as the ice flows from the grounded ice sheets and retreat whenever icebergs calve from the fronts. The analysis covers various multiyear intervals from 1978 to 1998, supplemented by barrier location maps produced elsewhere for 1977 and 1986. Barrier motion is estimated as the ratio between mean annual ice shelf area change for a particular interval, and the length of the discharge periphery. This value is positive if the barrier location progresses seaward, or negative if the barrier location regresses (break-back). Either positive or negative values are lower limit estimates because the method does not detect relatively small area changes due to calving or surge events. The findings are discussed in the context of the three ice shelves that lie in large embayments (the Filchner-Ronne, Amery, and Ross), and marginal ice shelves characterized by relatively short distances between main segments of grounding line and barrier (those in the Queen Maud Land sector between 10.1 deg. W and 32.5 deg. E, and the West and Shackleton ice shelves). All the ice shelves included in the study account for approximately three-fourths of the total ice shelf area of Antarctica, and discharge approximately two-thirds of the total grounded ice area.
Li, Li-Hua; Heymsfield, Gerald M.; Tian, Lin; Racette, Paul E.
Scattering properties of the Ocean surface have been widely used as a calibration reference for airborne and spaceborne microwave sensors. However, at millimeter-wave frequencies, the ocean surface backscattering mechanism is still not well understood, in part, due to the lack of experimental measurements. During the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers-Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTAL-FACE), measurements of ocean surface backscattering were made using a 94-GHz (W-band) cloud radar onboard a NASA ER-2 high-altitude aircraft. The measurement set includes the normalized Ocean surface cross section over a range of the incidence angles under a variety of wind conditions. Analysis of the radar measurements shows good agreement with a quasi-specular scattering model. This unprecedented dataset enhances our knowledge about the Ocean surface scattering mechanism at 94 GHz. The results of this work support the proposition of using the Ocean surface as a calibration reference for airborne millimeter-wave cloud radars and for the ongoing NASA CloudSat mission, which will use a 94-GHz spaceborne cloud radar for global cloud measurements.
Tanelli, S.; Meagher, J.; Durden, S. L.; Im, E.
The NASA/JPL airborne precipitation radar APR-2 (cross-track scanning, dual-frequency - 14 and 35 GHz, Doppler and dual polarization, see Sadowy et al. (2003) for detailed description of the instrument) was operated on the NASA P-3 aircraft during the Wakasa Bay experiment.
This paper investigates the feasibility of using an airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to validate spaceborne SAR data. This is directed at soil moisture sensing and the recently launched Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite. The value of this approach is related to the fact that vicar...
Recent advances in airborne terrestrial remote sensing with the NASA airborne visible/infrared imaging spectrometer (AVIRIS), airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and thermal infrared multispectral scanner (TIMS)
Vane, Gregg; Evans, Diane L.; Kahle, Anne B.
Significant progress in terrestrial remote sensing from the air has been made with three NASA-developed sensors that collectively cover the solar-reflected, thermal infrared, and microwave regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. These sensors are the airborne visible/infrared imaging spectrometer (AVIRIS), the thermal infrared mapping spectrometer (TIMS) and the airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR), respectively. AVIRIS and SAR underwent extensive in-flight engineering testing in 1987 and 1988 and are scheduled to become operational in 1989. TIMS has been in operation for several years. These sensors are described.
The development of a laser altimeter for use in the Apollo Lunar Orbital Experiments mission is discussed. The altimeter provides precise measurement of an Apollo vehicle above the lunar surface from an orbit of 40 to 80 nautical miles. The technical characteristics of the altimeter are described. Management of the altimeter development program is analyzed.
Carabajal, C. C.; Harding, D. J.
Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and laser altimeter measurements of topography provide complimentary approaches to characterize landforms. Results from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) will provide an unprecedented, near-global, Digital Elevation Model (DEM) at 30 m resolution using a single pass C-band (5.6 cm wavelength) radar interferometer. In vegetated terrains, the C-band radar energy penetrates part way into vegetation cover. The elevation of the resulting radar phase center, somewhere between the canopy top and underlying ground, depends on the vegetation height, density, structure, and presence or absence of foliage. The high vertical accuracy and spatial resolution achieved by laser altimeters, and their capability to directly measure the vertical distribution of vegetation and underlying ground topography, provides a method to evaluate InSAR representations of topography. In order to provide an independent assessment of SRTM DEM accuracy and error characteristics, a simple but rigorous methodology based on comparisons to airborne and satellite laser altimeter profiles has been developed and tested. Initially, an SRTM DEM produced for a large part of western Washington State by the JPL PI processor has been compared to Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) and airborne Scanning Lidar Imager of Canopies by Echo Recovery (SLICER) data. The accuracy of the laser altimeter data sets has been previously characterized. For SLICER profiles, each about 40 km long, the mean and standard deviation of elevation differences between the SRTM DEM and SLICER-defined canopy top and ground are computed. The SRTM DEM is usually located between the canopy top and ground. A poor correlation is observed between the per-pixel error estimate provided with the SRTM DEM and the observed SLICER to SRTM elevation differences. In addition to these profile comparisons, a very high resolution DEM acquired by Terrapoint, LLC for the Puget Sound Lidar Consortium
Walsh, E. J.; Monaldo, F. M.; Goldhirsh, J.
The influence of clouds and rain on the return waveform signatures from satellite borne radar altimeters operating at 13.5 and 35 GHz are examined. It is specifically demonstrated that spatial nonuniformity in the cloud liquid water content or variations of the rain rate may result in significant distortions of the altimeter signature. The distorted signal is produced as a result of nonuniform attenuation occurring at the different range bins associated with the reflected signal. Determination of the mean sea height by employing tracking algorithms on these distorted echoes may result in gross errors. Although the influence of clouds on the altimeter signature and hence tracking precision is minimal at 13.5 GHz (e.g., less than 4 cm for a 1-s average), it may produce unacceptable mean sea level uncertainties at 35 GHz (e.g., 20 cm for a 1-s average) assuming a significant waveheight of 4 m. On the other hand, the signatures at both 13.5 GHz and 35 GHz become grossly distorted for rain rates of 10 mm/h and higher resulting in mean sea height errors of 46 and 65 cm, respectively, for significant wave heights of 2 m.
Jackson, F. C.
The NASA K sub u band Radar Ocean Wave Spectrometer (ROWS) is an experimental prototype of a possible future satellite instrument for low data rate global waves measurements. The ROWS technique, which utilizes short pulse radar altimeters in a conical scan mode near vertical incidence to map the directional slope spectrum in wave number and azimuth, is briefly described. The potential of the technique is illustrated by some specific case studies of wave physical processes utilizing the aircraft ROWS data. These include: (1) an evaluation of numerical hindcast model performance in storm sea conditions, (2) a study of fetch limited wave growth, and (3) a study of the fully developed sea state. Results of these studies, which are briefly summarized, show how directional wave spectral observations from a mobile platform can contribute enormously to our understanding of wave physical processes.
Jones, W. R.; Altiz, O.; Schaffner, P.; Schrader, J. H.; Blume, H. J. C.
Presented here is a description of a coherent radar scattermeter and its associated signal processing hardware, which have been specifically designed to detect microbursts and record their radar characteristics. Radar parameters, signal processing techniques and detection algorithms, all under computer control, combine to sense and process reflectivity, clutter, and microburst data. Also presented is the system's high density, high data rate recording system. This digital system is capable of recording many minutes of the in-phase and quadrature components and corresponding receiver gains of the scattered returns for selected spatial regions, as well as other aircraft and hardware related parameters of interest for post-flight analysis. Information is given in viewgraph form.
Moes, Timothy R.
The primary objectives of the UAVSAR Project were to: a) develop a miniaturized polarimetric L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for use on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or piloted vehicle. b) develop the associated processing algorithms for repeat-pass differential interferometric measurements using a single antenna. c) conduct measurements of geophysical interest, particularly changes of rapidly deforming surfaces such as volcanoes or earthquakes. Two complete systems were developed. Operational Science Missions began on February 18, 2009 ... concurrent development and testing of the radar system continues.
Tapley, B D; Born, G H; Hagar, H H; Lorell, J; Parke, M E; Diamante, J M; Douglas, B C; Goad, C C; Kolenkiewicz, R; Marsh, J G; Martin, C F; Smith, S L; Townsend, W F; Whitehead, J A; Byrne, H M; Fedor, L S; Hammond, D C; Mognard, N M
Preliminary analysis of radar altimeter data indicates that the instrument has met its specifications for measuring spacecraft height above the ocean surface (+/- 10 centimeters) and significant wave height (+/- 0.5 meter). There is ample evidence that the radar altimeter, having undergone development through three earth orbit missions [Skylab, Geodynamics Experimental Ocean Satellite 3 (GEOS-3), and Seasat], has reached a level of precision that now makes possible its use for important quantitative oceanographic investigations and practical applications. PMID:17814198
Bull, J. S.; Hegarty, D. M.; Phillips, J. D.; Sturgeon, W. R.; Hunting, A. W.; Pate, D. P.
Airborne weather and mapping radar is a near-term, economical method of providing 'self-contained' navigation information for approaches to offshore oil rigs and its use has been rapidly expanding in recent years. A joint NASA/FAA flight test investigation of helicopter IFR approaches to offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico was initiated in June 1978 and conducted under contract to Air Logistics. Approximately 120 approaches were flown in a Bell 212 helicopter by 15 operational pilots during the months of August and September 1978. The purpose of the tests was to collect data to (1) support development of advanced radar flight director concepts by NASA and (2) aid the establishment of Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS) criteria by the FAA. The flight test objectives were to develop airborne radar approach procedures, measure tracking errors, determine accpetable weather minimums, and determine pilot acceptability. Data obtained will contribute significantly to improved helicopter airborne radar approach capability and to the support of exploration, development, and utilization of the Nation's offshore oil supplies.
Meneghini, Robert; Nakamura, Kenji
A class of methods based on a measure of path attenuation that is used to constrain the Hitschfeld-Bordan solution is investigated. Such methods are investigated for lidar, radar, and combined radar-radiometer applications. Their function is to allocate the attenuation in proportion to the strength of the measured reflectivity. A description is provided of four estimates of rain rate that have been tested using data from a dual-wavelength airborne radar at 10 GHz and 35 GHz. It is concluded, that when attenuation is significant, the estimates are generally more accurate than those without attenuation correction. Thus, such methodologies can be utilized to extend the effective dynamic range of the radar to higher rain rates.
Pope, Kevin O.; Rey-Benayas, Jose Maria; Paris, Jack F.
The Shuttle Imaging Radar-C/X-SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) Experiment includes the study of wetland dynamics in the seasonal tropics. In preparation for these wetland studies, airborne P, L, and C band radar (AIRSAR) data of Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico acquired by NASA and JPL in March 1990 were analyzed. The first phase of our study focuses on AIRSAR data from the Gallon Jug test site in northwestern Belize, for which ground data were also collected during the three days prior to the overflight. One of the main objectives of the Gallon Jug study is to develop a method for characterizing wetland vegetation types and their flooding status with multifrequency polarimetric radar data.
Dogaru, Traian; Le, Calvin
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has investigated the ultra-wideband (UWB) radar technology for detection of landmines, improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordnance, for over two decades. This paper presents a phenomenological study of the radar signature of buried landmines in realistic environments and the performance of airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) in detecting these targets as a function of multiple parameters: polarization, depression angle, soil type and burial depth. The investigation is based on advanced computer models developed at ARL. The analysis includes both the signature of the targets of interest and the clutter produced by rough surface ground. Based on our numerical simulations, we conclude that low depression angles and H-H polarization offer the highest target-to-clutter ratio in the SAR images and therefore the best radar performance of all the scenarios investigated.
A hardware/software system which incorporates a microprocessor design and software for the calculation of normalized radar cross section in real time was developed. Interface is provided to decommutate the NASA ADAS data stream for aircraft parameters used in processing and to provide output in the form of strip chart and pcm compatible data recording.
Nguyen, Joseph H.; Holley, William D.; Gagnon, Garry
This paper attempts to address the tracking accuracy between the two systems under test. A monopulse radar model was developed to theoretically calculate the would-be measured angle and angle variances. Essentially, measurements of the target's angle, angle variances, range and range rate from the monopulse radar receiver of an aircraft are assessed against the tracking performance of an airborne simulator which uses the time, space, position information (TSPI) delivered from a global positioning system (GPS) system. The accuracy of measurements from a monopulse radar primarily depends on the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), distance from target in this case, but information received from the GPS Space Vehicle would be virtually jamfree, and independent of distance. Tracking using GPS data however requires good data link between airborne participants. The simulation fidelity becomes an issue when the target is in close range track. The monopulse random slope error and target glint become significant, while the resolution from GPS data links remains the same.
Anderson, D. J.; Bull, J. S.; Chisholm, J. P.
A navigation system which utilizes minimum ground-based equipment is especially advantageous to helicopters, which can make off-airport landings. Research has been conducted in the use of weather and mapping radar to detect large radar reflectors overland for navigation purposes. As initial studies have not been successful, investigations were conducted regarding a new concept for the detection of ground-based radar reflectors and eliminating ground clutter, using a device called an echo processor (EP). A description is presented of the problems associated with detecting radar reflectors overland, taking into account the EP concept and the results of ground- and flight-test investigations. The echo processor concept was successfully demonstrated in detecting radar reflectors overland in a high-clutter environment. A radar reflector target size of 55 dBsm was found to be adequate for detection in an urban environment.
D'Hondt, O.; Guillaso, S.; Hellwich, O.
In this paper, we introduce a method to detect and reconstruct building parts from tomographic Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) airborne data. Our approach extends recent works in two ways: first, the radiometric information is used to guide the extraction of geometric primitives. Second, building facades and roofs are extracted thanks to geometric classification rules. We demonstrate our method on a 3 image L-Band airborne dataset over the city of Dresden, Germany. Experiments show how our technique allows to use the complementarity between the radiometric image and the tomographic point cloud to extract buildings parts in challenging situations.
Koenig, L. S.; Ivanoff, A.; Alexander, P. M.; MacGregor, J. A.; Fettweis, X.; Panzer, B.; Paden, J. D.; Forster, R. R.; Das, I.; McConnell, J.; Tedesco, M.; Leuschen, C.; Gogineni, P.
Contemporary climate warming over the Arctic is accelerating mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) through increasing surface melt, emphasizing the need to closely monitor surface mass balance (SMB) in order to improve sea-level rise predictions. Here, we quantify accumulation rates, the largest component of GrIS SMB, at a higher spatial resolution than currently available, using Snow Radar stratigraphy. We use a semi-automated method to derive annual-net accumulation rates from airborne Snow Radar data collected by NASA's Operation IceBridge from 2009 to 2012. An initial comparison of the accumulation rates from the Snow Radar and the outputs of a regional climate model (MAR) shows that, in general, the radar-derived accumulation matches closely with MAR in the interior of the ice sheet but MAR estimates are high over the southeast GrIS. Comparing the radar-derived accumulation with contemporaneous ice cores reveals that the radar captures the annual and long-term mean. The radar-derived accumulation rates resolve large-scale patterns across the GrIS with uncertainties of up to 11 %, attributed mostly to uncertainty in the snow/firn density profile.
Atlas, D.; Matejka, T. J.
The use of airborne or spaceborne radars to observe precipitation simultaneously directly and in reflection could provide significant new opportunities for measuring the properties of the precipitation, wind field, and ocean surface. Atlas and Meneghini (1983) have proposed that the difference between direct and reflected precipitation echo intensities observed with a nadir-directed beam is a measure of two-way attenuation and thus of path average rain rate, taking into account an employment of direct and reflected echoes from very near the ocean surface to normalize for ocean surface scatter. In the present paper, some key meteorological and oceanographic research applications are illustrated, giving particular attention to airborne Doppler radar velocity measurements of the precipitation.
... Federal Aviation Administration Technical Standard Order (TSO)-C65a, Airborne Doppler Radar Ground Speed... Doppler radar ground speed and/or drift angle measuring equipment (for air carrier aircraft). SUMMARY: This notice announces the FAA's intent to cancel TSO-C65a, Airborne Doppler radar ground speed...
Harding, D. J.; Carabajal, C. C.
Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and laser altimeter measurements of topography provide complimentary approaches to characterize landforms. Results from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) will provide an unprecedented, near-global, public-domain topography data set at 90 m resolution using a single pass C-band (5.6 cm wavelength) radar interferometer. In vegetated terrains, the C-band radar energy will penetrate part way into vegetation cover. The elevation of the resulting radar phase center, somewhere between the canopy top and underlying ground, will depend on the vegetation density, structure, and presence or absence of foliage. The high vertical accuracy and spatial resolution achieved by laser altimeters, and their capability to directly measure vegetation height and ground topography beneath vegetation cover, provides a method to evaluate InSAR representations of topography. Here a preliminary C-band SRTM digital elevation model (DEM) for a portion of western Washington State is evaluated using laser altimeter data to assess its elevation accuracy and the extent of vegetation penetration. The SRTM DEM extends from the Cascades Range westward to the Olympic Peninsula. The laser altimeter data includes two profiles acquired by the second flight of the Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA-02) in August, 1997, numerous transects acquired by the airborne Scanning Lidar Imager of Canopies by Echo Recovery (SLICER) in September, 1995, and comprehensive mapping in the Puget Lowland region acquired by Terrapoint, LLC for the Puget Sound Lidar Consortium in the winters of 2000 and 2001. SLA-02 and SLICER acquired waveforms that record the height distribution of illuminated surfaces within 120 m and 10 m diameter footprints, respectively. The Terrapoint elevations consist of up to four discrete returns from 1 m footprints spaced 1.5 apart, with all areas mapped twice. Methods for comparing laser altimeter and SRTM topography developed here will be
Baxa, Ernest G., Jr.
The problem of clutter rejection when processing down-looking Doppler radar returns from a low altitude airborne platform is a paramount problem. With radar as a remote sensor for detecting and predicting windshear in the vicinity of an urban airport, dynamic range requirements can exceed 50 dB because of high clutter to signal ratios. This presentation describes signal processing considerations in the presence of distributed and/or discrete clutter interference. Previous analyses have considered conventional range cell processing of radar returns from a rigidly mounted radar platform using either the Fourier or the pulse-pair method to estimate average windspeed and windspeed variation within a cell. Clutter rejection has been based largely upon analyzing a particular environment in the vicinity of the radar and employing a variety of techniques to reduce interference effects including notch filtering, Fourier domain line editing, and use of clutter maps. For the airborne environment the clutter characteristics may be somewhat different. Conventional clutter rejection methods may have to be changed and new methods will probably be required to provide useful signal to noise ratios. Various considerations are described. A major thrust has been to evaluate the effect of clutter rejection filtering upon the ability to derive useful information from the post-filter radar data. This analysis software is briefly described. Finally, some ideas for future analysis are considered including the use of adaptive filtering for clutter rejection and the estimation of windspeed spatial gradient directly from radar returns as a means of reducing the effects of clutter on the determination of a windshear hazard.
Bufton, Jack L.; Harding, David J.; Garvin, James B.
The Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) is a Hitchhiker experiment that has flown twice; first on STS-72 in January 1996 and then on STS-85 in August 1997. Both missions produced successful laser altimetry and surface lidar data products from approximately 80 hours per mission of SLA data operations. A total of four Shuttle missions are planned for the SLA series. This paper documents SLA mission results and explains SLA pathfinder accomplishments at the mid-point in this series of Hitchhiker missions. The overall objective of the SLA mission series is the transition of the Goddard Space Flight Center airborne laser altimeter and lidar technology to low Earth orbit as a pathfinder for NASA operational space-based laser remote sensing devices. Future laser altimeter sensors will utilize systems and approaches being tested with SLA, including the Multi-Beam Laser Altimeter (MBLA) and the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS). MBLA is the land and vegetation laser sensor for the NASA Earth System Sciences Pathfinder Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) Mission, and GLAS is the Earth Observing System facility instrument on the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat). The Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter, now well into a multi-year mapping mission at the red planet, is also directly benefiting from SLA data analysis methods, just as SLA benefited from MOLA spare parts and instrument technology experience  during SLA construction in the early 1990s.
Koenig, Lora S.; Ivanoff, Alvaro; Alexander, Patrick M.; MacGregor, Joseph A.; Fettweis, Xavier; Panzer, Ben; Paden, John D.; Forster, Richard R.; Das, Indrani; McConnell, Joesph R.; Tedesco, Marco; Leuschen, Carl; Gogineni, Prasad
Contemporary climate warming over the Arctic is accelerating mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet through increasing surface melt, emphasizing the need to closely monitor its surface mass balance in order to improve sea-level rise predictions. Snow accumulation is the largest component of the ice sheet's surface mass balance, but in situ observations thereof are inherently sparse and models are difficult to evaluate at large scales. Here, we quantify recent Greenland accumulation rates using ultra-wideband (2-6.5 GHz) airborne snow radar data collected as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge between 2009 and 2012. We use a semiautomated method to trace the observed radiostratigraphy and then derive annual net accumulation rates for 2009-2012. The uncertainty in these radar-derived accumulation rates is on average 14 %. A comparison of the radar-derived accumulation rates and contemporaneous ice cores shows that snow radar captures both the annual and long-term mean accumulation rate accurately. A comparison with outputs from a regional climate model (MAR) shows that this model matches radar-derived accumulation rates in the ice sheet interior but produces higher values over southeastern Greenland. Our results demonstrate that snow radar can efficiently and accurately map patterns of snow accumulation across an ice sheet and that it is valuable for evaluating the accuracy of surface mass balance models.
Gogineni, P. S.; Braaten, D. A.; Rodriguez-Morales, F.; Li, J.; Leuschen, C.; Paden, J. D.; Hale, R.; Arnold, E.; Panzer, B.; Gomez-Garcia, D.; Crowe, R.; Patel, A. E.; Yan, J.
Outlet glaciers and ice streams in Greenland and Antarctica are important delivery systems of inland ice to the oceans. Satellite observations are showing that parts of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are undergoing rapid changes, including both speed-up of several glaciers in Greenland and erratic behavior of Antarctic glaciers buttressed by ice shelves. While satellite sensors provide data on the surface flow speed and document the rapid changes the ice sheets are undergoing, they do not provide the essential information needed to understand the ice dynamics driving these changes or a detailed assessment of mass balance. In particular, a more complete knowledge of ice thickness, bed topography, and basal conditions are needed to better understand the dynamic processes causing rapid changes, assess outlet glacier discharge, and assess future discharge potential. Simultaneous measurements of snow accumulation from internal layering over the glacier catchment provide an assessment of temporally-varying surface mass balance. We developed a radar instrumentation package that can be operated both on long-range and short-range aircraft. This package includes four radars operating over a frequency range of about 180 MHz to 18 GHz. These are: (1) a wideband radar depth sounder that operates at a center frequency of 195 MHz to sound and image ice; (2) an ultra-wideband radar that operates over a frequency range of 600 to 900 MHz to map near-surface internal layers in polar firn and ice; (3) an ultra-wideband microwave radar that operates over a frequency range of about 2 to 8 GHz to measure the thickness of snow cover over sea ice and map near-surface internal layers in polar firn with fine resolution of about 5 cm; and (4) a radar altimeter that operates over a frequency range of 12 to 18 GHz for high-precision surface elevation measurements. During the last three years, these radars have been flown on several different aircraft over the Greenland and Antarctic ice
Blair, J. Bryan; Rabine, David L.; Hofton, Michelle A.
The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) is an airborne, scanning laser altimeter designed and developed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. LVIS operates at altitudes up to 10 km above ground, and is capable of producing a data swath up to 1000 m wide nominally with 25 m wide footprints. The entire time history of the outgoing and return pulses is digitized, allowing unambiguous determination of range and return pulse structure. Combined with aircraft position and attitude knowledge, this instrument produces topographic maps with decimeter accuracy and vertical height and structure measurements of vegetation. The laser transmitter is a diode-pumped Nd:YAG oscillator producing 1064 nm, 10 nsec, 5 mJ pulses at repetition rates up to 500 Hz. LVIS has recently demonstrated its ability to determine topography (including sub-canopy) and vegetation height and structure on flight missions to various forested regions in the U.S. and Central America. The LVIS system is the airborne simulator for the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) mission (a NASA Earth remote sensing satellite due for launch in 2000), providing simulated data sets and a platform for instrument proof-of-concept studies. The topography maps and return waveforms produced by LVIS provide Earth scientists with a unique data set allowing studies of topography, hydrology, and vegetation with unmatched accuracy and coverage.
Yan, S.; Gogineni, P. S.; Gomez-Garcia, D.; Leuschen, C.; Hale, R.; Rodriguez-Morales, F.; Paden, J. D.; Li, J.
The extent and thickness of sea ice and snow play a critical role in the Earth's climate system. Both sea ice and snow have high albedo and control the heat exchange between the atmosphere and ocean and atmosphere and land. In terms of hydrology, the presence of sea ice and snow modulates the flow and the salinity of ocean water. This in turn can modify the weather patterns around the globe. Understanding the formation, coverage and the properties of sea ice and snow are important for both short-term and long-term climate modeling. The advancements in high-frequency electronics and digital signal processing enabled the development of ultra-wideband radars by the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) for airborne measurements of snow and ice properties over large areas. CReSIS recently developed and deployed two ultra-wideband airborne radars, namely the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder/Imager (MCoRDS/I) and the Snow Radar. The MCoRDS/I is designed to operate over the frequency range of 180-450 MHz for sounding land ice and imaging its ice-bed interface. We also took advantage of the deployment to explore the potential of UWB MCoRDS/I in sounding sea ice and collected data on flight lines flown as part of NASA Operation IceBridge mission during Spring 2015. Preliminary results show we sounded sea ice under favorable conditions. We will perform detailed processing and analysis of data over the next few months and we will compare results obtained are compared with existing altimetry-derived data products. The new snow radar, on the other hand, operating from 2 to 18 GHz, was deployed on the NRL Twin Otter aircraft in Barrow, AK. It was shown to have a vertical resolution of down to 1.5 cm which opens up the potential for thin snow measurement on both sea ice and land. Both of these new radars will be further optimized for future airborne missions to demonstrate their capabilities for sea ice and snow measurements. We will also show new technical
Peters, M. E.; Blankenship, D. D.; Morse, D. L.; Holt, J. W.; Kempf, S. D.; Richter, T. G.; Falola, B.; Oliason, S.
Lake Vostok was discovered using airborne ice-sounding radar in East Antarctica during the mid 1970's, but interest in this largest known subglacial lake has increased in recent years. Frozen microbial discoveries from ice cores taken just above Lake Vostok suggest its potential for being an isolated biological ecosystem. Also, the lake's unique combination of glaciologic, hydrologic and geological processes make it a possible terrestrial analogue for sub-ice water on other planetary bodies. Satellite radar has mapped the spatial extent of the lake from surface topography, and Russian ground traverses have gathered radar and seismic data along select profiles, but the full subglacial environment has remained uncharted. In response to a proposal by R.E. Bell and M. Studinger at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) conducted an airborne geophysical survey over Lake Vostok and its surroundings during the 2000/01 field season. The survey included 21,000 line-km of geophysical observations with a line spacing of 7.5 km and a tie-line spacing of 11.25 or 22.5 km. The instrument suite included incoherent ice-sounding radar, laser altimetry, and precise GPS positioning and navigation, as well as airborne gravity and magnetics measurements. The radar system consisted of a 60 MHz, 8000 watt peak power transmitter operating in pulsed continuous-wave mode at 12.5 kHz (with 250 ns pulse width), a log-detection incoherent receiver (with 80 dB dynamic range), and a signal digitizer with a unique capability to average signals rapidly. Incoherent radar observations constructed from 2048 averaged transmissions occurred roughly every 12 m along-track. Ice thicknesses in excess of 4000 m were routinely sounded over Lake Vostok using this system. In addition to the incoherent radar, a new acquisition system was developed on an experimental basis to coherently integrate radar signals utilizing synthetic aperture radar techniques
Meneghini, Robert; Kumagai, Hiroshi; Wang, James R.; Iguchi, Toshio; Kozu, Toshiaki
The need to understand the complementarity of the radar and radiometer is important not only to the Tropical Rain Measuring Mission (TRMM) program but to a growing number of multi-instrumented airborne experiment that combine single or dual-frequency radars with multichannel radiometers. The method of analysis used in this study begins with the derivation of dual-wavelength radar equations for the estimation of a two-parameter drop size distribution (DSD). Defining a "storm model" as the set of parameters that characterize snow density, cloud water, water vapor, and features of the melting layer, then to each storm model there will usually correspond a set of range-profiled drop size distributions that are approximate solutions of the radar equations. To test these solutions, a radiative transfer model is used to compute the brightness temperatures for the radiometric frequencies of interest. A storm model or class of storm models is considered optimum if it provides the best reproduction of the radar and radiometer measurements. Tests of the method are made for stratiform rain using simulated storm models as well as measured airborne data. Preliminary results show that the best correspondence between the measured and estimated radar profiles usually can be obtained by using a moderate snow density (0.1-0.2 g/cu cm), the Maxwell-Garnett mixing formula for partially melted hydrometeors (water matrix with snow inclusions), and low to moderate values of the integrated cloud liquid water (less than 1 kg/sq m). The storm-model parameters that yield the best reproductions of the measured radar reflectivity factors also provide brightness temperatures at 10 GHz that agree well with the measurements. On the other hand, the correspondence between the measured and modeled values usually worsens in going to the higher frequency channels at 19 and 34 GHz. In searching for possible reasons for the discrepancies, It is found that changes in the DSD parameter Mu, the radar
Pazmany, Andrew L.
In 2013 ProSensing Inc. conducted a study to investigate the hazard detection potential of aircraft weather radars with new measurement capabilities, such as multi-frequency, polarimetric and radiometric modes. Various radar designs and features were evaluated for sensitivity, measurement range and for detecting and quantifying atmospheric hazards in wide range of weather conditions. Projected size, weight, power consumption and cost of the various designs were also considered. Various cloud and precipitation conditions were modeled and used to conduct an analytic evaluation of the design options. This report provides an overview of the study and summarizes the conclusions and recommendations.
Vickers, R. S.; Heighway, J. E.; Gedney, R.
The acquisition and interpretation of ice thickness data from a mobile platform has for some time been a goal of the remote sensing community. Such data, once obtainable, is of value in monitoring the changes in ice thickness over large areas, and in mapping the potential hazards to traffic in shipping lanes. Measurements made from a helicopter-borne ice thickness profiler of ice in Lake Superior, Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair river as part of NASA's program to develop an ice information system are described. The profiler described is a high resolution, non-imaging, short pulse radar, operating at a carrier frequency of 2.7 GHz. The system can resolve reflective surfaces separated by as little as 10 cm. and permits measurement of the distance between resolvable surfaces with an accuracy of about 1 cm. Data samples are given for measurements both in a static (helicopter hovering), and a traverse mode. Ground truth measurements taken by an ice auger team traveling with the helicopter are compared with the remotely sensed data and the accuracy of the profiler is discussed based on these measurements.
Banks, Paul T.
Analysis of the side looking airborn radar imagery of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island indicates that radar shows the topography in great detail. Since bedrock geologic features are frequently expressed in the topography the radar lends itself to geologic interpretation. The radar was studied by comparisons with field mapped geologic data first at a scale of approximately 1:125,000 and then at a scale of 1:500,000. The larger scale comparison revealed that faults, minor faults, joint sets, bedding and foliation attitudes, lithology and lithologic contacts all have a topographic expression interpretable on the imagery. Surficial geologic features were far less visible on the imagery over most of the area studied. The smaller scale comparisons revealed a pervasive, near orthogonal fracture set cutting all types and ages of rock and trending roughly N40?E and N30?W. In certain places the strike of bedding and foliation attitudes and some lithologic Contacts were visible in addition to the fractures. Fracturing in southern New England is apparently far more important than has been previously recognized. This new information, together with the visibility of many bedding and foliation attitudes and lithologic contacts, indicates the importance of radar imagery in improving the geologic interpretation of an area.
Koenig, Lora S.; Ivanoff, Alvaro; Alexander, Patrick M.; MacGregor, Joseph A.; Fettweis, Xavier; Panzer, Ben; Paden, John D.; Forster, Richard R.; Das, Indrani; McConnell, Joseph R.; Tedesco, Marco; Leuschen, Carl; Gogineni, Prasad
Contemporary climate warming over the Arctic is accelerating mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet through increasing surface melt, emphasizing the need to closely monitor its surface mass balance in order to improve sea-level rise predictions. Snow accumulation is the largest component of the ice sheet's surface mass balance, but in situ observations thereof are inherently sparse and models are difficult to evaluate at large scales. Here, we quantify recent Greenland accumulation rates using ultra-wideband (2-6.5 gigahertz) airborne snow radar data collected as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge between 2009 and 2012. We use a semi-automated method to trace the observed radiostratigraphy and then derive annual net accumulation rates for 2009-2012. The uncertainty in these radar-derived accumulation rates is on average 14 percent. A comparison of the radarderived accumulation rates and contemporaneous ice cores shows that snow radar captures both the annual and longterm mean accumulation rate accurately. A comparison with outputs from a regional climate model (MAR - Modele Atmospherique Regional for Greenland and vicinity) shows that this model matches radar-derived accumulation rates in the ice sheet interior but produces higher values over southeastern Greenland. Our results demonstrate that snow radar can efficiently and accurately map patterns of snow accumulation across an ice sheet and that it is valuable for evaluating the accuracy of surface mass balance models.
Satake, Makoto; Short, David A.; Iguchi, Toshio
The vicinity of KSC, where the primary ground truth site of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) program is located, was the focal point of the Convection and Precipitation/Electrification (CaPE) experiment in Jul. and Aug. 1991. In addition to several specialized radars, local coverage was provided by the C-band (5 cm) radar at Patrick AFB. Point measurements of rain rate were provided by tipping bucket rain gage networks. Besides these ground-based activities, airborne radar measurements with X- and Ka-band nadir-looking radars on board an aircraft were also recorded. A unique combination data set of airborne radar observations with ground-based observations was obtained in the summer convective rain regime of central Florida. We present a comparison of these data intending a preliminary validation. A convective rain event was observed simultaneously by all three instrument types on the evening of 27 Jul. 1991. The high resolution aircraft radar was flown over convective cells with tops exceeding 10 km and observed reflectivities of 40 to 50 dBZ at 4 to 5 km altitude, while the low resolution surface radar observed 35 to 55 dBZ echoes and a rain gage indicated maximum surface rain rates exceeding 100 mm/hr. The height profile of reflectivity measured with the airborne radar show an attenuation of 6.5 dB/km (two way) for X-band, corresponding to a rainfall rate of 95 mm/hr.
Satake, Makoto; Short, David A.; Iguchi, Toshio
The vicinity of KSC, where the primary ground truth site of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) program is located, was the focal point of the Convection and Precipitation/Electrification (CaPE) experiment in July and Aug. 1991. In addition to several specialized radars, local coverage was provided by the C-band (5 cm) radar at Patrick AFB. Point measurements of rain rate were provided by tipping bucket rain gage networks. Besides these ground-based activities, airborne radar measurements with X- and Ka-band nadir-looking radars on board an aircraft were also recorded. A unique combination data set of airborne radar observations with ground-based observations was obtained in the summer convective rain regime of central Florida. We present a comparison of these data intending a preliminary validation. A convective rain event was observed simultaneously by all three instrument types on the evening of 27 July 1991. The high resolution aircraft radar was flown over convective cells with tops exceeding 10 km and observed reflectivities of 40 to 50 dBZ at 4 to 5 km altitude, while the low resolution surface radar observed 35 to 55 dBZ echoes and a rain gage indicated maximum surface rain rates exceeding 100 mm/hr. The height profile of reflectivity measured with the airborne radar show an attenuation of 6.5 dB/km (two way) for X-band, corresponding to a rainfall rate of 95 mm/hr.
Louf, Valentin; Pujol, Olivier; Riedi, Jérôme
The choice of the microwave frequency is of considerable importance for precipitating system observations by airborne radar. Currently, these radars operate at X-band (f = 10 GHz), although other frequency bands, may be used jointly or not. Since the measured reflectivity Zm is f-depending, different physical information about precipitating systems could be obtained. Herein, a comparison of reflectivity fields at different frequency bands is presented. A realistic and flexible model of precipitating systems is presented and simulations of airborne radar observations are performed. Simulated reflectivity fields are degraded as/increases because of Mie effects and microwave attenuation. At S, C and X-bands, attenuation is weak and Mie effects slightly increase the backscattered signal such that they can compensate attenuation at X and Ku bands. The Ka and W-bands suffer from a strong attenuation and significant Mie effects which seriously alter Zm-fields. For a squall line, the closer convective tower hides the farther ones, which is problematic for a pilot to estimate hazard at long distance. In addition, because hail is the main meteorological hazard for civil aviation, hail-rain discrimination is discussed and clarified for convective systems. It appears that S, C, and X-bands are the best ones, but the significant size of antenna used is prohibitive. Higher frequencies are more difficult to use on civil aviation due to high ambiguities and a too strongly attenuated microwave signal.
Hancock, D. W.; Mcmillan, J. D.
The details of the algorithms and data sets required for satellite radar altimeter data processing are documented in a form suitable for (1) development of the benchmark software and (2) coding the operational software. The algorithms reported in detail are those established for altimeter processing. The algorithms which required some additional development before documenting for production were only scoped. The algorithms are divided into two levels of processing. The first level converts the data to engineering units and applies corrections for instrument variations. The second level provides geophysical measurements derived from altimeter parameters for oceanographic users.
Drake, B.; Shuchman, R. A.; Bryan, M. L.; Larson, R. W.; Liskow, C. L.; Rendleman, R. A.
A multiplexed synthetic aperture Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) that simultaneously images the terrain with X-band (3.2 cm) and L-band (23.0 cm) radar wavelengths was developed. The Feasibility of using multiplexed SLAR to obtain useful information for earth resources purposes. The SLAR imagery, aerial photographs, and infrared imagery are examined to determine the qualitative tone and texture of many rural land-use features imaged. The results show that: (1) Neither X- nor L-band SLAR at moderate and low depression angles can directly or indirectly detect pools of water under standing vegetation. (2) Many of the urban and rural land-use categories present in the test areas can be identified and mapped on the multiplexed SLAR imagery. (3) Water resources management can be done using multiplexed SLAR. (4) Drainage patterns can be determined on both the X- and L-band imagery.
Kirose, Getachew; Phelan, Brian R.; Sherbondy, Kelly D.; Ranney, Kenneth I.; Koenig, Francois; Narayanan, Ram M.
The Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is developing an indoor experimental facility to evaluate and assess airborne synthetic-aperture-radar-(SAR)-based detection capabilities. The rail-SAR is located in a multi-use facility that also provides a base for research and development in the area of autonomous robotic navigation. Radar explosive hazard detection is one key sensordevelopment area to be investigated at this indoor facility. In particular, the mostly wooden, multi-story building houses a two (2) story housing structure and an open area built over a large sandbox. The housing structure includes reconfigurable indoor walls which enable the realization of multiple See-Through-The-Wall (STTW) scenarios. The open sandbox, on the other hand, allows for surface and buried explosive hazard scenarios. The indoor facility is not rated for true explosive hazard materials so all targets will need to be inert and contain surrogate explosive fills. In this paper we discuss the current system status and describe data collection exercises conducted using canonical targets and frequencies that may be of interest to designers of ultra-wideband (UWB) airborne, ground penetrating SAR systems. A bi-static antenna configuration will be used to investigate the effects of varying airborne SAR parameters such as depression angle, bandwidth, and integration angle, for various target types and deployment scenarios. Canonical targets data were used to evaluate overall facility capabilities and limitations. These data is analyzed and summarized for future evaluations. Finally, processing techniques for dealing with RF multi-path and RFI due to operating inside the indoor facility are described in detail. Discussion of this facility and its capabilities and limitations will provide the explosive hazard community with a great airborne platform asset for sensor to target assessment.
Shen, Mingwei; Yu, Jia; Wu, Di; Zhu, Daiyin
In this study, the effects of non-sidelooking airborne radar clutter dispersion on space-time adaptive processing (STAP) is considered, and an efficient adaptive angle-Doppler compensation (EAADC) approach is proposed to improve the clutter suppression performance. In order to reduce the computational complexity, the reduced-dimension sparse reconstruction (RDSR) technique is introduced into the angle-Doppler spectrum estimation to extract the required parameters for compensating the clutter spectral center misalignment. Simulation results to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm are presented. PMID:26053755
Damini, A.; Balaji, B.; Parry, C.; Mantle, V.
DRDC has been involved in the development of airborne SAR systems since the 1980s. The current system, designated XWEAR (X-band Wideband Experimental Airborne Radar), is an instrument for the collection of SAR, GMTI and maritime surveillance data at long ranges. VideoSAR is a land imaging mode in which the radar is operated in the spotlight mode for an extended period of time. Radar data is collected persistently on a target of interest while the aircraft is either flying by or circling it. The time span for a single circular data collection can be on the order of 30 minutes. The spotlight data is processed using synthetic apertures of up to 60 seconds in duration, where consecutive apertures can be contiguous or overlapped. The imagery is formed using a back-projection algorithm to a common Cartesian grid. The DRDC VideoSAR mode noncoherently sums the images, either cumulatively, or via a sliding window of, for example, 5 images, to generate an imagery stream presenting the target reflectivity as a function of viewing angle. The image summation results in significant speckle reduction which provides for increased image contrast. The contrast increases rapidly over the first few summed images and continues to increase, but at a lesser rate, as more images are summed. In the case of cumulative summation of the imagery, the shadows quickly become filled in. In the case of a sliding window, the summation introduces a form of persistence into the VideoSAR output analogous to the persistence of analog displays from early radars.
Liao, Liang; Meneghini, Robert; Tian, Lin; Heymsfield, Gerald M.
Two independent airborne dual-wavelength techniques, based on nadir measurements of radar reflectivity factors and Doppler velocities, respectively, are investigated with respect to their capability of estimating microphysical properties of hydrometeors. The data used to investigate the methods are taken from the ER-2 Doppler radar (X-band) and Cloud Radar System (W-band) airborne Doppler radars during the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers-Florida Area Cirrus Experiment campaign in 2002. Validity is assessed by the degree to which the methods produce consistent retrievals of the microphysics. For deriving snow parameters, the reflectivity-based technique has a clear advantage over the Doppler-velocity-based approach because of the large dynamic range in the dual-frequency ratio (DFR) with respect to the median diameter Do and the fact that the difference in mean Doppler velocity at the two frequencies, i.e., the differential Doppler velocity (DDV), in snow is small relative to the measurement errors and is often not uniquely related to Do. The DFR and DDV can also be used to independently derive Do in rain. At W-band, the DFR-based algorithms are highly sensitive to attenuation from rain, cloud water, and water vapor. Thus, the retrieval algorithms depend on various assumptions regarding these components, whereas the DDV-based approach is unaffected by attenuation. In view of the difficulties and ambiguities associated with the attenuation correction at W-band, the DDV approach in rain is more straightforward and potentially more accurate than the DFR method.
Ford, John P.; Hurtak, James J.
Spaceborne and airborne radar image of portions of the Middle and Upper Amazon basin in the state of Amazonas and the Territory of Roraima are compared for purposes of geological and environmental mapping. The contrasted illumination geometries and imaging parameters are related to terrain slope and surface roughness characteristics for corresponding areas that were covered by each of the radar imaging systems. Landforms range from deeply dissected mountain and plateau with relief up to 500 m in Roraima, revealing ancient layered rocks through folded residual mountains to deeply beveled pediplain in Amazonas. Geomorphic features provide distinct textural signatures that are characteristic of different rock associations. The principle drainages in the areas covered are the Rio Negro, Rio Branco, and the Rio Japura. Shadowing effects and low radar sensitivity to subtle linear fractures that are aligned parallel or nearly parallel to the direction of radar illumination illustrate the need to obtain multiple coverage with viewing directions about 90 degrees. Perception of standing water and alluvial forest in floodplains varies with incident angle and with season. Multitemporal data sets acquired over periods of years provide an ideal method of monitoring environmental changes.
Didlake, Anthony C., Jr.; Heymsfield, Gerald M.; Tian, Lin; Guimond, Stephen R.
The coplane analysis technique for mapping the three-dimensional wind field of precipitating systems is applied to the NASA High Altitude Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler (HIWRAP). HIWRAP is a dual-frequency Doppler radar system with two downward pointing and conically scanning beams. The coplane technique interpolates radar measurements to a natural coordinate frame, directly solves for two wind components, and integrates the mass continuity equation to retrieve the unobserved third wind component. This technique is tested using a model simulation of a hurricane and compared to a global optimization retrieval. The coplane method produced lower errors for the cross-track and vertical wind components, while the global optimization method produced lower errors for the along-track wind component. Cross-track and vertical wind errors were dependent upon the accuracy of the estimated boundary condition winds near the surface and at nadir, which were derived by making certain assumptions about the vertical velocity field. The coplane technique was then applied successfully to HIWRAP observations of Hurricane Ingrid (2013). Unlike the global optimization method, the coplane analysis allows for a transparent connection between the radar observations and specific analysis results. With this ability, small-scale features can be analyzed more adequately and erroneous radar measurements can be identified more easily.
Pohn, Howard A.; Southworth, C. Scott
Side-looking airborne radar has provided a sufficiently detailed synoptic view of the central Appalachian Mountains that the images give an unparalleled representation of the size and nature of the folds within the Valley and Ridge province. The radar data show that fold wavelengths decrease abruptly south of the region of the Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia State lines. Concomittantly, this decrease in fold wavelength is accompanied by an increase in both frequency and length of disturbed zones. The model predicted by the combination of the radar images and field observations suggests a broad lateral ramp, perpendicular to the strike of the fold-belt, connecting a deeper decollement level north of the Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia State lines with a shallower decollement to the south. Recently, the first author has located a field example of a lateral ramp approximately one kilometer north of Mathias, West Virginia. This lateral ramp shows an up-to-the-north configuration and the extensions both northwestward and southeastward can be seen on the radar images as a series of cross-strike lineaments.
Holt, J. W.; Blankenship, D. D.; Morse, D. L.; Peters, M. E.; Kempf, S. D.
We have collected roughly 1,000 line-km of airborne radar sounding data over glaciers, rock/ice glaciers, permafrost, subsurface ice bodies, ice-covered saline lakes, and glacial deposits in Taylor and Beacon Valley. These data are being analyzed in order to develop techniques for discriminating between subsurface and off-nadir echoes and for detecting and characterizing subsurface interfaces. The identification of features on Mars exhibiting morphologies consistent with ice/rock mixtures, near-surface ice bodies and near-surface liquid water, and the importance of such features to the search for water on Mars, highlights the need for appropriate terrestrial analogs and analysis techniques in order to prepare for radar sounder missions to Mars. Climatic, hydrological, and geological conditions in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica are analogous in many ways to those on Mars. A crucial first step in the data analysis process is the discrimination of echo sources in the radar data. The goal is to identify all returns from the surface of off-nadir topography in order to positively identify subsurface echoes. This process will also be critical for radar data that will be collected in areas of Mars exhibiting significant topography, so that subsurface echoes are identified unambiguously. The positive detection and characterization of subsurface (including sub-ice) water is a primary goal of NASA's Mars exploration program. Our data over the Dry Valleys provides an opportunity to implement techniques we are developing to accomplish these goals.
Podvin, D. Hauser. T.; Dechambre, M.; Valentin, R.; Caudal, G.; Daloze, J.-F.
The successful launch of the Envisat in March 2002 offers new possibilities for estimating geophysical quantities characterizing continental or sea surface using the multi-polarization ASAR. In addition, in the context of the preparation of future missions which will embark polarimetric SAR (e.g. RADARSAT2) it is important to better assess the benefit of multi-polarization or polarimetric SAR systems. Airborne radar systems remain a very useful way to validate satellite measurements and to develop or validate algorithms needed to retrieve geophysical quantities from the radar measurements. CETP has designed and developed a new airborne radar called STORM] , which has a full polarimetric capability. STORM is derived from two previous versions of airborne radars developed at CETP, namely RESSAC (Hauser et al, JGR 1992) and RENE (Leloch-Duplex et al, Annales of Telecommunications, 1996). STORM is a real-aperture, C-Band system with a FM/CW transmission and with a rotating antenna to explore in azimuth. It offers a polarization diversity, receiving the complex signal in amplitude and phase simultaneously in H and V polarizations, which makes it possible to analyze the radar cross-section in HH, VV, HV, and other cross-polarized terms related to the scattering matrix. The antenna are pointed towards the surface with a mean incidence angle of 20° and a 3-dB aperture of about 30° in elevation and 8° in azimuth. The backscattered signal is analyzed from nadir to about 35° along the look-direction in 1012 range gates every 1.53m. The first tests with this system have been carried out in October 2001 over corner reflectors , over grass and ocean. In this workshop, we will present a validation of this system based on the results obtained with this first data set. In particular, we will present the calibration method of the complex signal (amplitude, phase), and distribution of phase differences (HH/VV, HV/VH) obtained over the different scatters (corner reflectors, grass
Harrah, Steven D.; Delnore, Victor E.; Goodrich, Michael S.; Vonhagel, Chris
Detection of hazardous wind shears from an airborne platform, using commercial sized radar hardware, has been debated and researched for several years. The primary concern has been the requirement for 'look-down' capability in a Doppler radar during the approach and landing phases of flight. During 'look-down' operation, the received signal (weather signature) will be corrupted by ground clutter returns. Ground clutter at and around urban airports can have large values of Normalized Radar Cross Section (NRCS) producing clutter returns which could saturate the radar's receiver, thus disabling the radar entirely, or at least from its intended function. The purpose of this research was to investigate the NRCS levels in an airport environment (scene), and to characterize the NRCS distribution across a variety of radar parameters. These results are also compared to results of a similar study using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images of the same scenes. This was necessary in order to quantify and characterize the differences and similarities between results derived from the real-aperature system flown on the NASA 737 aircraft and parametric studies which have previously been performed using the NASA airborne radar simulation program.
Guimond, Stephen Richard; Tian, Lin; Heymsfield, Gerald M.; Frasier, Stephen J.
Algorithms for the retrieval of atmospheric winds in precipitating systems from downward-pointing, conically-scanning airborne Doppler radars are presented. The focus in the paper is on two radars: the Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler(IWRAP) and the High-altitude IWRAP (HIWRAP). The IWRAP is a dual-frequency (Cand Ku band), multi-beam (incidence angles of 30 50) system that flies on the NOAAWP-3D aircraft at altitudes of 2-4 km. The HIWRAP is a dual-frequency (Ku and Kaband), dual-beam (incidence angles of 30 and 40) system that flies on the NASA Global Hawk aircraft at altitudes of 18-20 km. Retrievals of the three Cartesian wind components over the entire radar sampling volume are described, which can be determined using either a traditional least squares or variational solution procedure. The random errors in the retrievals are evaluated using both an error propagation analysis and a numerical simulation of a hurricane. These analyses show that the vertical and along-track wind errors have strong across-track dependence with values of 0.25 m s-1 at nadir to 2.0 m s-1 and 1.0 m s-1 at the swath edges, respectively. The across-track wind errors also have across-track structure and are on average, 3.0 3.5 m s-1 or 10 of the hurricane wind speed. For typical rotated figure four flight patterns through hurricanes, the zonal and meridional wind speed errors are 2 3 m s-1.Examples of measured data retrievals from IWRAP during an eyewall replacement cycle in Hurricane Isabel (2003) and from HIWRAP during the development of Tropical Storm Matthew (2010) are shown.
Leon, J.; Seyler, F.; Calmant, S.; Bonnet, M.
In the last two years, virtual gauged stations have been proposed to increase the density of hydrological network in ungauged or very poorly monitored basins (Leon, 2006). In spatial hydrology a virtual station is considered as any crossing of water body surface (i.e., large rivers) by radar altimeter satellite tracks. The main objective of this study is to review the usefulness of altimetric data presenting rating curves obtained for some virtual stations at the poorly gauged basins of Caqueta (Colombian Amazon basin), Uaupes and Upper Negro (Brazilian Amazon basin) and Upper Orinoco. Rating curve parameters at virtual stations are estimated by fitting with a power law distribution the temporal series of water surface altitude derived from ENVISAT satellite measurements and modeled discharges. The applied methodology (Leon et al. 2006a) allows the ellipsoidal height of effective zero flow to be estimated. This parameter is a good proxy of the mean water depth from which the river bed slope can be computed. These quantities combined with rating-curve parameters are highly valuable for understanding hydrological behaviour, especially at ungauged basins where hydrodynamical studies had always been prevented by the lack of in-situ data. The results obtained allow to propose a new insight into the hydrological behaviour of the region shared by Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela, which is very difficult to access, and then very poorly known.
Czernik, Richard James
A challenging problem faced by Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) radars on both airborne and spaceborne platforms is the ability to detect slow moving targets due the presence of non-stationary and heterogeneous ground clutter returns. Space-Time Adaptive Processing techniques process both the spatial signals from an antenna array as well as radar pulses simultaneously to aid in mitigating this clutter which has an inherent Doppler shift due to radar platform motion, as well as spreading across Angle-Doppler space attributable to a variety of factors. Additional problems such as clutter aliasing, widening of the clutter notch, and range dependency add additional complexity when the radar is bistatic in nature, and vary significantly as the bistatic radar geometry changes with respect to the targeted location. The most difficult situation is that of a spaceborne radar system due to its high velocity and altitude with respect to the earth. A spaceborne system does however offer several advantages over an airborne system, such as the ability to cover wide areas and to provide access to areas denied to airborne platforms. This dissertation examines both monostatic and bistatic radar performance based upon a computer simulation developed by the author, and explores the use of both optimal STAP and reduced dimension STAP architectures to mitigate the modeled clutter returns. Factors such as broadband jamming, wind, and earth rotation are considered, along with their impact on the interference covariance matrix, constructed from sample training data. Calculation of the covariance matrix in near real time based upon extracted training data is computer processor intensive and reduced dimension STAP architectures relieve some of the computation burden. The problems resulting from extending both monostatic and bistatic radar systems to space are also simulated and studied.
Oberreuter, J.; Gacitúa, G.; Uribe, J.; Rivera, A.; Zamora, R.; Loriaux, T.
Central Chilean glaciers (33-35°S) are an important melt water resource for human consumption, agriculture, mining and industrial activities in this, the most populated region of the country. These glaciers have been retreating and shrinking during recent decades, in response to ongoing climatic changes. As a result, there is increasing concern about future water availability especially during dry summers, when glaciers are thought to have the maximum contribution to runoff. In spite of their importance, very little is known about the total volume of water equivalent storage in these glaciers. In order to improve our knowledge about this issue, we have utilized a new airborne radar system, which was developed at CECs, specially designed to penetrate temperate and cold ice, which is working at central frequencies between 20 and 60 MHz, depending on the penetration range capacity at each glacier. This system has been installed on helicopters, where the metal structure antenna (receptor and transmitter) is carried as a hanging load while flying along pre designated tracks, enabling to survey steep and remote glacier areas, many of them without any ice thickness data up to date. The helicopter is geo-located using dual frequency GPS receivers and an inertial navigation unit installed onboard, and each measurement is geo referenced using a pointing laser located at the radar antenna. The antenna must be flown at 40 m above the glacier surface at an air speed of 40 knots. This system has been successfully used on 24 glaciers representing 16% of the total glacier area of the Aconcagua, Maipo and Rapel basins. A mean ice thickness of 168 m and a maximum of 342 m were detected among the surveyed glaciers. Crossing points between overlapping surveyed tracks resulted in mean differences of near 20 m (less than 10% of the total ice thickness). Subsequent ice volumes were calculated by interpolating radar data collected along tracks. These volumetric estimations correlated
Tim Miller checks out software for the Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR). He was the AIRSAR operations manager for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The AIRSAR produces imaging data for a range of studies conducted by the DC-8. NASA is using a DC-8 aircraft as a flying science laboratory. The platform aircraft, based at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., collects data for many experiments in support of scientific projects serving the world scientific community. Included in this community are NASA, federal, state, academic and foreign investigators. Data gathered by the DC-8 at flight altitude and by remote sensing have been used for scientific studies in archeology, ecology, geography, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, volcanology, atmospheric chemistry, soil science and biology.
Jones, John Edwin; Kover, Allan N.
The Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) program encompasses a multi-discipline effort involving geologists, hydrologists, engineers, geographers, and cartographers of the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS). Since the program began in 1980, more than 520,000 square miles of aerial coverage of SLAR data in the conterminous United States and Alaska have been acquired or contracted for acquisition. The Geological Survey has supported more than 60 research and applications projects addressing the use of this technology in the earth sciences since 1980. These projects have included preparation of lithographic reproductions of SLAR mosaics, research to improve the cartographic uses of SLAR, research for use of SLAR in assessing earth hazards, and studies using SLAR for energy and mineral exploration through improved geologic mapping.
Brucks, J. T.; Leming, T. D.; Jones, W. L.
Sea surface wind stress measurements recorded by a sonic anemometer are correlated with airborne scatterometer measurements of ocean roughness (cross section of radar backscatter) to establish the accuracy of remotely sensed data and assist in the definition of geophysical algorithms for the scatterometer sensor aboard Seasat A. Results of this investigation are as follows: Comparison of scatterometer and sonic anemometer wind stress measurements are good for the majority of cases; however, a tendency exists for scatterometer wind stress to be somewhat high for higher wind conditions experienced in this experiment (6-9 m/s). The scatterometer wind speed algorithm tends to overcompute the higher wind speeds by approximately 0.5 m/s. This is a direct result of the scatterometer overestimate of wind stress from which wind speeds are derived. Algorithmic derivations of wind speed and direction are, in most comparisons, within accuracies defined by Seasat A scatterometer sensor specifications.
Hildebrand, P.H. . Remote Sensing Facility)
A technique is presented for estimation of sea-surface winds using backscatter cross-section measurements from an airborne research weather radar. The technique is based on an empirical relation developed for use with satellite-borne microwave scatterometers which derives sea-surface winds from radar backscatter cross-section measurements. Unlike a scatterometer, the airborne research weather radar is a Doppler radar designed to measure atmospheric storm structure and kinematics. Designed to scan the atmosphere, the radar also scans the ocean surface over a wide range of azimuths, with the incidence angle and polarization angle changing continuously during each scan. The new sea-surface wind estimation technique accounts for these variations in incidence angle and polarization and derives the atmospheric surface winds. The technique works well over the range of wind conditions over which the wind speed-backscatter cross-section relation holds, about 2--20 m/s. The problems likely to be encountered with this new technique are evaluated and it is concluded that most problems are those which are endemic to any microwave scatterometer wind estimation technique. The new technique will enable using the research weather radar to provide measurements which would otherwise require use of a dedicated scatterometer.
Brown, G. S.; Curry, W. J.
The statistical error of the pointing angle estimation technique is determined as a function of the effective receiver signal to noise ratio. Other sources of error are addressed and evaluated with inadequate calibration being of major concern. The impact of pointing error on the computation of normalized surface scattering cross section (sigma) from radar and the waveform attitude induced altitude bias is considered and quantitative results are presented. Pointing angle and sigma processing algorithms are presented along with some initial data. The intensive mode clean vs. clutter AGC calibration problem is analytically resolved. The use clutter AGC data in the intensive mode is confirmed as the correct calibration set for the sigma computations.
Hayne, G. S.; Clary, J. B.
Data from a series of experimental tests run on the engineering model of the GEOS 3 radar altimeter using the Test and Measurement System (TAMS) designed for preflight testing of the radar altimeter are presented. These tests were conducted as a means of preparing and checking out a detailed test procedure to be used in running similar tests on the GEOS 3 protoflight model altimeter systems. The test procedures and results are also included.
Manikandan, S.; Vardhini, J. P.
In airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR), there was a major problem encountered in the area of image mosaic in the absence of platform information and sensor information (geocoding), when SAR is applied in large-scale scene and the platform faces large changes. In order to enhance real-time performance and robustness of image mosaic, enhancement based Speeded-Up Robust Features (SURF) mosaic method for airborne SAR is proposed in this paper. SURF is a novel scale-invariant and rotation-invariant feature. It is perfect in its high computation, speed and robustness. In this paper, When the SAR image is acquired, initially the image is enhanced by using local statistic techniques and SURF is applied for SAR image matching accord to its characteristic, and then acquires its invariant feature for matching. In the process of image matching, the nearest neighbor rule for initial matching is used, and the wrong points of the matches are removed through RANSAC fitting algorithm. The proposed algorithm is implemented in different SAR images with difference in scale change, rotation change and noise. The proposed algorithm is compared with other existing algorithms and the quantitative and qualitative measures are calculated and tabulated. The proposed algorithm is robust to changes and the threshold is varied accordingly to increase the matching rate more than 95 %.
Pelletier-Travis, Ramona E.
The study was conducted as part of the NASA Biospherics Research on Emissions from Wetlands (BREW) program. An important aspect of the program is to investigate the terrestrial production and atmospheric distribution of methane and other gases contributing to global warming. Multi-kilometer transects of airborne (helicopter) Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) data were collected periodically along the 100 km distance from the coast inland so as to obtain a regional trend in peat depth and related parameters. Global Positioning System (GPS) data were simultaneously collected from the helicopter to properly georeference the GPR data. Additional 50 m ground-based transects of GPR data were also collected as a source of ground truthing, as a calibration aid for the airborne data sets, and as a source of higher resolution data for characterizing the strata within the peat. In situ peat depth probing and soil characterizations from excavated soil pits were used to verify GPR findings. Results from the ground-based data are presented.
Osmanoglu, B.; Rincon, R. F.; Fatoyinbo, T. E.; Lee, S. K.; Sun, G.; Daniyan, O.; Harcum, M. E.
EcoSAR is a new airborne synthetic aperture radar imaging system, developed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. It is a P-band sensor that employs a non-conventional and innovative design. The EcoSAR system was designed as a multi-disciplinary instrument to image the 3-dimensional surface of the earth from a single pass platform with two antennas. EcoSAR's principal mission is to penetrate the forest canopy to return vital information about the canopy structure and estimate biomass. With a maximum bandwidth of 200 MHz in H and 120 MHz in V polarizations it can provide sub-meter resolution imagery of the study area. EcoSAR's dual antenna, 32 transmit and receive channel architecture provides a test-bed for developing new algorithms in InSAR data processing such as single pass interferometry, full polarimetry, post-processing synthesis of multiple beams, simultaneous measurement over both sides of the flight track, selectable resolution and variable incidence angle. The flexible architecture of EcoSAR will create new opportunities in radar remote sensing of forest biomass, permafrost active layer thickness, and topography mapping. EcoSAR's first test flight occurred between March 27th and April 1st, 2014 over the Andros Island in Bahamas and Corcovado and La Selva National Parks in Costa Rica. The 32 channel radar system collected about 6 TB of radar data in about 12 hours of data collection. Due to the existence of radio and TV communications in the operational frequency band, acquired data contains strong radar frequency interference, which had to be removed prior to beamforming and focusing. Precise locations of the antennas are tracked using high-rate GPS and inertial navigation units, which provide necessary information for accurate processing of the imagery. In this presentation we will present preliminary imagery collected during the test campaign, show examples of simultaneous dual track imaging, as well as a single pass interferogram. The
Bluestein, H. B.; Doviak, R. J.; Eilts, M. D.; Mccaul, E. W.; Rabin, R.; Sundara-Rajan, A.; Zrnic, D. S.
The first experiment to combine airborne Doppler Lidar and ground-based dual Doppler Radar measurements of wind to detail the lower tropospheric flows in quiescent and stormy weather was conducted in central Oklahoma during four days in June-July 1981. Data from these unique remote sensing instruments, coupled with data from conventional in-situ facilities, i.e., 500-m meteorological tower, rawinsonde, and surface based sensors, were analyzed to enhance understanding of wind, waves and turbulence. The purposes of the study were to: (1) compare winds mapped by ground-based dual Doppler radars, airborne Doppler lidar, and anemometers on a tower; (2) compare measured atmospheric boundary layer flow with flows predicted by theoretical models; (3) investigate the kinematic structure of air mass boundaries that precede the development of severe storms; and (4) study the kinematic structure of thunderstorm phenomena (downdrafts, gust fronts, etc.) that produce wind shear and turbulence hazardous to aircraft operations. The report consists of three parts: Part 1, Intercomparison of Wind Data from Airborne Lidar, Ground-Based Radars and Instrumented 444 m Tower; Part 2, The Structure of the Convective Atmospheric Boundary Layer as Revealed by Lidar and Doppler Radars; and Part 3, Doppler Lidar Observations in Thunderstorm Environments.
Hinton, David A.
An element of the NASA/FAA windshear program is the integration of ground-based microburst information on the flight deck, to support airborne windshear alerting and microburst avoidance. NASA conducted a windshear flight test program in the summer of 1991 during which airborne processing of Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) data was used to derive microburst alerts. Microburst information was extracted from TDWR, transmitted to a NASA Boeing 737 in flight via data link, and processed to estimate the windshear hazard level (F-factor) that would be experienced by the aircraft in each microburst. The microburst location and F-factor were used to derive a situation display and alerts. The situation display was successfully used to maneuver the aircraft for microburst penetrations, during which atmospheric 'truth' measurements were made. A total of 19 penetrations were made of TDWR-reported microburst locations, resulting in 18 airborne microburst alerts from the TDWR data and two microburst alerts from the airborne reactive windshear detection system. The primary factors affecting alerting performance were spatial offset of the flight path from the region of strongest shear, differences in TDWR measurement altitude and airplane penetration altitude, and variations in microburst outflow profiles. Predicted and measured F-factors agreed well in penetrations near microburst cores. Although improvements in airborne and ground processing of the TDWR measurements would be required to support an airborne executive-level alerting protocol, the practicality of airborne utilization of TDWR data link data has been demonstrated.
Baxa, Ernest G., Jr.; Lee, Jonggil
The pulse pair method for spectrum parameter estimation is commonly used in pulse Doppler weather radar signal processing since it is economical to implement and can be shown to be a maximum likelihood estimator. With the use of airborne weather radar for windshear detection, the turbulent weather and strong ground clutter return spectrum differs from that assumed in its derivation, so the performance robustness of the pulse pair technique must be understood. Here, the effect of radar system pulse to pulse phase jitter and signal spectrum skew on the pulse pair algorithm performance is discussed. Phase jitter effect may be significant when the weather return signal to clutter ratio is very low and clutter rejection filtering is attempted. The analysis can be used to develop design specifications for airborne radar system phase stability. It is also shown that the weather return spectrum skew can cause a significant bias in the pulse pair mean windspeed estimates, and that the poly pulse pair algorithm can reduce this bias. It is suggested that use of a spectrum mode estimator may be more appropriate in characterizing the windspeed within a radar range resolution cell for detection of hazardous windspeed gradients.
El-Fallah, A.; Zatezalo, A.; Mahler, R.; Mehra, R. K.; Pham, K.
Dynamic sensor management of heterogeneous and distributed sensors presents a daunting theoretical and practical challenge. We present a Situational Awareness Sensor Management (SA-SM) algorithm for the tracking of ground targets moving on a road map. It is based on the previously developed information-theoretic Posterior Expected Number of Targets of Interest (PENTI) objective function, and utilizes combined measurements form an airborne GMTI radar, and a space-based EO/IR sensor. The resulting filtering methods and techniques are tested and evaluated. Different scan rates for the GMTI radar and the EO/IR sensor are evaluated and compared.
Iguchi, Toshio; Meneghini, Robert
This paper briefly reviews several single-frequency rain profiling methods for an airborne or spaceborne radar. The authors describe the different methods from a unified point of view starting from the basic differential equation. This facilitates the comparisons between the methods and also provides a better understanding of the physical and mathematical basis of the methods. The application of several methods to airborne radar data taken during the Convective and Precipitation/Electrification Experiment is shown. Finally, the authors consider a hybrid method that provides a smooth transition between the Hitschfeld-Bordan method, which performs well at low attenuations, and the surface reference method, for which the relative error decreases with increasing path attenuation.
Lou, Y.; Imel, D.; Chu, A.; Miller, T.; Moller, D.; Skotnicki, W.
AIRSAR has served as a test-bed for both imaging radar techniques and radar technologies for over a decade. In fact, the polarimetric, cross-track interferometric, and along-track introferometric radar techniques were all developed using AIRSAR.
... of TSO-C65a as published in 77 FR 37470, June 21, 2012, produced no comments. Conclusion TSO-C65a is... TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Technical Standard Order (TSO)-C65a, Airborne Doppler Radar Ground... Doppler Radar Ground Speed and/or Drift Angle Measuring Equipment (For Air Carrier Aircraft)....
High resolution windspeed profile measurements are needed to provide reliable detection of hazardous low altitude windshear with an airborne pulse Doppler radar. The system phase noise in a Doppler weather radar may degrade the spectrum moment estimation quality and the clutter cancellation capability which are important in windshear detection. Also the bias due to weather return Doppler spectrum skewness may cause large errors in pulse pair spectral parameter estimates. These effects are analyzed for the improvement of an airborne Doppler weather radar signal processing design. A method is presented for the direct measurement of windspeed gradient using low pulse repetition frequency (PRF) radar. This spatial gradient is essential in obtaining the windshear hazard index. As an alternative, the modified Prony method is suggested as a spectrum mode estimator for both the clutter and weather signal. Estimation of Doppler spectrum modes may provide the desired windshear hazard information without the need of any preliminary processing requirement such as clutter filtering. The results obtained by processing a NASA simulation model output support consideration of mode identification as one component of a windshear detection algorithm.
Newman, T.; Brozena, J. M.; Ball, D.; Liang, R.; Abelev, A.; Gardner, J. M.
Observations of the current state of Arctic sea ice indicate a trend towards a younger, thinner and more mobile pack that exhibits significant inter-annual variability. Radar returns from altimeters are impacted by the morphology of snow and ice features on the surface as well as the characteristics of radar pulse penetration through the snow pack. Together these contribute to uncertainty in the procedures for deriving sea ice freeboard from radar altimeter data. We make use of dense lidar grids and airborne snow radar measurements, collected on the sea ice pack north of Barrow, Alaska by the Naval Research Laboratory in 2014 and 2015, to investigate the effect of ice surface morphology on radar altimeter measurements. We quantify the effect of surface morphology using a nested approach that includes forward modeling, snow radar data and a comprehensive set of in situ measurements. Our results allow us to better constrain the altimetric uncertainty resulting from ice surface morphology, with respect to ice type. This will lead to an enhanced understanding of sources of uncertainty in altimeter-derived sea ice thickness products.
Mace, Thomas H.; Lou, Yunling
NASA/JPL has developed a new airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) which has become available for use by the scientific community in January, 2009. Pod mounted, the UAVSAR was designed to be portable among a variety of aircraft, including unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The instrument operates in the L-Band, has a resolution under 2m from a GPS altitude of 12Km and a swath width of approximately 20Km. UAVSAR currently flies on a modified Gulfstream-III aircraft, operated by NASA s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, California. The G-III platform enables repeat-pass interferometric measurements, by using a modified autopilot and precise kinematic differential GPS to repeatedly fly the aircraft within a specified 10m tube. The antenna is electronically steered along track to assure that the antenna beam can be directed independently, regardless of speed and wind direction. The instrument can be controlled remotely, AS AN OPTION, using the Research Environment for Vehicle Embedded Analysis on Linux (REVEAL). This allows simulation of the telepresence environment necessary for flight on UAS. Potential earth science research and applications include surface deformation, volcano studies, ice sheet dynamics, and vegetation structure.
Durden, Stephen L.; Esteban-Fermandez, D.
A report discusses ASAP (Air-sea Spray Airborne Profiler), a dual-wavelength radar profiler that provides measurement information about the droplet size distribution (DSD) of sea-spray, which can be used to estimate heat and moisture fluxes for hurricane research. Researchers have recently determined that sea spray can have a large effect on the magnitude and distribution of the air-sea energy flux at hurricane -force wind speeds. To obtain information about the DSD, two parameters of the DSD are required; for example, overall DSD amplitude and DSD mean diameter. This requires two measurements. Two frequencies are used, with a large enough separation that the differential frequency provides size information. One frequency is 94 GHz; the other is 220 GHz. These correspond to the Rayleigh and Mie regions. Above a surface wind speed of 10 m/ s, production of sea spray grows exponentially. Both the number of large droplets and the altitude they reach are a function of the surface wind speed.
Kunkel, Matthew W.
A major obstacle in the estimation of windspeed patterns associated with low-altitude windshear with an airborne pulsed Doppler radar system is the presence of strong levels of ground clutter which can strongly bias a windspeed estimate. Typical solutions attempt to remove the clutter energy from the return through clutter rejection filtering. Proposed is a method whereby both the weather and clutter modes present in a return spectrum can be identified to yield an unbiased estimate of the weather mode without the need for clutter rejection filtering. An attempt will be made to show that modeling through a second order extended Prony approach is sufficient for the identification of the weather mode. A pattern recognition approach to windspeed estimation from the identified modes is derived and applied to both simulated and actual flight data. Comparisons between windspeed estimates derived from modal analysis and the pulse-pair estimator are included as well as associated hazard factors. Also included is a computationally attractive method for estimating windspeeds directly from the coefficients of a second-order autoregressive model. Extensions and recommendations for further study are included.
Jamora, Dennis A.
Ground clutter interference is a major problem for airborne pulse Doppler radar operating at low altitudes in a look-down mode. With Doppler zero set at the aircraft ground speed, ground clutter rejection filtering is typically accomplished using a high-pass filter with real valued coefficients and a stopband notch centered at zero Doppler. Clutter spectra from the NASA Wind Shear Flight Experiments of l991-1992 show that the dominant clutter mode can be located away from zero Doppler, particularly at short ranges dominated by sidelobe returns. Use of digital notch filters with complex valued coefficients so that the stopband notch can be located at any Doppler frequency is investigated. Several clutter mode tracking algorithms are considered to estimate the Doppler frequency location of the dominant clutter mode. From the examination of night data, when a dominant clutter mode away from zero Doppler is present, complex filtering is able to significantly increase clutter rejection over use of a notch filter centered at zero Doppler.
Vandemark, D.; Hines, D.; Bailey, S.; Stewart, K.
Airborne radar ocean wave spectrometer (ROWS) data collected during the Office of Naval Research's High Resolution Remote Sensing Experiment of June 1993 are presented. This data summary covers six flights made using NASA's T-39 aircraft over a region of the North Atlantic off the coast of North Carolina and includes multiple crossings of the gulf stream. The Ku-band ROWS was operated in a configuration which continuously switched between an altimeter and a spectrometer channel. Data derived from the two channels include altimeter radar cross section, altimeter-derived sea surface mean square slope and wind speed, and directional and nondirectional longwave spectra. Discussion is provided for several events of particular interest.
Rendleman, R. A.; Champagne, E. B.; Ferris, J. E.; Liskow, C. L.; Marks, J. M.; Salmer, R. J.
Development of a dual polarized L-band radar imaging system to be used in conjunction with the present dual polarized X-band radar is described. The technique used called for heterodyning the transmitted frequency from X-band to L-band and again heterodyning the received L-band signals back to X-band for amplification, detection, and recording.
Nicholson, Shaun R.
Improved measurements of precipitation will aid our understanding of the role of latent heating on global circulations. Spaceborne meteorological sensors such as the planned precipitation radar and microwave radiometers on the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) provide for the first time a comprehensive means of making these global measurements. Pre-TRMM activities include development of precipitation algorithms using existing satellite data, computer simulations, and measurements from limited aircraft campaigns. Since the TRMM radar will be the first spaceborne precipitation radar, there is limited experience with such measurements, and only recently have airborne radars become available that can attempt to address the issue of the limitations of a spaceborne radar. There are many questions regarding how much attenuation occurs in various cloud types and the effect of cloud vertical motions on the estimation of precipitation rates. The EDOP program being developed by NASA GSFC will provide data useful for testing both rain-retrieval algorithms and the importance of vertical motions on the rain measurements. The purpose of this report is to describe the design and development of real-time embedded parallel algorithms used by EDOP to extract reflectivity and Doppler products (velocity, spectrum width, and signal-to-noise ratio) as the first step in the aforementioned goals.
Rowland, Scott K.; MacKay, Mary E.; Garbeil, Harold; Mouginis-Mark, Peter J.
We analyze digital topographic data collected in September 1993 over a 500-km2 portion of K*lauea Volcano, Hawai'i, by the C-band (5.6-cm wavelength) topographic synthetic aperture radar (TOPSAR) airborne interferometric radar. Field surveys covering an 1-km2 area of the summit caldera and the distal end of an 8-m-thick 'a'* flow indicate that the 10-m spatial resolution TOPSAR data have a vertical accuracy of 1-2m over a variety of volcanic surfaces. After conversion to a common datum, TOPSAR data agree favorably with a digital elevation model (DEM) produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), with the important exception of the region of the ongoing eruption (which postdates the USGS DEM). This DEM comparison gives us confidence that subtracting the USGS data from TOPSAR data will produce a reasonable estimate of the erupted volume as of September 1993. This subtraction produces dense rock equivalent (DRE) volumes of 392, 439, and 90×106m3 for the Pu'u '*'*, K*pa'ianah*, and episode 50-53 stages of the eruption, respectively. These are 124, 89, and 94% of the volumes calculated by staff of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) but do not include lava of K*pa'ianah* and episodes 50-53 that flowed into the ocean and are thus invisible to TOPSAR. Accounting for this lava increases the TOPSAR volumes to 124, 159, and 129% of the HVO volumes. Including the +/-2-m uncertainty derived from the field surveys produces TOPSAR-derived volumes for the eruption as a whole that range between 81 and 125% of the USGS-derived values. The vesicularity- and ocean-corrected TOPSAR volumes yield volumetric eruption rates of 4.5, 4.5, and 2.7m3/s for the three stages of the eruption, which compare with HVO-derived values of 3.6, 2.8, and 2.1m3/s, respectively. Our analysis shows that care must be taken when vertically registering the TOPSAR and USGS DEMs to a common datum because C-band TOPSAR penetrates only partially into thick forest and therefore produces a DEM within the tree