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.
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.
Escolà, Roger; Garcia-Mondejar, Albert; Moyano, Gorka; Roca, Mònica; Terra-Homem, Miguel; Friaças, Ana; Martinho, Fernando; Schrama, Ernst; Naeije, Marc; Ambrozio, Americo; Restano, Marco; Benveniste, Jérôme
The universal altimetry toolbox, BRAT (Broadview Radar Altimetry Toolbox) which can read all previous and current altimetry missions' data, incorporates now the capability to read the upcoming Sentinel-3 L1 and L2 products. ESA endeavoured to develop and supply this capability to support the users of the future Sentinel-3 SAR Altimetry Mission. BRAT is a collection of tools and tutorial documents designed to facilitate the processing of radar altimetry data. This project started in 2005 from the joint efforts of ESA (European Space Agency) and CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales), and it is freely available at http://earth.esa.int/brat. The tools enable users to interact with the most common altimetry data formats. The BratGUI is the front-end for the powerful command line tools that are part of the BRAT suite. BRAT can also be used in conjunction with MATLAB/IDL (via reading routines) or in C/C++/Fortran via a programming API, allowing the user to obtain desired data, bypassing the data-formatting hassle. BRAT can be used simply to visualise data quickly, or to translate the data into other formats such as NetCDF, ASCII text files, KML (Google Earth) and raster images (JPEG, PNG, etc.). Several kinds of computations can be done within BRAT involving combinations of data fields that the user can save for posterior reuse or using the already embedded formulas that include the standard oceanographic altimetry formulas. The Radar Altimeter Tutorial, that contains a strong introduction to altimetry, shows its applications in different fields such as Oceanography, Cryosphere, Geodesy, Hydrology among others. Included are also "use cases", with step-by-step examples, on how to use the toolbox in the different contexts. The Sentinel-3 SAR Altimetry Toolbox shall benefit from the current BRAT version. While developing the toolbox we will revamp of the Graphical User Interface and provide, among other enhancements, support for reading the upcoming S3 datasets and
Mondéjar, Albert; Benveniste, Jérôme; Naeije, Marc; Escolà, Roger; Moyano, Gorka; Roca, Mònica; Terra-Homem, Miguel; Friaças, Ana; Martinho, Fernando; Schrama, Ernst; Ambrózio, Américo; Restano, Marco
The universal altimetry toolbox, BRAT (Broadview Radar Altimetry Toolbox) which can read all previous and current altimetry missions' data, incorporates now the capability to read the upcoming Sentinel-3 L1 and L2 products. ESA endeavoured to develop and supply this capability to support the users of the future Sentinel-3 SAR Altimetry Mission. BRAT is a collection of tools and tutorial documents designed to facilitate the processing of radar altimetry data. This project started in 2005 from the joint efforts of ESA (European Space Agency) and CNES (Centre National d'Études Spatiales), and it is freely available at http://earth.esa.int/brat. The tools enable users to interact with the most common altimetry data formats. The BratGUI is the front-end for the powerful command line tools that are part of the BRAT suite. BRAT can also be used in conjunction with MATLAB/IDL (via reading routines) or in C/C++/Fortran via a programming API, allowing the user to obtain desired data, bypassing the data-formatting hassle. BRAT can be used simply to visualise data quickly, or to translate the data into other formats such as NetCDF, ASCII text files, KML (Google Earth) and raster images (JPEG, PNG, etc.). Several kinds of computations can be done within BRAT involving combinations of data fields that the user can save for posterior reuse or using the already embedded formulas that include the standard oceanographic altimetry formulas. The Radar Altimeter Tutorial, that contains a strong introduction to altimetry, shows its applications in different fields such as Oceanography, Cryosphere, Geodesy, Hydrology among others. Included are also "use cases", with step-by-step examples, on how to use the toolbox in the different contexts. The Sentinel-3 SAR Altimetry Toolbox shall benefit from the current BRAT version. While developing the toolbox we will revamp of the Graphical User Interface and provide, among other enhancements, support for reading the upcoming S3 datasets and
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
Rosmorduc, Vinca; Benveniste, Jerome; Breebaart, Leo; Bronner, Emilie; Dinardo, Salvatore; Earith, Didier; Lucas, Bruno Manuel; Niejmeier, Sander; Picot, Nicolas
The Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox is an "all-altimeter" collection of tools, tutorials and documents designed to facilitate the use of radar altimetry data, including the last mission launched, CryoSat. It has been available from April 2007, and had been demonstrated during training courses and scientific meetings. Nearly 1200 people downloaded it (as of end of June 2010), with many "newcomers" to altimetry among them. Users' feedbacks, developments in altimetry, and practice, showed that new interesting features could be added. Some have been added and/or improved in version 2. Others are ongoing, some are in discussion. The Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox is able: - to read most distributed radar altimetry data, from ERS-1 & 2, Topex/Poseidon, Geosat Follow-on, Jason- 1, Envisat, Jason- 2, CryoSat and also the future Saral and Sentinel 3 missions, - to perform some processing, data editing and statistic, - and to visualize the results. It can be used at several levels/several ways: - as a data reading tool, with APIs for C, Fortran, Matlab and IDL - as processing/extraction routines, through the on-line command mode - as an educational and a quick-look tool both, with the graphical user interface As part of the Toolbox, a Radar Altimetry Tutorial gives general information about altimetry, the technique involved and its applications, as well as an overview of past, present and future missions, including information on how to access data, additional software and documentation. It also presents a series of data use cases, covering all uses of altimetry over ocean, cryosphere and land, showing the basic methods for some of the most frequent manners of using altimetry data. BRAT is developed under contract with ESA and CNES. It is available at http://www.altimetry.info and http://earth.esa.int/brat/
Rosmorduc, Vinca; Benveniste, Jerome; Bronner, Emilie; Dinardo, Salvatore; Lucas, Bruno Manuel; Niejmeier, Sander; Picot, Nicolas; Breebaart, Leo; Earith, Didier
The Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox is an "all-altimeter" collection of tools, tutorials and documents designed to facilitate the use of radar altimetry data, including the next mission to be launched, CryoSat. It has been available from April 2007, and had been demonstrated during training courses and scientific meetings. About 900 people downloaded it (January 2009), with many "newcomers" to altimetry among them. Users' feedbacks, developments in altimetry, and practice, showed that new interesting features could be added. Some have been added and/or improved in version 2. Others are ongoing, some are in discussion. The Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox is able: - to read most distributed radar altimetry data, from ERS-1 & 2, Topex/Poseidon, Geosat Follow-on, Jason-1, Envisat, Jason- 2, and the furure CryoSat and Saral missions, - to perform some processing, data editing and statistic, - and to visualize the results. It can be used at several levels/several ways: - as a data reading tool, with APIs for C, Fortran, Matlab and IDL - as processing/extraction routines, through the on-line command mode - as an educational and a quick-look tool, with the graphical user interface As part of the Toolbox, a Radar Altimetry Tutorial gives general information about altimetry, the technique involved and its applications, as well as an overview of past, present and future missions, including information on how to access data and additional software and documentation. It also presents a series of data use cases, covering all uses of altimetry over ocean, cryosphere and land, showing the basic methods for some of the most frequent manners of using altimetry data. Version 2 has been released in April 2009, including, among other improvements, a Mac OS X version, River&Lake data reading capability, full waveform processing and plotting, new plotting capabilities, export in GeoTiff, including a Google Earth export feature, easier export in Ascii, a rethinking of the Graphical user
Escoe, D.; Heuring, F. T.; Denman, W. F.
This report discusses the application and cost of two types of altimeter systems (spaceborne (satellite and shuttle) and airborne) to twelve user requirements. The overall design of the systems defined to meet these requirements is predicated on an unconstrained altimetry technology; that is, any level of altimeter or supporting equipment performance is possible.
Rosmorduc, Vinca; Benveniste, Jerome; Bronner, Emilie; Niemeijer, Sander; Lucas, Bruno Manuel; Dinardo, Salvatore
The Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox is an "all-altimeter" collection of tools, tutorials and documents designed to facilitate the use of radar altimetry data, including the next mission to be launched, CryoSat. It has been available from April 2007, and had been demonstrated during training courses and scientific meetings. More than 2000 people downloaded it (January 2013), with many "newcomers" to altimetry among them. Users' feedbacks, developments in altimetry, and practice, showed that new interesting features could be added. Some have been added and/or improved in version 2 and 3. Others are in discussion for the future, including addition of the future Sentinel-3. The Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox is able: - to read most distributed radar altimetry data, including the one from future missions like Saral, - to perform some processing, data editing and statistic, - and to visualize the results. It can be used at several levels/several ways, including as an educational tool, with the graphical user interface As part of the Toolbox, a Radar Altimetry Tutorial gives general information about altimetry, the technique involved and its applications, as well as an overview of past, present and future missions, including information on how to access data and additional software and documentation. It also presents a series of data use cases, covering all uses of altimetry over ocean, cryosphere and land, showing the basic methods for some of the most frequent manners of using altimetry data. Example from education uses will be presented, and feedback from those who used it as such will be most welcome. BRAT is developed under contract with ESA and CNES. It is available at http://www.altimetry.info and http://earth.esa.int/brat/
Rosmorduc, Vinca; Niejmeier, Sander; Bronner, Emilie; Benveniste, Jérôme
The Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox is an "all-altimeter" collection of tools, tutorials and documents designed to facilitate the use of radar altimetry data, including the next mission to be launched, CryoSat. It has been available from April 2007, and had been demonstrated during training courses and scientific meetings. About 900 people downloaded it (January 2009), with many "newcomers" to altimetry among them. Users' feedbacks, developments in altimetry, and practice, showed that new interesting features could be added. Some have been added and/or improved in version 2. Others are ongoing, some are in discussion. The Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox is able: • to read most distributed radar altimetry data, from ERS-1 2, Topex/Poseidon, Geosat Follow-on, Jason-1, Envisat, Jason-2, and the furure CryoSat and Saral missions, • to perform some processing, data editing and statistic, • and to visualize the results. It can be used at several levels/several ways: • as a data reading tool, with APIs for C, Fortran, Matlab and IDL • as processing/extraction routines, through the on-line command mode • as an educational and a quick-look tool, with the graphical user interface As part of the Toolbox, a Radar Altimetry Tutorial gives general information about altimetry, the technique involved and its applications, as well as an overview of past, present and future missions, including information on how to access data and additional software and documen-tation. It also presents a series of data use cases, covering all uses of altimetry over ocean, cryosphere and land, showing the basic methods for some of the most frequent manners of using altimetry data. Version 2 has been released in April 2009, including, among other improvements, a Mac OS X version, RiverLake data reading capability, full waveform processing and plotting, new plotting capabilities, export in GeoTiff, including a Google Earth export feature, easier export in Ascii, a rethinking of the Graphical
Dobson, E.B.; Monaldo, F.M.; Porter, D.L.; Robinson, A.R.; Kilgus, C.C.; Goldhirsh, J.; Glenn, S.M. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ )
The use of satellite radar altimetry for monitoring global climatic variables is examined in the context of the altimeter for the Geosat Follow-On program. The requirements of studying climate and ocean circulation are described for the particular case of the North Atlantic, and the use of spaceborne altimetry is discussed for three measurement types. Altimeters measure sea-surface height and the ice edge to give data on mesoscale variability and circulation, interannual variability, and air-sea interactions. The altimeters for the Geosat program are expected to include orbit-determination systems for removal of the orbital signature and a radiometer for measuring water vapor. The altimeters are expected to be useful in studying ocean circulation and climate, and existing data support in situ measurements. Spaceborne radar altimetry can provide important data for understanding CO[sub 2] uptake, biogeochemical fluxes, and the thermocline conveyor belt. 30 refs.
Benveniste, J. J.; Bronner, E.; Dinardo, S.; Lucas, B. M.; Rosmorduc, V.; Earith, D.
Radar altimetry is very much a technique expanding its applications. If quite a lot of efforts have been made for oceanography users (including easy-to-use data), the use of those data for cryosphere application, especially with the new ESA CryoSat-2 mission data is still somehow tedious, especially for new Altimetry data products users. ESA and CNES thus had the Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox developed a few years ago, and are improving and upgrading it to fit new missions and the growing number of altimetry uses. The Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox is an "all-altimeter" collection of tools, tutorials and documents designed to facilitate the use of radar altimetry data. The software is able: - to read most distributed radar altimetry data, from ERS-1 & 2, Topex/Poseidon, Geosat Follow-on, Jason-1, Envisat, Jason- 2, CryoSat and the future Saral missions, - to perform some processing, data editing and statistic, - and to visualize the results. It can be used at several levels/several ways: - as a data reading tool, with APIs for C, Fortran, Matlab and IDL - as processing/extraction routines, through the on-line command mode - as an educational and a quick-look tool, with the graphical user interface As part of the Toolbox, a Radar Altimetry Tutorial gives general information about altimetry, the technique involved and its applications, as well as an overview of past, present and future missions, including information on how to access data and additional software and documentation. It also presents a series of data use cases, covering all uses of altimetry over ocean, cryosphere and land, showing the basic methods for some of the most frequent manners of using altimetry data. It is an opportunity to teach remote sensing with practical training. It has been available from April 2007, and had been demonstrated during training courses and scientific meetings. About 1200 people downloaded it (Summer 2010), with many "newcomers" to altimetry among them, including teachers
Kosuth, P.; Cazenave, A.; Blitzkow, D.
Due to extremely poor road infrastructure and resulting difficulties in direct topographic levelling, Amazon river basin lacks a consistent topographical referential. Space based altimetric techniques appear to be the only feasible alternative to establish such a referential. Extensive processing of Topex/Poseidon satellite radar altimeter data upon continental open water bodies of the Amazon Basin over 1993-2000 period has been realised. Due to relatively poor reliability of Topex/Poseidon data at river low stage, processing focussed on maximum annual water levels. Such maximum annual water levels have been determined for more than 150 intersections between satellite ground traces and rivers, accuracy being improved by correlation analysis with continuous water level time series at closest gauging station. Results have been translated to a geoidal referential using EGM96 geoid model. Annual upper enveloppes of rivers longitudinal water profiles have been interpolated, allowing to quantify maximum annual water levels at existing gauging stations. Confrontation between satellite determined and field measured maximum water levels at these stations allowed to quantify the geoidal altitude of more than 80 stations with a decimetric accuracy (<0.5m). This method has been checked and validated through internal consistency analysis, hydrological consistency analysis and confrontation with bi-frequency GPS positionning measurement results at 22 stations. Mean difference between geoidal altitudes determined by satellite radar altimetry and bi-frequency GPS positionning for these 22 stations is +0.29 m +/- 0.63 m, GPS positionning results being lower than satellite radar altimetry ones. Till now about 30 000 km of Amazon Basin rivers over Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador benefit from these altimetric references. This opens way for improved understanding of Amazon river dynamics and enlightens possible improvements in applying satellite radar altimetry techniques over
Rosmorduc, V.; Benveniste, J. J.; Bronner, E.; Niejmeier, S.
Radar altimetry is very much a technique expanding its applications and uses. If quite a lot of efforts have been made for oceanography users (including easy-to-use data), the use of those data for geodesy, especially combined witht ESA GOCE mission data is still somehow hard. ESA and CNES thus had the Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox developed (as well as, on ESA side, the GOCE User Toolbox, both being linked). The Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox is an "all-altimeter" collection of tools, tutorials and documents designed to facilitate the use of radar altimetry data. The software is able: - to read most distributed radar altimetry data, from ERS-1 & 2, Topex/Poseidon, Geosat Follow-on, Jason-1, Envisat, Jason- 2, CryoSat and the future Saral missions, - to perform some processing, data editing and statistic, - and to visualize the results. It can be used at several levels/several ways: - as a data reading tool, with APIs for C, Fortran, Matlab and IDL - as processing/extraction routines, through the on-line command mode - as an educational and a quick-look tool, with the graphical user interface As part of the Toolbox, a Radar Altimetry Tutorial gives general information about altimetry, the technique involved and its applications, as well as an overview of past, present and future missions, including information on how to access data and additional software and documentation. It also presents a series of data use cases, covering all uses of altimetry over ocean, cryosphere and land, showing the basic methods for some of the most frequent manners of using altimetry data. It is an opportunity to teach remote sensing with practical training. It has been available from April 2007, and had been demonstrated during training courses and scientific meetings. About 1200 people downloaded it (Summer 2010), with many "newcomers" to altimetry among them. Users' feedbacks, developments in altimetry, and practice, showed that new interesting features could be added. Some have been
Colombo, Oscar L.
Proper interpretation of airborne gravimetry and altimetry requires good knowledge of aircraft trajectory. Recent advances in precise navigation with differential GPS have made it possible to measure gravity from the air with accuracies of a few milligals, and to obtain altimeter profiles of terrain or sea surface correct to one decimeter. These developments are opening otherwise inaccessible regions to detailed geophysical mapping. Navigation with GPS presents some problems that grow worse with increasing distance from a fixed receiver: the effect of errors in tropospheric refraction correction, GPS ephemerides, and the coordinates of the fixed receivers. Ionospheric refraction and orbit error complicate ambiguity resolution. Optimal navigation should treat all error sources as unknowns, together with the instantaneous vehicle position. To do so, fast and reliable numerical techniques are needed: efficient and stable Kalman filter-smoother algorithms, together with data compression and, sometimes, the use of simplified dynamics.
Krabill, W. B.; Brooks, R. L.
Radar altimeter measurements from the GEOS-3 and SEASAT satellites are being evaluated to assess their potential contribution to terrain mapping. The primary evaluation area is the San Joaquin Valley of southern California; 40,000/sq km of the Valley have been mapped at a contour interval of 10 m from the satellite altimeter measurements. The accuracy of the altimeter derived terrain elevations is being assessed by comparison with 1:24,000 and digitized 1:250,000 maps and by intercomparisons at the crossover altimeter intersections. Comparisons of the altimeter derived elevations with historical maps archived at the U.S. Geological Survey confirms the USGS 1926-1972 subsidence contours for this area. Preliminary results from a similar analysis in the Houston-Galveston area of subsidence also demonstrates a capability of measuring land subsidence by satellite altimetry.
Keller, Kristian; Casassa, Gino; Rivera, Andrés; Forsberg, Rene; Gundestrup, Niels
The first airborne laser altimetry measurements of a glacier in South America are presented. Data were collected in November of 2001 over Glaciar Tyndall, Torres del Paine National Park, Chilean Patagonia, onboard a Twin Otter airplane of the Chilean Air Force. A laser scanner with a rotating polygon-mirror system together with an Inertial Navigation System (INS) were fixed to the floor of the aircraft, and used in combination with two dual-frequency GPS receivers. Together, the laser-INS-GPS system had a nominal accuracy of 30 cm after data processing. On November 23rd, a total of 235 km were flown over the ablation area of Glaciar Tyndall, with 5 longitudinal tracks with a mean swath width of 300 m, which results in a point spacing of approximately 2 m both along and across track. A digital elevation model (DEM) generated using the laser altimetry data was compared with a DEM produced from a 1975 map (1:50,000 scale — Instituto Geográfico Militar (IGM), Chile). A mean thinning of - 3.1 ± 1.0 m a - 1 was calculated for the ablation area of Glaciar Tyndall, with a maximum value of - 7.7 ± 1.0 m a - 1 at the calving front at 50 m a.s.l. and minimum values of between - 1.0 and - 2.0 ± 1.0 m a - 1 at altitudes close to the equilibrium line altitude (900 m a.s.l.). The thinning rates derived from the airborne survey were similar to the results obtained by means of ground survey carried out at ˜ 600 m of altitude on Glaciar Tyndall between 1975 and 2002, yielding a mean thinning of - 3.2 m a - 1 [Raymond, C., Neumann, T.A., Rignot, E., Echelmeyer, K.A., Rivera, A., Casassa, G., 2005. Retreat of Tyndall Glacier, Patagonia, over the last half century. Journal of Glaciology 173 (51), 239-247.]. A good agreement was also found between ice elevation changes measured with laser data and previous results obtained with Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data. We conclude that airborne laser altimetry is an effective means for accurately detecting glacier elevation
McGrath, D.; Steffen, K.; Rodriguez Lagos, J.
Observed atmospheric and oceanic warming is driving significant retreat and / or collapse of ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula totaling over 25,000 km2 in the past five decades. Basal melting of meteoric ice can occur near the grounding line of deep glacier inflows if the ocean water is above the pressure melting point. Buoyant meltwater will develop thermohaline circulation, rising beneath the ice shelf, where it may become supercooled and subsequently refreeze in ice draft minima. Marine ice, due to its warm and thus relatively viscous nature, is hypothesized to suture parallel flow bands, increasing ice shelf stability by arresting fracture propagation and controlling iceberg calving dimensions. Thus efforts to model ice shelf stability require accurate estimates of marine ice location and thickness. Ice thickness of a floating ice shelf can be determined in two manners: (1) from measurements of ice elevation above sea level and the calculation of ice thickness from assumptions of hydrostatic equilibrium, and (2) from radar echo measurements of the ice-water interface. Marine ice can confound the latter because its high dielectric constant and strong absorptive properties attenuate the radar energy, often preventing a return signal from the bottom of the ice shelf. These two methods are complementary for determining the marine ice component though because positive anomalies in (1) relative to (2) suggest regions of marine ice accretion. Nearly 350 km of ice penetrating radar (25 MHz) surveys were collected on the Larsen C ice shelf, in conjunction with kinematic GPS measurements and collocated with surface elevation data from the NASA Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) as part of the ICE Bridge mission in 2009. Basal ice topography and total ice thickness is accurately mapped along the survey lines and compared with calculated ice thickness from both the kinematic GPS and ATM elevation data. Positive anomalies are discussed in light of visible imagery and
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.
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.
Smith, R. G.; Salloway, M. K.; Berry, P. A. M.; Dowson, M.; Hahn, S.; Wagner, W.; Egibo, A.; Benveniste, J.
Soil surface moisture is a key scientific parameter; however, it is extremely difficult to measure remotely, particularly in arid and semi-arid terrain. This paper outlines the development of a novel methodology to generate soil moisture estimates in these regions from multi-mission satellite radar altimetry. Key to this approach is the development of detailed DRy Earth ModelS (DREAMS), which encapsulate the detailed and intricate surface brightness variations over the Earth's land surface, resulting from changes in surface roughness and composition. These DREAMS are complicated to build and require multiple stages of processing and manual intervention. However, this approach obviates the requirement for detailed ground truth to populate theoretical models, facilitating derivation of surface soil moisture estimates over arid regions, where detailed survey data are generally not available. DREAMS have been produced over a number of deserts worldwide and a selection are presented in this paper. An overview of the SMALT processing scheme, covering the progression of the data from altimeter sigma0 through to final soil moisture estimate, is included along with example SMALT products. In order to validate these products comparisons with other remote sensing techniques and in-situ data have been performed over a number of desert regions. SMALT products are made freely available to the scientific community through the website http://tethys.eaprs.cse.dmu.ac.uk/SMALT
Mougin, E.; Frappart, F.; Famiglietti, J. S.
The climate of West African Sahel is controlled by a complex system of interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere, known as the West African monsoon. The rainfall dynamics at various spatial and temporal scales, which have a strong impact on human activities, are mainly governed by surface conditions - vegetation cover and soil moisture. This important parameter of the hydrological cycle is poorly described at regional, continental or global scale. Space-borne sensors exhibit a strong potential for the study of continental surfaces. Radar altimetry, initially developed to make accurate measurements of ocean topography, is commonly used for the survey of ice sheets and river stages. Several studies showed that changes in snow cover, soil water content and vegetation properties are responsible for variations of the backscatter response. Over the Sahel region, maxima of the backscatter coefficients are correlated to rain events. We present the results of an analysis of the backscatter coefficients from Topex/Poseidon and ENVISAT/RA-2 over the Gourma site (Mali) and compare them with in- situ and satellite measurements of precipitation, soil moisture and vegetation.
Benveniste, J.; Roca, M.; Baker, S.; Wingham, D.; Laxon, S.; Zanife, O.-Z.; Legresy, B.; Remy, F.
Ice sheets and sea ice play a key role in the global climate system due to their albedo and as a huge store of freshwater. Sea-ice is also a barrier between the ocean and the atmosphere and drives the thermohaline circulation of the oceans. These critical components of the climate system are not well modelled but are clearly important if accurate predictions of the consequences of global warming are to be made. The vast, remote and inhospitable polar regions experience frequent cloud cover and long periods of darkness. They are best observed by satellite-borne active radars. The Altimetry mission on-board ENVISAT, ESA's largest environmental remote sens- ing satellite to be launched on 1st March 2002, is designed to guarantee the continu- ity of observations started by ERS-1 and ERS-2. It includes an advanced dual fre- quency new generation Radar Altimeter (RA-2), the Microwave Radiometer (MWR), the positioning instrument DORIS and the laser retro reflector (LRR). RA-2 has a new tracker philosophy: robust collection of accurately quantified radar echo data, particularly robust at handling non-ocean like echoes and conversion to meaningful geophysical quantities (re-tracking) done solely on ground. Moreover, RA-2 switches autonomously between 3 different range window width to adapt to different surfaces and avoid losing track. RA-2 has also the new capability of providing limited bursts of individual, i.e. un-averaged, Ku-band echoes at 1800 Hz, for theoretical research on backscattering and precise monitoring of bright targets. The data products are greatly improved. All data -over all surfaces- are processed si- multaneously by 4 different retrackers (Ocean, Ice1, Ice2 and Sea-Ice) to let the users choose the most suitable for their particular application. The Ice1 retracking is the range estimation technique for ice-sheet echoes used on ERS data. Ice 2 retracking is aimed at ocean-like echoes returned from ice-sheets. The Sea-Ice retracking is for specular echoes
Paris, adrien; Calmant, Stephane; Collischonn, Walter; Paiva, Rodrigo; Bonnet, Marie-Paule; Santos da Silva, Joecila; Seyler, Frederique
We present a study conducted in the Amazon basin to compute distributed discharge with ENVISAT and JASON-2 altimetry in the one hand and the rain/discharge MGB model in the other hand. The MGB model is run over the 1998-2008 period with TRMM rain input. The altimetry data of ~500 series throughout the basin are used to determine rating curves that enable to tune the model parameters such as the depth and slope of small contributors still un-monitored, or the variations in Manning coefficient; and to make discharge series exceeding the time window of the model runs. With this case study, we show that the measurements collected today by conventional altimetry missions can be used to prepare SWOT in two directions: get geophysical values that will be necessary for the discharge algorithms of SWOT and compute discharge time series which will constitute an archive to be continued by SWOT.
Harding David J.
Recent advances in lidar altimetry technology have enabled new methods to describe the vertical structure of the Earth's surface with great accuracy. Application of these methods in several geoscience disciplines will be described. Airborne characterization of vegetation canopy structure will be illustrated, including a validation of lidar-derived Canopy Height Profiles for closed-canopy, broadleaf forests. Airborne detection of tectonic landforms beneath dense canopy will also be illustrated, with an application mapping active fault traces in the Puget Lowland of Washington state for earthquake hazard assessment purposes. Application of data from the first and second flights of the Shuttle Laser Altimeter will also be discussed in an assessment of global digital elevation model accuracy and error characteristics. Two upcoming space flight missions will be described, the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) and the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Mission (ICESat), which will provide comprehensive lidar altimeter observations of the Earth's topography and vegetation cover.
Parra, C. G.; Forsythe, R. G.; Parsons, C. L.
The dynamic topography of the sea surface was measured. The radar altimeter measurements yield average ocean topographic data which are mapped. Seasonal deviations from a 3 year mean topography are presented. The altimeters are also instrumented with sample and hold gates which provide information about the shape and amplitude of the return waveform. Parameters including ocean surface wind speed and the significant wave height are determined. One hundred eighty six wind speed and significant wave height histograms are presented.
Roth, L. E.; Downs, G. S.; Saunders, R. S.; Schubert, G.
The paper discusses Martian altitudes measured by radar during the oppositions of 1971 and 1973 using the 64-m antenna at Goldstone, Calif. The resultant topographic profiles substantiate a zonal classification of the volanic flows blanketing the south flanks of Arsia Mons, and they confirm the existence of a secondary, parasitic shield, attached from the SSW to the main Arsia shield. The secondary shield is about 400 km in diameter at its base and at least 4 km high at its center. The distribution and orientation of the lunar mare - like ridges in Sinai Planum appear to be independent of the regional gradients. Segments of the chaotic terrain at the eastern terminus of Valles Marineris are located down to 6 km below the level of the surrounding plains.
Lucas, Bruno; Rosmorduc, Vinca; Niemeijer, Sander; Bronner, Emilie; Dinardo, Salvatore; Benveniste, Jérôme
The Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox (BRAT) is a collection of tools and tutorial documents designed to facilitate the processing of radar altimetry data. This project started in 2006 from the joint efforts of ESA (European Space Agency) and CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales). The latest version of the software, 3.1, was released on March 2012. The tools enable users to interact with the most common altimetry data formats, being the most used way, the Graphical User Interface (BratGui). This GUI is a front-end for the powerful command line tools that are part of the BRAT suite. BRAT can also be used in conjunction with Matlab/IDL (via reading routines) or in C/C++/Fortran via a programming API, allowing the user to obtain desired data, bypassing the data-formatting hassle. The BratDisplay (graphic visualizer) can be launched from BratGui, or used as a stand-alone tool to visualize netCDF files - it is distributed with another ESA toolbox (GUT) as the visualizer. The most frequent uses of BRAT are teaching remote sensing, altimetry data reading (all missions from ERS-1 to Saral and soon Sentinel-3), quick data visualization/export and simple computation on the data fields. BRAT can be used for importing data and having a quick look at his contents, with several different types of plotting available. One can also use it to translate the data into other formats such as netCDF, ASCII text files, KML (Google Earth) and raster images (JPEG, PNG, etc.). Several kinds of computations can be done within BratGui involving combinations of data fields that the user can save for posterior reuse or using the already embedded formulas that include the standard oceanographic altimetry formulas (MSS, -SSH, MSLA, editing of spurious data, etc.). The documentation collection includes the standard user manual explaining all the ways to interact with the set of software tools but the most important item is the Radar Altimeter Tutorial, that contains a strong introduction to
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.
Fredenslund Levinsen, Joanna; Smith, Ben; Sørensen, Louise S.; Forsberg, René
When estimating elevation changes of ice-covered surfaces from radar altimetry, it is important to correct for slope-induced errors. They cause the reflecting point of the pulse to move up-slope and thus return estimates in the wrong coordinates. Slope-induced errors can be corrected for by introducing a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). In this work, such a DEM is developed for the Greenland Ice Sheet using a combination of Envisat radar and ICESat laser altimetry. If time permits, CryoSat radar altimetry will be included as well. The reference year is 2010 and the spatial resolution 2.5 x 2.5 km. This is in accordance with the results obtained in the ESA Ice Sheets CCI project showing that a 5 x 5 km grid spacing is reasonable for ice sheet-wide change detection (Levinsen et al., 2013). Separate DEMs will be created for the given data sets, and the geostatistical spatial interpolation method collocation will be used to merge them, thus adjusting for potential inter-satellite biases. The final DEM is validated with temporally and spatially agreeing airborne lidar data acquired in the NASA IceBridge and ESA CryoVex campaigns. The motivation for developing a new DEM is based on 1) large surface changes presently being observed, and mainly in margin regions, hence necessitating updated topography maps for accurately deriving and correcting surface elevation changes, and 2) although radar altimetry is subject to surface penetration of the signal into the snowpack, data is acquired continuously in time. This is not the case with e.g. ICESat, where laser altimetry data were obtained in periods of active lasers, i.e. three times a year with a 35-day repeat track. Previous DEMs e.g. have 2007 as the nominal reference year, or they are built merely from ICESat data. These have elevation errors as small as 10 cm, which is lower than for Envisat and CryoSat. The advantage of an updated DEM consisting of combined radar and laser altimetry therefore is the possibility of
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.
Hadgigeorge, G.; Trotter, J.
The Air Force Geophysics Laboratory computer program SARRA (Short Arc Reduction of Radar Altimetry) has been used for geoid determination with altimetric observations from the GEOS-3 satellite. An important feature of SARRA is the simultaneous recovery of the orbit parameters and the surface coefficients as defined by covariance function weights. Orbits good to approximately 20 meters are adequate for precise geoid determinations by virtue of the orbital adjustment in the reductions. Altimetric data over a portion of the North Atlantic Ocean have been processed to derive the regional geoid and gravity field. Analyses of altimeter residuals resulting from the short arc adjustment show that the residuals can be used to define the neglected higher order geoidal undulations with high fidelity and continuity.
Cornillon, P.; Reed, M.; Spaulding, M.; Swanson, C.
Seasat-1 radar altimetry data have been used to verify a continental shelf circulation model subjected to tidal forcing on the open boundary. The model makes use of the semi-implicit mode of time integration, removing the surface gravity wave time step restriction. Both the altimetry and the model predictions are compared with empirically determined tidal fluctuations and generally good agreement is obtained.
Potter, R. C. H.; Laxon, S. W.; Peacock, N.
The spatial and temporal variability of Antarctic sea-ice extent and thickness are re- quired by the climate modelling community to understand the complex coupling be- tween sea ice and ocean-atmosphere. Recent investigations have provided estimates of Arctic sea ice thickness determined from satellite radar altimetry, which have been validated using Upward Looking Sonar data from submarines. In the present study, we aim to explore the potential for estimation of the thickness of Antarctic sea ice. In the boreal summer, the Arctic Ocean is pre-dominantly inhabited by old, multiyear sea-ice that may survive through each melt season and subsequently refreeze and in- crease in thickness under autumn cooling and winter growth. However, aside from the Weddell Sea, the Antarctic sea ice is subject to almost complete seasonal melt/freeze with the formation of pre-dominant first year ice. To estimate ice thickness from mea- surements of ice elevation it is necessary to establish the vertical origin of the radar echo's received over snow covered ice. Assuming reflection originates at the snow/ice interface, the ice freeboard can be estimated. The freeboard is converted to ice thick- ness using fixed densities for ice and seawater and a recently generated Antarctic Snow depth climatology. However, the developed altimetry techniques are designed for rela- tively thick Arctic sea ice and therefore may not be directly applicable to the relatively thin non-compacted first year Antarctic sea ice. In particular, snow loading owing to high precipitation rates is likely to be much larger compared to ice thickness. In ex- treme conditions this may lead to negative freeboard. Nevertheless, data on Antarctic ice thickness is even more sparse than the Arctic and hence information on thickness would be of significant value. We present preliminary results of Antarctic ice thickness estimates and validation using ULS data.
Benveniste, J.; Bronner, E.; Dinardo, S.; Lucas, B. M.; Rosmorduc, V.; Earith, D.; Niemeijer, S.
Radar altimetry is very much a technique expanding its applications. Even If quite a lot of effort has been invested for oceanography users, the use of Altimetry data for cryosphere application, especially with the new ESA CryoSat-2 mission data is still somehow tedious for new Altimetry data products users. ESA and CNES therfore developed the Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox a few years ago, and are improving and upgrading it to fit new missions and the growing number of altimetry uses. The Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox is an "all-altimeter" collection of tools, tutorials and documents designed to facilitate the use of radar altimetry data. The software is able: - to read most distributed radar altimetry data, from ERS-1 & 2, Topex/Poseidon, Geosat Follow-on, Jason-1, Envisat, Jason- 2, CryoSat, the future Saral missions and is ready for adaptation to Sentinel-3 products - to perform some processing, data editing and statistic, - and to visualize the results. It can be used at several levels/several ways: - as a data reading tool, with APIs for C, Fortran, Matlab and IDL - as processing/extraction routines, through the on-line command mode - as an educational and a quick-look tool, with the graphical user interface As part of the Toolbox, a Radar Altimetry Tutorial gives general information about altimetry, the technique involved and its applications, as well as an overview of past, present and future missions, including information on how to access data and additional software and documentation. It also presents a series of data use cases, covering all uses of altimetry over ocean, cryosphere and land, showing the basic methods for some of the most frequent manners of using altimetry data. It is an opportunity to teach remote sensing with practical training. It has been available since April 2007, and had been demonstrated during training courses and scientific meetings. About 2000 people downloaded it (Summer 2011), with many "newcomers" to altimetry among them
Richter, T. G.; Kempf, S. D.; Holt, J. W.; Morse, D. L.; Blankenship, D. D.; Peters, M. E.
In response to an NSF-OPP proposal from Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (R. Bell and M. Studinger) to study Lake Vostok, a team from the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) conducted the first comprehensive aerogeophysical survey of Lake Vostok during the 2000/01 austral summer. A Twin Otter was instrumented for measurements of gravity, magnetics, ice thickness, and surface elevation. The survey grid was 165 x 330 km (line spacing 7.5 km with 11.25 km and 22.5 km tie-lines), augmented by 12 regional lines extending 180 - 440 km from the primary grid. The remote polar location, high altitude, and extreme cold presented significant technical and physiological challenges, but the survey was completed successfully in 36 flights over 26 days, and has resulted in excellent geophysical data sets. We describe here the acquisition and reduction of the gravity field and ice-surface elevation data sets. Gravimetry and laser altimetry both require high-quality, precise positioning for use in data reduction. Three carrier-phase GPS receivers were operated in parallel aboard the aircraft, with an identical suite at the surface camp. All GPS data sets were reduced using two different software packages -- K&RS and GIPSY-OASIS. K&RS produced the most accurate positions but is inappropriate for long baselines. While GIPSY-OASIS yields positions in circumstances unfavorable to K&RS (i.e., long baselines and lines without closure), it was about half as accurate as K&RS and was insufficient for achieving the desired accuracy of 1-2 mGal in the reduced gravity data. Gravity was measured with a Bell Aerospace BGM-3 marine gravimeter provided by the Naval Oceanographic Office and modified for airborne use. GPS data are used to correct for inertial accelerations induced by aircraft movement. Up to 21 GPS solutions were available for each line. Selection was made through correlation of the high-frequency accelerations recorded by the gravity meter and those derived from the
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....
Kouraev, A. V.; Legresy, B.; Remy, F.
We presen t resu lts of application of radar altimetry and other satellite techniqu es for studies of th e Austfonna ice cap (Svalbard). We assess spatial and temporal d ata availab ility over Austfonna. Th en we d iscuss temporal variab ility of ENVISA T altimetr ic and radio metric measures. We also discuss potential of combination of altimetry and Dig ital Elev ation Models (D EM) for DEM improvement and interpretation of altimeter measurements.
Farrell, S. L.; Newman, T.; Richter-Menge, J.; Haas, C.; Petty, A.; McAdoo, D. C.; Connor, L. N.
Over the last two decades altimeters on satellite and aircraft platforms have revolutionized our understanding of Arctic sea ice mass balance. Satellite laser and radar altimeters provide unique measurements of sea ice elevation, from which ice thickness may be derived, across basin scales and interdecadal time periods. Meanwhile airborne altimetry, together with high-resolution digital imagery, provides a range of novel observations that describe key features of the ice pack including its snow cover, surface morphology and deformation characteristics. We provide an update on current Arctic sea ice thickness conditions based on IceBridge measurements, discussing these in the context of previously observed decadal change. Fundamental to the goal of understanding interannual variability, and monitoring long-term trends in sea ice volume, is the accurate characterization of measurement uncertainty. This is particularly true when linking observations from different sensors. We discuss recent advances in tracking and quantifying the major components of the altimetric sea ice thickness error budget. We pay particular attention to two major components of the error: freeboard and snow loading uncertainty. We describe novel measurement techniques that are helping to reduce measurement uncertainty and allowing, for the first time, quantification of errors with respect to ice type.
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
Okeowo, M. A.; Lee, H.; Hossain, F.
Until now, processing satellite radar altimetry data over inland water bodies on a large scale has been a cumbersome task primarily due to contaminated measurements from their surrounding topography. It becomes more challenging if the size of the water body is small and thus the number of available high-rate measurements from the water surface is limited. A manual removal of outliers is time consuming which limits a global generation of reservoir elevation profiles. This has limited a global study of lakes and reservoir elevation profiles for monitoring storage changes and hydrologic modeling. We have proposed a new method to automatically generate a time-series information from raw satellite radar altimetry without user intervention. With this method, scientist with little knowledge of altimetry can now independently process radar altimetry for diverse purposes. The method is based on K-means clustering, backscatter coefficient and statistical analysis of the dataset for outlier detection. The result of this method will be validated using in-situ gauges from US, Indus and Bangladesh reservoirs. In addition, a sensitivity analysis will be done to ascertain the limitations of this algorithm based on the surrounding topography, and the length of altimetry track overlap with the lake/reservoir. Finally, a reservoir storage change will be estimated on the study sites using MODIS and Landsat water classification for estimating the area of reservoir and the height will be estimated using Jason-2 and SARAL/Altika satellites.
Sulistioadi, Y. B.; Tseng, K.-H.; Shum, C. K.; Hidayat, H.; Sumaryono, M.; Suhardiman, A.; Setiawan, F.; Sunarso, S.
Remote sensing and satellite geodetic observations are capable of hydrologic monitoring of freshwater resources. Although satellite radar altimetry has been used in monitoring water level or discharge, its use is often limited to monitoring large rivers (>1 km) with longer interval periods (>1 week) because of its low temporal and spatial resolutions (i.e., satellite revisit period). Several studies have reported successful retrieval of water levels for small rivers as narrow as 40 m. However, processing current satellite altimetry signals for such small water bodies to retrieve water levels accurately remains challenging. Physically, the radar signal returned by water bodies smaller than the satellite footprint is most likely contaminated by non-water surfaces, which may degrade the measurement quality. In order to address this scientific challenge, we carefully selected the waveform shapes corresponding to the range measurement resulting from standard retrackers for the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Envisat (Environmental Satellite) radar altimetry. We applied this approach to small (40-200 m in width) and medium-sized (200-800 m in width) rivers and small lakes (extent <1000 km2) in the humid tropics of Southeast Asia, specifically in Indonesia. This is the first study that explored the ability of satellite altimetry to monitor small water bodies in Indonesia. The major challenges in this study include the size of the water bodies that are much smaller than the nominal extent of the Envisat satellite footprint (e.g., ~250 m compared to ~1.7 km, respectively) and slightly smaller than the along-track distance (i.e., ~370 m). We addressed this challenge by optimally using geospatial information and optical remote sensing data to define the water bodies accurately, thus minimizing the probability of non-water contamination in the altimetry measurement. Considering that satellite altimetry processing may vary with different geographical regions, meteorological
... 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...
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
Stewart, Robert H.
The major unknown error in radar altimetry is due to waves on the sea surface which cause the mean radar-reflecting surface to be displaced from mean sea level. This is the electromagnetic bias. The primary motivation for the project was to understand the causes of the bias so that the error it produces in radar altimetry could be calculated and removed from altimeter measurements made from space by the Topex/Poseidon altimetric satellite. The goals of the project were: (1) observe radar scatter at vertical incidence using a simple radar on a platform for a wide variety of environmental conditions at the same time wind and wave conditions were measured; (2) calculate electromagnetic bias from the radar observations; (3) investigate the limitations of the present theory describing radar scatter at vertical incidence; (4) compare measured electromagnetic bias with bias calculated from theory using measurements of wind and waves made at the time of the radar measurements; and (5) if possible, extend the theory so bias can be calculated for a wider range of environmental conditions.
Hwang, Cheinway; Yang, Yuande; Kao, Ricky; Han, Jiancheng; Shum, C. K.; Galloway, Devin L.; Sneed, Michelle; Hung, Wei-Chia; Cheng, Yung-Sheng; Li, Fei
Contemporary applications of radar altimetry include sea-level rise, ocean circulation, marine gravity, and icesheet elevation change. Unlike InSAR and GNSS, which are widely used to map surface deformation, altimetry is neither reliant on highly temporally-correlated ground features nor as limited by the available spatial coverage, and can provide long-term temporal subsidence monitoring capability. Here we use multi-mission radar altimetry with an approximately 23 year data-span to quantify land subsidence in cropland areas. Subsidence rates from TOPEX/POSEIDON, JASON-1, ENVISAT, and JASON-2 during 1992–2015 show time-varying trends with respect to displacement over time in California’s San Joaquin Valley and central Taiwan, possibly related to changes in land use, climatic conditions (drought) and regulatory measures affecting groundwater use. Near Hanford, California, subsidence rates reach 18 cm yr−1 with a cumulative subsidence of 206 cm, which potentially could adversely affect operations of the planned California High-Speed Rail. The maximum subsidence rate in central Taiwan is 8 cm yr−1. Radar altimetry also reveals time-varying subsidence in the North China Plain consistent with the declines of groundwater storage and existing water infrastructure detected by the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, with rates reaching 20 cm yr−1 and cumulative subsidence as much as 155 cm. PMID:27324935
Hwang, Cheinway; Yang, Yuande; Kao, Ricky; Han, Jiancheng; Shum, C K; Galloway, Devin L; Sneed, Michelle; Hung, Wei-Chia; Cheng, Yung-Sheng; Li, Fei
Contemporary applications of radar altimetry include sea-level rise, ocean circulation, marine gravity, and icesheet elevation change. Unlike InSAR and GNSS, which are widely used to map surface deformation, altimetry is neither reliant on highly temporally-correlated ground features nor as limited by the available spatial coverage, and can provide long-term temporal subsidence monitoring capability. Here we use multi-mission radar altimetry with an approximately 23 year data-span to quantify land subsidence in cropland areas. Subsidence rates from TOPEX/POSEIDON, JASON-1, ENVISAT, and JASON-2 during 1992-2015 show time-varying trends with respect to displacement over time in California's San Joaquin Valley and central Taiwan, possibly related to changes in land use, climatic conditions (drought) and regulatory measures affecting groundwater use. Near Hanford, California, subsidence rates reach 18 cm yr(-1) with a cumulative subsidence of 206 cm, which potentially could adversely affect operations of the planned California High-Speed Rail. The maximum subsidence rate in central Taiwan is 8 cm yr(-1). Radar altimetry also reveals time-varying subsidence in the North China Plain consistent with the declines of groundwater storage and existing water infrastructure detected by the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, with rates reaching 20 cm yr(-1) and cumulative subsidence as much as 155 cm. PMID:27324935
Hwang, Cheinway; Yang, Yuande; Kao, Ricky; Han, Jiancheng; Shum, C. K.; Galloway, Devin L.; Sneed, Michelle; Hung, Wei-Chia; Cheng, Yung-Sheng; Li, Fei
Contemporary applications of radar altimetry include sea-level rise, ocean circulation, marine gravity, and icesheet elevation change. Unlike InSAR and GNSS, which are widely used to map surface deformation, altimetry is neither reliant on highly temporally-correlated ground features nor as limited by the available spatial coverage, and can provide long-term temporal subsidence monitoring capability. Here we use multi-mission radar altimetry with an approximately 23 year data-span to quantify land subsidence in cropland areas. Subsidence rates from TOPEX/POSEIDON, JASON-1, ENVISAT, and JASON-2 during 1992–2015 show time-varying trends with respect to displacement over time in California’s San Joaquin Valley and central Taiwan, possibly related to changes in land use, climatic conditions (drought) and regulatory measures affecting groundwater use. Near Hanford, California, subsidence rates reach 18 cm yr‑1 with a cumulative subsidence of 206 cm, which potentially could adversely affect operations of the planned California High-Speed Rail. The maximum subsidence rate in central Taiwan is 8 cm yr‑1. Radar altimetry also reveals time-varying subsidence in the North China Plain consistent with the declines of groundwater storage and existing water infrastructure detected by the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, with rates reaching 20 cm yr‑1 and cumulative subsidence as much as 155 cm.
Hwang, Cheinway; Yang, Yuande; Kao, Ricky; Han, Jiancheng; Shum, C.K.; Galloway, Devin L.; Sneed, Michelle; Hung, Wei-Chia; Cheng, Yung-Sheng; Li, Fei
Contemporary applications of radar altimetry include sea-level rise, ocean circulation, marine gravity, and ice sheet elevation change. Unlike InSAR and GNSS, which are widely used to map surface deformation, altimetry is neither reliant on highly temporally-correlated ground features nor as limited by the available spatial coverage, and can provide long-term temporal subsidence monitoring capability. Here we use multi-mission radar altimetry with an approximately 23 year data-span to quantify land subsidence in cropland areas. Subsidence rates from TOPEX/POSEIDON, JASON-1, ENVISAT, and JASON-2 during 1992–2015 show time-varying trends with respect to displacement over time in California’s San Joaquin Valley and central Taiwan, possibly related to changes in land use, climatic conditions (drought) and regulatory measures affecting groundwater use. Near Hanford, California, subsidence rates reach 18 cm/yr with a cumulative subsidence of 206 cm, which potentially could adversely affect operations of the planned California High-Speed Rail. The maximum subsidence rate in central Taiwan is 8 cm/yr. Radar altimetry also reveals time-varying subsidence in the North China Plain consistent with the declines of groundwater storage and existing water infrastructure detected by the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, with rates reaching 20 cm/yr and cumulative subsidence as much as 155 cm.
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.
Herzfeld, Ute C.; Lingle, Craig S.; Lee, Li-Her
The potential of satellite radar altimetry for high-resolution mapping of Antarctic ice streams is evaluated, using retracked and slope-corrected data from the Lambert Glacier and Amery Ice Shelf area, East Antarctica, acquired by Geosat during the Exact Repeat Mission (ERM), 1986-89. The map area includes lower Lambert Glacier north of 72.18 deg S, the southern Amery Ice Shelf, and the grounded inland ice sheet on both sides. The Geosat ERM altimetry is found to provide substantially more complete coverage than the 1978 Seasat altimetry, due to improved tracking. Variogram methods are used to estimate the noise levels in the data as a function of position throughout the map area. The spatial structure in the data is quantified by constructing experimental variograms using altimetry from the area of the grounding zone of Lambert Glacier, which is the area chiefly of interest in this topographically complex region. Kriging is employed to invert the along-track height measurements onto a fine-scale 3 km grid. The unsmoothed along-track Geosat ERM altimetry yields spatially continuous maps showing the main topographic features of lower Lambert Glacier, upper Amery Ice Shelf and the adjacent inland ice sheet. The probable position of the grounding line of Lambert Glacier is identified from a break in slope at the grounded ice/floating ice transition. The approximate standard error of the kriged map is inferred from the data noise levels.
Satellite radar altimetry is today considered a mature technique in open ocean. The data stream from the various satellite missions are routinely used for a number of applications. In the last decade, significant research has been carried out into overcoming the problems to extend the capabilities of radar altimeters to the coastal zone, with the aim to integrate the altimeter-derived measurements of sea level, wind speed and significant wave height into coastal ocean observing systems. More/better (and new) datasets are being produced. Moreover, the advent of new satellite missions, both nadir-viewing (e.g., Sentinel-3) and wide-swath (e.g. SWOT), should globally improve both quantity and quality of coastal altimetry data. In this talk, after a brief review of the challenges in coastal altimetry and description of the new products, we showcase some application examples how the new products can be exploited, and we discuss directions for a global coastal altimetry dataset as an asset for long term monitoring of sea level and sea state in the coastal ocean.
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.
Hofton, M. A.; Minster, J.-B.; Ridgway, J. R.; Williams, N. P.; Blair, J. B.; Rabine, D. L.; Bufton, J. L.
The topography of the Long Valley caldera, California, was sampled using airborne laser altimetry in 1993, 1995, and 1997 to test the feasibility of using airborne laser altimetry for monitoring deformation of volcanic origin. Results show the laser altimeters are able to resolve subtle topographic features such as a gradual slope and to detect small transient changes in lake elevation. Crossover and repeat pass analyses of laser tracks indicate decimeter-level vertical precision is obtained over flat and low-sloped terrain for altimeter systems performing waveform digitization. Comparisons with complementary, ground-based CPS data at a site close to Bishop airport indicate that the laser and GPS-derived elevations agree to within the error inherent in the measurement and that horizontal locations agree to within the radius of the laser footprint. A comparison of the data at two sites, one where no change and the other where the maximum amount of vertical uplift is expected, indicates approximately 10 cm of relative uplift occurred 1993-1997, in line with predictions from continuous CPS measurements in the region. Extensive terrain mapping flights during the 1995 and 1997 missions demonstrate some of the unique abilities of laser altimetry; the straightforward creation of high resolution, high accuracy digital elevation models of overflown terrain, and the ability to determine ground topography in the presence of significant ground cover such as dense tree canopies. These capabilities make laser altimetry an attractive technique for quantifying topographic change of volcanic origin, especially in forested regions of the world where other remote sensing instruments have difficulty detecting the underlying topography.
Hofton, M. A.; Minster, J.-B.; Ridgway, J. R.; Williams, N. P.; Blair, J.-B.; Rabine, D. L.; Bufton, J. L.
The topography of the Long Valley caldera, California, was sampled using airborne laser altimetry in 1993, 1995, and 1997 to test the feasibility of using airborne laser altimetry for monitoring deformation of volcanic origin. Results show the laser altimeters are able to resolve subtle topographic features such as a gradual slope and to detect small transient changes in lake elevation. Crossover and repeat pass analyses of laser tracks indicate decimeter-level vertical precision is obtained over flat and low-sloped terrain for altimeter systems performing waveform digitization. Comparisons with complementary, ground-based GPS data at a site close to Bishop airport indicate that the laser and GPS-derived elevations agree to within the error inherent in the measurement and that horizontal locations agree to within the radius of the laser footprint. A comparison of the data at two sites, one where no change and the other where the maximum amount of vertical uplift is expected, indicates approximately 10 cm of relative uplift occurred 1993-1997, in line with predictions from continuous GPS measurements in the region. Extensive terrain mapping flights during the 1995 and 1997 missions demonstrate some of the unique abilities of laser altimetry; the straightforward creation of high resolution, high accuracy digital elevation models of overflown terrain, and the ability to determine ground topography in the presence of significant ground cover such as dense tree canopies. These capabilities make laser altimetry an attractive technique for quantifying topographic change of volcanic origin, especially in forested regions of the world where other remote sensing instruments have difficulty detecting the underlying topography.
Michailovsky, C. I.; Berry, P. A.; Smith, R. G.; Bauer-Gottwein, P.
Hydrological model forecasts are subject to large uncertainties stemming from uncertain input data, model structure, parameterization and lack of sufficient calibration/validation data. For real-time or near-real-time applications data assimilation techniques such as the Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) can be used to reduce forecast uncertainty by updating model states as new data becomes available. The use of remote sensing data is attractive for such applications as it provides wide geographical coverage and continuous time-series without the typically long delays that exist in obtaining in-situ data. River discharge is one of the main hydrological variables of interest, and while it cannot currently be directly measured remotely, water levels in rivers can be obtained from satellite based radar altimetry and converted to discharge through rating curves. This study aims to give a realistic assessment of the improvements that can be derived from the use of satellite radar altimetry measurements from the Envisat mission for discharge monitoring and modeling on the basin scale for the Zambezi River. The altimetry data used is the Radar AlTimetry (RAT) product developed at the Earth and Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory at the De Montfort University. The first step in analyzing the data is the determination of potential altimetry targets which are the locations at which the Envisat orbit and the river network cross in order to select data points corresponding to surface water. The quality of the water level time-series is then analyzed for all targets and the exploitable targets identified. Rating curves are derived from in-situ or remotely-sensed data depending on data-availability at the various locations and discharge time-series are established. A Monte Carlo analysis is carried out to assess the uncertainties on the computed discharge. It was found that having a single cross-section and associated discharge measurement at one point in time significantly reduces
Kern, S.; Khvorostovsky, K.; Skourup, H.; Rinne, E.; Parsakhoo, Z. S.; Djepa, V.; Wadhams, P.; Sandven, S.
One goal of the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative sea ice Essential Climate Variable project is to provide a quality controlled 20 year long data set of Arctic Ocean winter-time sea ice thickness distribution. An important step to achieve this goal is to assess the accuracy of sea ice thickness retrieval based on satellite radar altimetry. For this purpose a data base is created comprising sea ice freeboard derived from satellite radar altimetry between 1993 and 2012 and collocated observations of snow and sea ice freeboard from Operation Ice Bridge (OIB) and CryoSat Validation Experiment (CryoVEx) air-borne campaigns, of sea ice draft from moored and submarine Upward Looking Sonar (ULS), and of snow depth from OIB campaigns, Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer aboard EOS (AMSR-E) and the Warren Climatology (Warren et al., 1999). An inter-comparison of the snow depth data sets stresses the limited usefulness of Warren climatology snow depth for freeboard-to-thickness conversion under current Arctic Ocean conditions reported in other studies. This is confirmed by a comparison of snow freeboard measured during OIB and CryoVEx and snow freeboard computed from radar altimetry. For first-year ice the agreement between OIB and AMSR-E snow depth within 0.02 m suggests AMSR-E snow depth as an appropriate alternative. Different freeboard-to-thickness and freeboard-to-draft conversion approaches are realized. The mean observed ULS sea ice draft agrees with the mean sea ice draft computed from radar altimetry within the uncertainty bounds of the data sets involved. However, none of the realized approaches is able to reproduce the seasonal cycle in sea ice draft observed by moored ULS satisfactorily. A sensitivity analysis of the freeboard-to-thickness conversion suggests: in order to obtain sea ice thickness as accurate as 0.5 m from radar altimetry, besides a freeboard estimate with centimetre accuracy, an ice-type dependent sea ice density is as mandatory
Ribó, Serni; Fabra, Fran; Cardellach, Estel; Li, Weiqiang; Rius, Antonio; Praks, Jaan; Rouhe, Erkka; Seppänen, Jaakko; Martín-Neira, Manuel
Recent GNSS-R (Global Navigation Satellite System-Reflections) observations over the Baltic Sea have been taken using the SPIR (Software PARIS Interferometric Receiver) from an airborne platform at 3 km altitude. This newly developed instrument is capable of acquiring GNSS signals transmitted by multiple satellites simultaneously that have been reflected of the sea-surface. Reflections are usually gathered in off-nadir configuration using the instrument's beam-forming capabilities, which results in an increase of the instrument's swath. In this way, this technique opens the door to densify in space and time sea-altimetry observations to enhance future mesoscale and sub-mesoscale ocean altimetry. The altimetric observations collected during the Baltic Sea campaign have been analysed in terms of their power spectral densities. We consider the sequence of observations as an ergodic process that has contributions from the actual true altimetry as well as the observation noise. In this way it is possible to relate the expected ground resolution of the observations with the obtainable altimetric uncertainty. Results will be presented.
Tarpanelli, Angelica; Brocca, Luca; Barbetta, Silvia; Moramarco, Tommaso; da Silva, Joecila Santos; Calmant, Stephane
Apart from oceans and ice-sheets, radar altimeters are shown by a plethora of works to be of considerable interest in monitoring inland water bodies such as rivers, lakes, wetlands and floodplains. More than a decade of research on the application in the field of continental hydrology has demonstrated the advantages of providing global coverage, regular temporal sampling and short delivery delays, especially via the acquisition of numerous useful measurements over ungauged areas. With the aim to investigate the benefits that can be achieved by Sentinel-3 mission, two applications are here shown for selected pilot rivers and the results on discharge estimation are analyzed and discussed in terms of performance measures.
Nielsen, Karina; Stenseng, Lars; Andersen, Ole; Villadsen, Heidi; Knudsen, Per
The high along-track resolution in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode makes it possible to accurately measure closer to the lakes shores than previously. However, the footprint width is still up to 15 km in the across-track direction, which implies that some waveforms will be polluted with signals from the surrounding land. In some cases retracking of these contaminated waveforms lead to incorrect height estimates of the water surface. It is therefor important to account for these polluted observations when estimating the mean water levels and subsequent time series to obtain an optimal solution. Here we present a novel method to estimate the mean lake level. Instead of attempting to identify and remove the polluted observations we use a mixture distribution to describe the observation noise, which prevents the polluted observations from biasing our final reconstructed time series. We demonstrate the potential of the method with CryoSat-2 data from lake Vänern (Sweden)
Birkett, C. M.
Although their primary priorities are aimed at ocean and ice studies, satellite radar altimeters can be successful at detecting surface water height variations over inland water targets. In particular, the ability to monitor stage variations in lakes, inland seas, rivers, wetlands and flood plains has been demonstrated. The results demonstrate how sub-monthly, seasonal, and interannual variations can be monitored with accuracy's ranging from 3-4cm rms (lakes) to greater than 10cm rms (rivers/wetlands). The instruments sample the surface at pre-defined geographical and temporal resolutions, have day/nighttime operational capability and are not hindered by the presence of clouds. These are keen advantages where traditional ground-based gauges are lacking or where there is little or slow dissemination of data. This presentation gives a review of past and present capabilities and demonstrates various applications within a number of interdisciplinary projects. Note will be made of the contribution towards the determination of surface water fluxes and dynamics in the Amazon Basin, its use as a validation tool within the Global Rainforest Mapping Project, and its capability to monitor both the effects of large-scale climatic and small-scale flooding events. Such studies now pose new questions regarding the future potential to a) reduce the minimum target size observable, b) improve the accuracy of the height measurements, c) to have global information on a near-real time basis, and d) to have higher-level products such as lake volume and river discharge. In lieu of these requirements, a number of dedicated water observing instruments are being discussed under the `HYRDA-SAT' concept. In addition, focus is now on the forthcoming radar altimeters missions Jason-1 and ENVISAT, and on the new lidar mission, ICESAT.
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.
Connor, L. N.; McAdoo, D. C.; Laxon, S.; Ridout, A.
Over the past decade, satellite altimetry has emerged as a valuable tool for taking sea ice monitoring from traditional extent measurements (ie. passive microwave) into the third dimension - estimates of sea ice thickness and volume. Thickness estimates are fundamental to improved understanding of polar dynamics and climate modeling. Several studies have now demonstrated the use of both microwave (ERS-2, Envisat/RA-2, CryoSat-2) and laser (ICESat/GLAS) altimeters for determining sea ice thickness. Sea ice, however, is complex and the task of precisely determining its thickness from satellite measurements remains a challenge. Understanding and validating radar returns from sea ice is key to meeting this challenge. Several satellite validation underflights, conducted over Arctic sea ice between 2006 and 2011 using NASA's P-3 and DC-8 aircraft, are evaluated with the goal of understanding and cataloguing particular features, benefits, and caveats of using radar altimeters to measure sea ice. The underflights include ~1000 km Envisat tracks north of the Canadian Archipelago flown in 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011, and 700 km CryoSat-2 tracks in the northern Arctic Ocean during 2010, 2011, and 2012. All but the 2006 flight were part of Operation Ice Bridge (OIB). Airborne data collected during these flights include data from two laser altimeters, Ku-band and snow thickness radar altimeters, high-resolution digital photography, and gravimetry. Out-and-back flight tracks combined with georegistered digital photography allow a quantitative assessment of lead "snagging" and off-ranging found in radar altimeter measurements over sea ice. Particular attention is given to the measurement of lead elevations with radar altimetry and its impact on sea ice freeboard estimates.
Armitage, Thomas W. K.; Bacon, Sheldon; Ridout, Andy L.; Thomas, Sam F.; Aksenov, Yevgeny; Wingham, Duncan J.
Arctic sea surface height (SSH) is poorly observed by radar altimeters due to the poor coverage of the polar oceans provided by conventional altimeter missions and because large areas are perpetually covered by sea ice, requiring specialized data processing. We utilize SSH estimates from both the ice-covered and ice-free ocean to present monthly estimates of Arctic Dynamic Ocean Topography (DOT) from radar altimetry south of 81.5°N and combine this with GRACE ocean mass to estimate steric height. Our SSH and steric height estimates show good agreement with tide gauge records and geopotential height derived from Ice-Tethered Profilers. The large seasonal cycle of Arctic SSH (amplitude ˜5 cm) is dominated by seasonal steric height variation associated with seasonal freshwater fluxes, and peaks in October-November. Overall, the annual mean steric height increased by 2.2 ± 1.4 cm between 2003 and 2012 before falling to circa 2003 levels between 2012 and 2014 due to large reductions on the Siberian shelf seas. The total secular change in SSH between 2003 and 2014 is then dominated by a 2.1 ± 0.7 cm increase in ocean mass. We estimate that by 2010, the Beaufort Gyre had accumulated 4600 km3 of freshwater relative to the 2003-2006 mean. Doming of Arctic DOT in the Beaufort Sea is revealed by Empirical Orthogonal Function analysis to be concurrent with regional reductions in the Siberian Arctic. We estimate that the Siberian shelf seas lost ˜180 km3 of freshwater between 2003 and 2014, associated with an increase in annual mean salinity of 0.15 psu yr-1. Finally, ocean storage flux estimates from altimetry agree well with high-resolution model results, demonstrating the potential for altimetry to elucidate the Arctic hydrological cycle.
Kosuth, P.; Blitzkow, D.; Cochonneau, G.
Satellite radar altimetry (Topex/Poseidon T/P) was used to establish a consistent altimetric reference network over the Amazon basin. A methodolody was developed that uses radar altimetry to quantify maximum annual water levels (referred to the geoid) at intersections between the satellite ground tracks and the river network and derive, through spatial interpolation, maximum annual water levels at hydrometric stations. Comparison with maximum annuyal readings at gauges allowed the determination of local orthometric heights at these stations. Altimetric levelling from Topex/Poseidon measurements has been realized for 97 hydrometric stations along 27 740 km of the Amazon hydrographic network. Validation has been realized both by checking the overall hydraulic consistency of longitudinal river profiles at low and high river stages and by comparing, for 23 hydrometric stations, orthometric heights obtrained from T/P measurements with values obtained from bi-frequency GPS positioning. These results are of major importance for the study of Amazon river flow dynamics and sediment transport.
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
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.
Glenn, N. F.; Shrestha, R.; Li, A.; Spaete, L.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the utility of ground and airborne LiDAR data to quantify ecosystem structure. In addition, data from satellite-based laser altimetry (e.g. ICESat's GLAS instrument) have been used to estimate vegetation heights, aboveground carbon, and topography in forested areas. With the upcoming ICESAT-2 satellite scheduled to launch in 2017, we have the potential to map vegetation characteristics and dynamics in other ecosystems, including semiarid and low-height ecosystems, at global and regional scales. The ICESat-2 satellite will include the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) with a configuration of 6 laser beams with 532 nm wavelength and photon counting detectors. We will demonstrate the potential of ICESat-2 to provide estimates of vegetation structure and topography in a dryland ecosystem by simulating the configuration of the ATLAS mission. We will also examine how airborne LiDAR can be used together with ICESat-2 and other satellite data to achieve estimates of aboveground carbon. We will explore how these data may be used for future monitoring and quantification of spatial and temporal changes in aboveground carbon and topography.
Kuo, C.; Shum, C.; Alsdorf, D. E.; Lee, H.; Yang, T.; Tseng, K.
In the framework of developing Global Geodetic Observing Systems (GGOS) data sets for hydrologic research and application, here we present a study to potentially exploit a recent new and innovative use of satellite radar altimetry data from abundant historic, present and future missions, including Geosat GM/ERM, ERS-1/-2, TOPEX/Poseidon, GFO, Envisat, Jason-1/-2/-3, CryoSat-2, AltiKa, HY-2, and Sentinel-3. Satellite altimetry has demonstrated its ability to measure accurate, long-term climate records such as the evolutions of sea-level and inland hydrologic water level changes. In particular, recent studies have demonstrated the ability of radar altimetry, via waveform retracking and other innovative processing, to monitor water level variations of small water bodies like rivers (as narrow as 100-200 m, approaching the along-track spatial sampling limit of a 20-Hz altimeter measurement onboard of a spacecraft with speed of ~7.5 km/sec) and small lakes over flat terrains. In this contribution, we address an additional challenge to examine the feasibility of the use of contemporary pulse-limited nadir radar altimetry to observe water level variations over mountainous or terrains with relatively steep gradients, or surfaces with varying seasonal land-covers. In this case, the returned radar waveforms from satellite radar altimetry, if the altimeter measurements remain locked, are much noisier over these complex and steep terrains or rough surfaces. This study will present results on the use of retracked Envisat altimetry data (i.e., not using the retracked heights already available on the GDR) via various waveform retracking algorithms over the Tseng Wen Reservoir, Taiwan, and evaluating the accuracy of retracked measurements by comparing to the available in situ water gauge records. The Tseng Wen Reservoir is a relatively small reservoir (12 km x 2 km, the width of the reservoir crossed by Envisat is 1.5~2 km), located in Chiayi County, Taiwan, with an elevation of
... 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...
Matthews, Paul E.; Johnson, Mark A.; O'Brien, James J.
Mesoscale circulation in the Gulf of Alaska is studied by means of processed Geosat radar altimetry results with comparisons to observations of mesoscale eddies and surface circulation. The first set of Geosat data is treated by sea-surface height (SSH) binning in 1-deg latitude x 2-deg longitude boxes and analyzed by complex empirical orthogonal functions and 2D spectral analysis. The second set is taken from ascending Geosat tracks and analyzed as a time series. The Geosat data are compared to observational data including mesoscale eddies and fluctuations in mean surface circulation as well as sea-surface signals generated by numerical models. The data demonstrate the feasibility of a westward propagation of sea-level anomalies, and the Geosat SSH data are found to agree well with model solutions of seasonal variations in sea level in the northeast Pacific.
Song, Tony Y.; Ji, Chen; Fu, L. -L.; Zlotnicki, Victor; Shum, C. K.; Yi, Yuchan; Hjorleifsdottir, Vala
The 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was the first earthquake tsunami of its magnitude to occur since the advent of both digital seismometry and satellite radar altimetry. Both have independently recorded the event from different physical aspects. The seismic data has then been used to estimate the earthquake fault parameters, and a three-dimensional ocean-general-circulation-model (OGCM) coupled with the fault information has been used to simulate the satellite-observed tsunami waves. Here we show that these two datasets consistently provide the tsunami source using independent methodologies of seismic waveform inversion and ocean modeling. Cross-examining the two independent results confirms that the slip function is the most important condition controlling the tsunami strength, while the geometry and the rupture velocity of the tectonic plane determine the spatial patterns of the tsunami.
Garvin, J.B.; Williams, R.S.; Frawley, J.J.; Krabill, W.B.
The volumetric evolution of Surtsey has been estimated on the basis of digital elevation models derived from NASA scanning airborne laser altimeter surveys (20 July 1998), as well as digitized 1:5,000-scale topographic maps produced by the National Land Survey of Iceland and by Norrman. Subaerial volumes have been computed from co-registered digital elevation models (DEM's) from 6 July 1968, 11 July 1975, 16 July 1993, and 20 July 1998 (scanning airborne laser altimetry), as well as true surface area (above mean sea level). Our analysis suggests that the subaerial volume of Surtsey has been reduced from nearly 0.100 km3 on 6 July 1968 to 0.075 km3 on 20 July 1998. Linear regression analysis of the temporal evolution of Surtsey's subaerial volume indicates that most of its subaerial surface will be at or below mean sea-level by approximately 2100. This assumes a conservative estimate of continuation of the current pace of marine erosion and mass-wasting on the island, including the indurated core of the conduits of the Surtur I and Surtur II eruptive vents. If the conduits are relatively resistant to marine erosion they will become sea stacks after the rest of the island has become a submarine shoal, and some portions of the island could survive for centuries. The 20 July 1998 scanning laser altimeter surveys further indicate rapid enlargement of erosional canyons in the northeastern portion of the partial tephra ring associated with Surtur I. Continued airborne and eventually spaceborne topographic surveys of Surtsey are planned to refine the inter-annual change of its subaerial volume.
McCandless, M.; Ibaraki, M.; Shum, C.; Lee, H.; Liang, S.
Schistosomiasis is the second-most prevalent tropical disease after malaria affecting two-hundred million people annually world-wide; it shortens lifespan on average by ten years in endemic areas and no vaccine exists. The current control methods of human host chemotherapy and application of molluscicides to the environment do not break the disease transmission cycle. Schistosomiasis transmission in southern China involves an amphibious intermediate host snail for which hydrology is a key factor because the adults need moist vegetation while the juveniles are fully aquatic. Thus, hydrology is a key factor in schistosomiasis transmission and understanding its role can inform control measures. Our objective is to integrate hydrologic, ecologic, and other environmental factors to determine the changes in available snail habitat through space and time. We use radar altimetry measurements to determine water level every 35 days when the Envisat (Environmental Satellite) passes over the lake. The radar altimetry readings have been calibrated to levels from in-situ gauging stations and will support remote analysis of disease transmission potential without the need for gauging station data. A geographic information system was used to combine key factors including water level, topography, and air temperature data to identify areas of available snail habitat. In order to accomplish this, we conducted three steps including: delineating the watershed, specifying potential snail habitat areas through topography and air temperature classification, and calculating the intersection between potential snail habitat and non-flooded areas in the watershed. Statistical analyses of total available habitat area are also conducted. These maps and statistics analyses can be used by public health agencies to monitor snail habitat trends over time. Coupling remote sensing of water levels with a geographic information system model will continue to be important as the hydrology of the lake
Lee, H.; Shum, C.; Lu, Z.; Alsdorf, D.; Ibaraki, M.; Braun, A.; Kuo, C.
Coastal estuaries, which connect coastal ocean, wetlands and coastal land region, play important roles in ecological environments. Wetlands typically occur in low-lying areas on the edges of lakes, and rivers, or in coastal areas protected from waves and are found in a variety of climates on every continent except Antarctica. Wetlands not only provide habitat for thousands of aquatic/terrestrial plant and animal species but also control floods by holding water much like a sponge by absorbing and reducing the velocity of storm-water. Human activities have so many negative impacts on wetlands and they became main contributing factors to the wetlands losses. For example, Louisiana's wetlands have lost more than 100 km2 of its area per year (Walker et al., 1987; Bourne, 2000). The loss of Louisiana wetlands as a result of ecological erosion or geological subsidence potentially have had significant impacts in slowing down storm surge from the devastating Hurricane Katrina. The ability to quantitatively measure accurate wetland water level changes in Louisiana has impacts on ecology and natural hazards mitigation including improved storm surge modeling resulting from hurricanes. Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) has been proven to be useful to measure centimeter-scale water level changes over Amazon flood plain and Everglades wetland using L-band SAR imagery. This is based on the fact that flooded forests permit double-bounce returns, which allow InSAR coherence to be maintained. Furthermore, ERS-1/2 C-band InSAR data have been used to demonstrate its feasibility to monitor water level changes over Louisiana wetlands. In addition, satellite radar altimetry has been used to measure inland water level variation over large river basins. In this study, we use the decadal (1992-2002) Topex/Poseidon (T/P) measurements from cycle 9 to 364 to detect water level changes of Louisiana's and Everglades' wetlands, where the water surfaces are calm or vegetated, causing
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.
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
Chuter, S. J.; Bamber, J. L.
Ice shelf thickness for the whole of Antarctica is derived from 4 years (2011-2014) of CryoSat-2 (CS2) radar altimetry measurements using the assumption that the shelves are in hydrostatic equilibrium. The satellite orbit and novel synthetic aperture radar interferometric mode of CS2 results in 92.3% data coverage over the ice shelves, with particular improvements around the grounding zone. When compared to ICESat data, surface elevations have a mean bias of less than 1 m and a fourfold reduction in standard deviation compared with the previous data set. Over the Amery Ice Shelf there is a mean thickness difference of 3.3% between radio echo sounding measurements and the CS2-derived thicknesses, rising to 4.7% within 10 km of the grounding line. Our new data set provides key improvements in accuracy and coverage, especially in the grounding zone, allowing for reduced uncertainties in mass budget calculations, subshelf ocean and ice sheet-shelf modeling.
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.
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.
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.
Coss, S. P.; Durand, M. T.; Tuozzolo, S.; Yi, Y.; Jia, Y.; Guo, Q.; Shum, C. K.
Our group has made several efforts to develop the systematics for processing multiple satellite mission inland altimetry data with the purpose of creating a pre-SWOT climate data record of world's rivers greater than 900m in width. The project is a component of a NASA MEaSUREs (Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments) project undertaken by UCLA, Princeton U., NASA/GSFC and Ohio State Univ. The first method developed allows for the identification of measurements that represent the target river through height filtering and is based on USGS flow data from 105 gauges on rivers with watersheds over 20,000 km2. Proximal topographic variations led to some contamination of the radar returns. We were able to identify them using the previously mentioned height filter, and correlated their frequency with near-river topographic indices. Significant efforts have also been made to detect river ice using only radar backscatter. Over 631 Landsat images were processed and given an ice cover designation then compared with measured backscatter profiles; demonstrating that isolating a one- to-one relationship between ice and backscatter will be challenging. An additional focus of the group has been automation of detecting altimeter/river intersections as well as the creation of "virtual stations" or masks for data extraction at those locations. Using RivWidth parameters to generate polygons and a raster proximity based intersection detection methods have both shown promising results for automation of this process. This project will soon be producing validated climate data records in the form of geocentric river height changes, both in terms of scale of the study area and access to previously unmonitored regions. Once established, these methods will also be applicable to the study of future satellite cycles. Preliminary river height change data products have been produced for the Mississippi, St Lawrence, Yukon, Mackenzie, and part of the Ganges
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.
Wildey, Robert L.
A method for determining the dependence of radar backscatter on incidence angle that is applicable to the region corresponding to a particular radar image is derived. The method is based on enforcing mathematical consistency between the frequency distribution of the images' pixel signals and a one-dimensional frequency distribution of slope component, which is obtained from a radar or laser altimetry profile in or near the imaged area. To test the resulting algorithm, an arbitrarily selected reflectance function is used to generate an artificial radar image from a digitized topographic map of the Lake Champlain West quadrangle in the Adirondack Mountains, U.S. It is found that, for 99 percent of the data, the maximum error is 1 degree.
Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory A.
The recent altimetry data acquired by MOLA over the northern hemisphere of Mars have been combined with the Earth-based radar data obtained between 1971 and 1982, and occultation measurements of the Viking 1 and 2 Orbiters, Mariner 9, and MGS to derive a global model of the shape and topography of Mars. This preliminary model has a horizontal resolution of about 300 km. Vertical accuracy is on average a few hundred meters in the region of the data. Datasets: The altimetry and radar datasets were individually binned in 1.25 degree grids and merged with the occultation data. The Viking and Mariner occultation data in the northern hemisphere were excluded from the combined dataset where MOLA altimetry were available. The laser altimetry provided extensive and almost complete coverage of the northern hemisphere north of latitude 30 while the radar provided longitudinal coverage at several latitude bands between 23N and 23S. South of this region the only data were occultations. The majority of the occultations were obtained from Mariner 9, and the rest from Viking 1 & 2, and MGS. Earlier studies had shown that the Viking and Mariner occultations were on average only accurate to 500 meters. The recent MGS occultations are accurate to a few tens of meters. However, the highest southern latitude reached by the MGS occultations is only about 64S and data near the target region for the Mars 98 lander is limited to a few Viking and Mariner observations of relatively poor quality. In addition to the above datasets the locations of the Viking 1, Viking 2, and Pathfinder landers, obtained from the radio tracking of their signals, were included.
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.
Nielsen, K.; Villadsen, H.; Stenseng, L.; Andersen, O. B.; Knudsen, P.
CryoSat-2 is the satellite that carries a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) altimeter on-board. The SAR technology provides an along-track resolution of approximately 300 m. The higher resolution makes it possible to accurately monitor much smaller water bodies than previously. In this study, which is part of the FP7 project Land and Ocean take up from Sentinel-3 (LOTUS), we investigate the potential of SAR altimetry. To derive lake levels we use novel empirical threshold retrackers and the physical SAMOSA retracker. We consider lakes at various sizes and evaluate the CryoSat-2 derived lake levels in terms of along-track precision and agreement with in-situ data. We find that the precision of the along-track mean water level is a few cm, even for lakes with a surface area of just 9 km^2. The high precision makes it possible to detect water level variations below the decimeter level. To derive lake level time series we apply a state-space model with a robust handling of erroneous data. Instead of attempting to identify and remove the polluted observations we use a mixture distribution to describe the observation noise, which prevents the polluted observations from biasing our final reconstructed time series. These results demonstrate the promising possibilities of the upcoming Sentinel-3 mission, which potentially will be able to provide accurate time series for small lakes.
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.
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.
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.
Tarpanelli, Angelica; Amarnath, Giriraj; Brocca, Luca; Moramarco, Tommaso
Flooding is one of most widespread natural disasters in the world. Its impact is particularly severe and destructive in Asia and Africa, because the living conditions of some settlements are inadequate to cope with this type of natural hazard. In this context, the estimation of discharge is extremely important to address water management and flood risk assessment. However, the inadequate monitoring network hampers any control and prediction activity that could improve these disastrous situations. In the last few years, remote sensing sensors have demonstrated their effectiveness in retrieving river discharge, especially in supporting discharge nowcasting and forecasting activities. Recently, the potential of radar altimetry was apparent when used for estimating water levels in an ungauged river site with good accuracy. It has also become a very useful tool for estimation and prediction of river discharge. However, the low temporal resolution of radar altimeter observations (10 or 35 days, depending on the satellite mission) may be not suitable for day-by-day hydrological forecasting. Differently, MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), considering its proven potential for quantifying the variations in discharge of the rivers at daily time resolution may be more suited to this end. For these reasons, MODIS and radar altimetry data were used in this study to predicting and forecasting the river discharge along the Niger-Benue River, where severe flooding with extensive damage to property and loss of lives occurred. Therefore, an effective method to forecast flooding can support efforts towards creating an early warning system. In order to estimate river discharge, four MODIS products (daily, 8-day, and from AQUA and TERRA satellites) connected at three sites (two gauged and one ungauged) were used. The capability of remote sensing sensors to forecast discharge a few days in advance at a downstream section using MODIS and ENVISAT radar altimetry data
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.
Chuter, Stephen; Bamber, Jonathan
The Antarctic ice shelves provide buttressing to the inland grounded ice sheet, and therefore play a controlling role in regulating ice dynamics and mass imbalance. Accurate knowledge of ice shelf thickness is essential for input-output method mass balance calculations, sub-ice shelf ocean models and buttressing parameterisations in ice sheet models. Ice shelf thickness has previously been inferred from satellite altimetry elevation measurements using the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium, as direct measurements of ice thickness do not provide the spatial coverage necessary for these applications. The sensor limitations of previous radar altimeters have led to poor data coverage and a lack of accuracy, particularly the grounding zone where a break in slope exists. We present a new ice shelf thickness dataset using four years (2011-2014) of CryoSat-2 elevation measurements, with its SARIn dual antennae mode of operation alleviating the issues affecting previous sensors. These improvements and the dense across track spacing of the satellite has resulted in ˜92% coverage of the ice shelves, with substantial improvements, for example, of over 50% across the Venable and Totten Ice Shelves in comparison to the previous dataset. Significant improvements in coverage and accuracy are also seen south of 81.5° for the Ross and Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelves. Validation of the surface elevation measurements, used to derive ice thickness, against NASA ICESat laser altimetry data shows a mean bias of less than 1 m (equivalent to less than 9 m in ice thickness) and a fourfold decrease in standard deviation in comparison to the previous continental dataset. Importantly, the most substantial improvements are found in the grounding zone. Validation of the derived thickness data has been carried out using multiple Radio Echo Sounding (RES) campaigns across the continent. Over the Amery ice shelf, where extensive RES measurements exist, the mean difference between the datasets is 3
Khaki, M.; Forootan, E.; Sharifi, M. A.; Awange, J.; Kuhn, M.
Satellite radar altimetry observations are used to derive short wavelength gravity anomaly fields over the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, where in situ and ship-borne gravity measurements have limited spatial coverage. In this study the retracking algorithm `Extrema Retracking' (ExtR) was employed to improve sea surface height (SSH) measurements that are highly biased in the study regions due to land contaminations in the footprints of the satellite altimetry observations. ExtR was applied to the waveforms sampled by the five satellite radar altimetry missions: TOPEX/POSEIDON, JASON-1, JASON-2, GFO and ERS-1. Along-track slopes have been estimated from the improved SSH measurements and used in an iterative process to estimate deflections of the vertical, and subsequently, the desired gravity anomalies. The main steps of the gravity anomaly computations involve estimating improved SSH using the ExtR technique, computing deflections of the vertical from interpolated SSHs on a regular grid using a biharmonic spline interpolation and finally estimating gridded gravity anomalies. A remove-compute-restore algorithm, based on the fast Fourier transform, has been applied to convert deflections of the vertical into gravity anomalies. Finally, spline interpolation has been used to estimate regular gravity anomaly grids over the two study regions. Results were evaluated by comparing the estimated altimetry-derived gravity anomalies (with and without implementing the ExtR algorithm) with ship-borne free air gravity anomaly observations, and free air gravity anomalies from the Earth Gravitational Model 2008 (EGM2008). The comparison indicates a range of 3-5 mGal in the residuals, which were computed by taking the differences between the retracked altimetry-derived gravity anomaly and the ship-borne data. The comparison of retracked data with ship-borne data indicates a range in the root-mean-square-error (RMSE) between approximately 1.8 and 4.4 mGal and a bias between 0
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.
Coyle, D. Barry; Lindauer, Steven J., II; Kay, Richard B.
Since the late 1980's, NASA has developed several small, all-solid state lasers of low repetition rates for use as transmitters in prototype LIDAR and raster scanned altimetry retrieval systems. Our early laser transmitters were developed for high resolution airborne altimetry which employed cavity dumping techniques to produce a pulse shape with a 1 ns rise time. The first such laser was the SUMR (Sub-millimeter resolution) transmitter which used a side pumped, D-shaped half-rod of Nd:YAG for the oscillator active media and produced approximately 3 ns pulses of 100 micro-J energy at a 40 Hz repetition rate. (Coyle and Blair, 1993; Coyle et al., 1995) After several upgrades to improve rep rate and pulse energy, the final version produced 1.2 mJ pulses at 120 Hz with a 3.7 ns pulse width. The laser has become known as SPLT (Sharp Pulsed Laser Transmitter), and has flown successfully on a variety of airborne altimetry missions. (Coyle and Blair, 1995; Blair et al., 1994) From building these systems, we have accrued valuable experience in delivering field-deployable lasers and have become aware of the advantages and disadvantages of employing new technologies. For example, even though the laser's main operating environment is in a "cold" aircraft during flight, the laser must still operate in very warm temperatures. This is important if the mission is based in the desert or a tropical climate since ground calibration data from stationary targets must be gathered before and after each data flight. Because conductive cooling is much more convenient than closed loop water flow, achieving the highest possible laser efficiency is becoming a high priority when designing a flight laser. This is especially true for lasers with higher pulse energies and repetition rates which are needed for high altitude scanning altimeters and LIDARs.
Birkett, C. M.; Mertes, L. A.; Dunne, T.; Costa, M. H.; Jasinski, M. J.
Satellite radar altimetry has the ability to monitor variations in surface water height (or stage) for large lakes, wetlands, rivers, and their floodplains. As part of an international programme a complete altimetric analysis of the Amazon Basin is being undertaken based on the ERS and TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) satellite missions. Here, an updated and more rigorous evaluation of the T/P data is presented for the first 7.5 years of the mission. For an initial study group of 230 targets, stage variability can be observed for 30-50%, the range reflecting the clarity of the noted seasonality. An assessment of the instrument performance confirms that the minimum river width attainable is set at 1 km in the presence of some inundated floodplain. This does allow observation of many of the large tributaries, but in the outer regions, mountainous terrain additionally places severe limitations. With ground-based stage measurements, validation exercises show that the overall 1992-1999 results can be accurate to 0.4 m rms, but that this is highly variable (>0.13 m) depending of target width and season. The Solimoes and Amazon are particularly well observed with seasonal altimetric amplitudes <13 m, and variations in peak level timing from May to July. The gradient of the main stem is also estimated ranging from 1.4 cm/km for downstream reaches to 3.8 cm/km for more upstream regions. The seasonal variability of this gradient is also explored, noting that downstream of the confluence of the Negro river, a hysteresis characteristic is in effect, suggesting a kinematic nature to the peak-flow flood wave. All the altimetric results demonstrate that the T/P mission is successfully contributing to this long-term surface water dynamics programme.
Gomez-Enri, Jesus; Laiz, Irene; Tejedor, Begoña; Aboitiz, Alazne; Villares, Pilar
AVISO sea level anomaly weekely maps from radar altimetry were retrieved for the Gulf of Cadiz (GoC) (1997-2008), along with maps of Dynamic Atmospheric Correction (DAC), atmospheric pressure at sea level and satellite Sea Surface Temperature (SST). Data were averaged in time to obtain maps of monthly mean time series in order to analyze the seasonal variability of sea level and its main forcing agents along the GoC. Moreover, a very high resolution climatology for the region was combined with the SST maps to explore the steric contribution with enough spatial resolution near the coast. The AVISO sea level anomaly monthly maps were initially de-corrected using the DAC product and then corrected using the inverted barometer method. Atmospheric pressure explained more than 55% of the sea level variance offshore and between 35-45% within the continental shelf. The amplitude of the pressure-adjusted sea level semiannual signal was considerably reduced, confirming its meteorological origin. The steric contribution on the pressure-adjusted sea level was addressed by considering local, open ocean, basin-wide and continental shelf steric effects. The open ocean contribution explained the highest percentage of variance all over the basin with the exception of the western shelf, where the best results were obtained with the local contribution. After correcting for the best steric contribution, the amplitude of the remaining offshore annual signal was negligible (0.5-1.0 ± 1 cm). As for the continental shelves, 2-3 cm (± 0.5-1 cm) of the annual signal remained unexplained, probably due to local effects related with the shelves dynamics.
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.
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.
Levinsen, J. F.; Smith, B. E.; Sandberg Sørensen, L.; Khvorostovsky, K.; Forsberg, R.
With the launch of the first radar altimeter by ESA in 1992, more than two decades of radar altimetry data are now available. Therefore, one goal of ESA's Ice Sheet Climate Change Initiative is the estimation of surface elevation changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) based on ERS-1, -2, Envisat, CryoSat-2, and, in the longer term, Sentinel-3 data. This will create a data record from 1992 until present date. In addition to elevation-change records, such data can be processed to produce digital elevation models, or DEMs, of the ice sheets. The DEMs can be used to correct radar altimetry data for slope-induced errors resulting from the large footprint (e.g. 2-10 km for Envisat vs. 60 m for ICESat laser altimetry) or to correct for the underlying surface topography when applying the repeat-track method. DEMs also provide key information in e.g. SAR remote sensing of ice velocities to remove the interferograms' topographic signal or in regional climate modeling. This work focuses on the development of a GrIS DEM from Envisat and CryoSat-2 altimetry, corrected with temporally and spatially coincident NASA ICESat, ATM, and LVIS laser data. The spatial resolution is 2 x 2 km and the reference year 2010. It is based on 2009 and 2010 data, the 2009 data adjusted to 2010 by accounting for the intermediate elevation changes. This increases the spatial data coverage and reduces data errors. The GIMP DEM has been corrected for negative elevations and errors in the north, and used to constrain the final DEM. The recently acquired observations and increased data coverage give a strong advantage to this DEM relative to previous models, based on lower-resolution, more temporally scattered data (e.g. a decade of observations or only ICESat data, limited to three annual 35-day acquisition periods). Furthermore, as surface changes occur continuously, an up-to-date DEM is necessary to correctly constrain the observations, thereby ensuring an accurate change detection or modeling
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
Birkett, C.; Mertes, L.; Dunne, T.; Costa, M.; Jasinski, M.
Satellite radar altimetry has the ability to monitor variations in surface water height (stage) for large wetlands, rivers, and associated floodplains. A clear advantage is the provision of data where traditional gauges are absent. As part of an international program a complete altimetric analysis of the Amazon Basin is being undertaken. Here, an updated and more rigorous evaluation of the TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) dataset is presented for the first ~7.5 years of the mission. With an initial study group of 230 targets, height variability at many ungauged locations can be observed for 30-50%, the range reflecting the clarity of the variations in lieu of instrument limitations. An assessment of the instrument performance confirms that the minimum river width attainable is ~1 km in the presence of some inundated floodplain. This constraint does allow observation of the main stem (Solimões/Amazon) and the larger tributaries, but rugged terrain in the vicinity of the target additionally places severe limitations on data retrieval. First-order validation exercises with the deduced 1992-1999 time series of stage fluctuations reveal accuracies ranging from tens of centimeters to several metres (mean ~1.1 m rms). Altimetric water levels in the Solimões and Amazon are particularly well defined with amplitudes <13 m and variations in peak level timing from May to July. The water-surface gradient of the main stem is found to vary both spatially and temporally, with values ranging from 1.5 cm/km downstream, to 4.0 cm/km for more upstream reaches. In agreement with ground-based estimates, the seasonal variability of the gradients reveals that the hysteresis characteristic of the flood wave varies along the main stem and the derived altimetric velocity of this flood wave is estimated to be ~0.35 m/s. Overall, the altimetric results demonstrate that the T/P mission is successfully monitoring the transient flood waves of this continental-scale basin.
Birkett, C. M.; Mertes, L. A. K.; Dunne, T.; Costa, M. H.; Jasinski, M. J.
Satellite radar altimetry has the ability to monitor variations in surface water height (stage) for large wetlands, rivers, and associated floodplains. A clear advantage is the provision of data where traditional gauges are absent. As part of an international program, a complete altimetric analysis of the Amazon Basin is being undertaken. Here, an updated and more rigorous evaluation of the TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) data set is presented for the first ˜7.5 years of the mission. With an initial study group of 230 targets, height variability at many ungauged locations can be observed for 30-50%, the range reflecting the clarity of the variations in lieu of instrument limitations. An assessment of the instrument performance confirms that the minimum river width attainable is ˜1 km in the presence of some inundated floodplain. This constraint does allow observation of the main stem (Solimões/Amazon) and the larger tributaries, but rugged terrain in the vicinity of the target additionally places severe limitations on data retrieval. First-order validation exercises with the deduced 1992-1999 time series of stage fluctuations reveal accuracies ranging from tens of centimeters to several meters (mean ˜1.1 m rms). Altimetric water levels in the Solimões and Amazon are particularly well defined with amplitudes <13 m and variations in peak-level timing from May to July. The water-surface gradient of the main stem is found to vary both spatially and temporally, with values ranging from 1.5 cm/km downstream to 4.0 cm/km for more upstream reaches. In agreement with ground-based estimates, the seasonal variability of the gradients reveals that the hysteresis characteristic of the flood wave varies along the main stem and the derived altimetric velocity of this flood wave is estimated to be ˜0.35 m/s. Overall, the altimetric results demonstrate that the T/P mission is successfully monitoring the transient flood waves of this continental-scale river basin.
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
A method is derived for determining the dependence of radar backscatter on incidence angle that is applicable to the region corresponding to a particular radar image. The method is based on enforcing mathematical consistency between the frequency distribution of the image's pixel signals (histogram of DN values with suitable normalizations) and a one-dimensional frequency distribution of slope component, as might be obtained from a radar or laser altimetry profile in or near the area imaged. In order to achieve a unique solution, the auxiliary assumption is made that the two-dimensional frequency distribution of slope is isotropic. The backscatter is not derived in absolute units. The method is developed in such a way as to separate the reflectance function from the pixel-signal transfer characteristic. However, these two sources of variation are distinguishable only on the basis of a weak dependence on the azimuthal component of slope; therefore such an approach can be expected to be ill-conditioned unless the revision of the transfer characteristic is limited to the determination of an additive instrumental background level. The altimetry profile does not have to be registered in the image, and the statistical nature of the approach minimizes pixel noise effects and the effects of a disparity between the resolutions of the image and the altimetry profile, except in the wings of the distribution where low-number statistics preclude accuracy anyway. The problem of dealing with unknown slope components perpendicular to the profiling traverse, which besets the one-to-one comparison between individual slope components and pixel-signal values, disappears in the present approach. In order to test the resulting algorithm, an artificial radar image was generated from the digitized topographic map of the Lake Champlain West quadrangle in the Adirondack Mountains, U.S.A., using an arbitrarily selected reflectance function. From the same map, a one-dimensional frequency
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.
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.
Ely, Todd A.; Chau, Alexandra H.
The traditional role that altimetry and velocimetry have played in spacecraft landings is to provide a direct measure of the spacecraft's surface altitude and surface relative velocity; however, their role in determining an inertial position and velocity has seen limited investigation. In this study, inertially sensitive measurement models for altimetry and velocimetry are formulated that include relevant instrument and environment error models. These models are applied and simulated for a realistic lunar landing scenario that is based on recent work for NASA's Altair lander. The preliminary results indicate that inertial landing accuracies of several meters are possible.
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
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.
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.
Troupin, Charles; Pascual, Ananda; Lana, Arancha; Valladeau, Guillaume; Pujol, Isabelle; Tintoré, Joaquin
The Mediterranean Sea is characterized by a small Rossby radius of deformation, hence small structures and eddies. The Ibiza Channel, located in the Balearic Sea, is of particular importance since it controls the exchanges in the western Mediterranean Sea. In order to understand and describe the upper ocean dynamics, a multi-sensor/integrated approach was applied in the Ibiza Channel in the first days of August 2013 during the G-AltiKa mission. This approach combines: Sea-level anomaly (SLA) measurements from Saral-AltiKa track no. 16, which passed west of Ibiza island. 1-Hz and 40-Hz data were considered. Glider data obtained along the satellite track a few hours after its passage. The horizontal resolution ranges from 5 km offshore to about 1 km in the coastal area. HF radar hourly velocities on a 3 km-resolution grid that partially covers the study region (range up to 74 km offshore). Dynamic height (DH) was derived from the glider temperature and salinity profiles, while Absolute Dynamic Topography (ADT) was obtained by combining SLA and the new Mean Dynamic Topography (MDT) jointly produced by CLS and SOCIB. From DH and SLA, the cross-track velocities were derived using geostrophy relations. Different filters were applied on SLA data and different reference levels were tested for the DH computation. DH and ADT both displayed very weak variations, on the order of 2-3 cm, along the glider trajectory. The glider- and the altimetry-derived velocities exhibit the signal of a meander centered at 38.65°N and a narrow coastal current flowing northward a few kilometers off Ibiza. These computed velocities are on the order of 20 cm/s, as confirmed by the HF radar. The time separation between the passage of the satellite and the glider can explain the discrepancies observed between the two platforms. Our results highlight the promising measurements offered by SARAL/AltiKa in the coastal band. In particular, the satellite was able is able to capture the northern edge of
Blair, J. B.; Dubayah, R.; Hofton, M. A.; Luthcke, S. B.; Rabine, D.; Wake, S.; Coyle, B.; Stysley, P.; Salerno, C.
Laser altimetry is an established technique for providing precise and accurate measurements of topography, vegetation, ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice. The Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS) is a wide swath, full-waveform laser altimeter that has been operational since the late 1990's and has mapped 100,000's of square kilometers around the globe. NASA is developing a Facility version of the LVIS sensor to make it more cost-effective and more easily available to the broader science community. Based heavily on the existing LVIS sensor, the Facility LVIS instrument includes numerous improvements for reliability, resolution, real-time performance monitoring, lower cost for integration and ops, and data consistency. Building upon the foundation provided by LVIS, the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) Lidar was recently selected for funding as a part of NASA's Earth Venture Program and will use multiple laser beams to measure high-resolution forest structure and surface topography from the International Space Station (ISS). Dependent on the funding profile and availability of launch options to ISS, GEDI could launch as early as 2018. Within a single year of operations GEDI will provide billions of vegetation height and structure measurements for the precise estimation of biomass within the orbital coverage provided by ISS (+/- 51.6 degrees latitude). GEDI uses the same high-SNR waveform measurement technique as the airborne LVIS sensor. LVIS will provide calibration and validation of GEDI's on-orbit 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.
Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Major, Judith A.; Martin, Thomas V.; Bindschadler, Robert A.
The data-processing methods and ice data products derived from Seasat radar altimeter measurements over the Greenland ice sheet and surrounding sea ice are documented. The corrections derived and applied to the Seasat radar altimeter data over ice are described in detail, including the editing and retracking algorithm to correct for height errors caused by lags in the automatic range tracking circuit. The methods for radial adjustment of the orbits and estimation of the slope-induced errors are given.
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.
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.
Sonntag, J. G.; Chibisov, A.; Krabill, K. A.; Linkswiler, M. A.; Swenson, C.; Yungel, J.
Present-day airborne lidar surveys of polar ice, NASA's Operation IceBridge foremost among them, cover large geographical areas. They are often compared with previous surveys over the same flight lines to yield mass balance estimates. Systematic biases in the lidar system, especially those which vary from campaign to campaign, can introduce significant error into these mass balance estimates and must be minimized before the data is released by the instrument team to the larger scientific community. NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) team designed a thorough and novel approach in order to minimize these biases, and here we describe two major aspects of this approach. First, we conduct regular ground vehicle-based surveys of lidar calibration targets, and overfly these targets on a near-daily basis during field campaigns. We discuss our technique for conducting these surveys, in particular the measures we take specifically to minimize systematic height biases in the surveys, since these can in turn bias entire campaigns of lidar data and the mass balance estimates based on them. Second, we calibrate our GPS antennas specifically for each instrument installation in a remote-sensing aircraft. We do this because we recognize that the metallic fuselage of the aircraft can alter the electromagnetic properties of the GPS antenna mounted to it, potentially displacing its phase center by several centimeters and biasing lidar results accordingly. We describe our technique for measuring the phase centers of a GPS antenna installed atop an aircraft, and show results which demonstrate that different installations can indeed alter the phase centers significantly.
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.
Mason, David C.; Wang, Hai-Jing; Lohani, Bharat
The study of the morphodynamics of tidal channel networks is important because of their role in tidal propagation and the evolution of salt-marshes and tidal flats. Channel dimensions range from tens of meters wide and meters deep near the low water mark to only 20-30cm wide and 20cm deep for the smallest channels on the marshes. The conventional method of measuring the networks is cumbersome, involving manual digitizing of aerial photographs. This paper describes a semi-automatic knowledge-based network extraction method that is being implemented to work using airborne scanning laser altimetery. The channels exhibit a width variation of several orders of magnitude, making an approach based on multi-scale line detection difficult. The processing therefore uses multi-scale edge detection to detect channel edges, then associates adjacent anti-parallel edges together to form channels uing a distance-with-destination transform. Breaks in the networks are repaired by extending channel ends in the direction of their ends to join with nearby channels, using domain knowledge that flow paths should proceed downhill and that nay network fragment should be joined to a nearby fragment so as to connect eventually to the open sea.
Garvin, James B.; Bufton, Jack L.; Cavanaugh, John F.; Krabill, William B.; Clem, Thomas D.; Frederick, Earl B.; Ward, John L.
Recently, an airborne lidar system that measures laser pulse time-of-flight and the distortion of the pulse waveform upon reflection from earth surface terrain features was developed and is now operational. This instrument is combined with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and a two-axis gyroscope for accurate recovery of aircraft position and pointing attitude. The laser altimeter system is mounted on a high-altitude aircraft platform and operated in a repetitively-pulsed mode for measurements of surface elevation profiles at nadir. The laser transmitter makes use of recently developed short-pulse diode-pumped solid-state laser technology in Q-switched Nd:YAG operating at its fundamental wavelength of 1064 nm. A reflector telescope and silicon avalanche photodiode are the basis of the optical receiver. A high-speed time-interval unit and a separate high-bandwidth waveform digitizer under microcomputer control are used to process the backscattered pulses for measurements of terrain. Other aspects of the lidar system are briefly discussed.
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.
Campbell, W.J.; Cheney, R.E.; Marsh, J.G.; Mognard, N.M.
Models for the towing of large tabular icebergs give towing speeds of 0.5 knots to 1.0 knots relative to the ambient near surface current. Recent oceanographic research indicates that the world oceans are not principally composed of large steady-state current systems, like the Gulf Stream, but that most of the ocean momentum is probably involved in intense rings, formed by meanders of the large streams, and in mid-ocean eddies. These rings and eddies have typical dimensions on the order of 200 km with dynamic height anomalies across them of tens-of-centimeters to a meter. They migrate at speeds on the order of a few cm/sec. Current velocities as great as 3 knots have been observed in rings, and currents of 1 knot are common. Thus, the successful towing of icebergs is dependent on the ability to locate, measure, and track ocean rings and eddies. To accomplish this systematically on synoptic scales appears to be possible only by using satelliteborne radar altimeters. Ocean current and eddy structures as observed by the radar altimeters on the GEOS-3 and Seasat-1 satellites are presented and compared. Several satellite programs presently being planned call for flying radar altimeters in polar or near-polar orbits in the mid-1980 time frame. Thus, by the time tows of large icebergs will probably be attempted, it is possible synoptic observations of ocean rings and eddies which can be used to ascertain their location, size, intensity, and translation velocity will be a reality. ?? 1980.
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.
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.
Bindschadler, Robert A.; Zwally, H. Jay; Major, Judith A.; Brenner, Anita C.
Surface elevation maps of the southern half of the Greenland subcontinent are produced from radar altimeter data acquired by the Seasat satellite. A summary of the processing procedure and examples of return waveform data are given. The elevation data are used to generate a regular grid which is then computer contoured to provide an elevation contour map. Ancillary maps show the statistical quality of the elevation data and various characteristics of the surface. The elevation map is used to define ice flow directions and delineate the major drainage basins. Regular maps of the Jakobshavns Glacier drainage basin and the ice divide in the vicinity of Crete Station are presented. Altimeter derived elevations are compared with elevations measured both by satellite geoceivers and optical surveying.
Sun, W.; Song, H.; Cheng, T.; Yu, J.
This paper describes an approach for calibrating hydrological models using satellite radar altimetric observations of river water level at the basin outlet, aiming at providing a new direction for solving the calibration problem in ungauged basins where streamflow observations are unavailable. The methodology is illustrated by a case study in the Upper Mississippi basin. The water level data are derived from the TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) satellite. The Generalized Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) method is employed for model calibration and uncertainty analysis. The Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency of averaged simulated streamflow by behavioural parameter sets is 64.50%. And the uncertainty bounds of the ensemble simulation embrace about 65% of daily streamflow. These results indicate that the hydrological model has been calibrated effectively. At the same time, comparison with traditional calibration using streamflow data illustrates that the proposed method is only valuable for applications in ungauged basins.
Zwally, H. Jay; Major, Judith A.; Brenner, Anita C.; Bindschadler, Robert A.; Martin, Thomas V.
A gridded surface-elevation data set and a geo-referenced data base for the Seasat radar altimeter data over Antarctica are described. It is intended to be a user's guide to accompany the data provided to data centers and other users. The grid points are on a polar stereographic projection with a nominal spacing of 20 km. The gridded elevations are derived from the elevation data in the geo-referenced data base by a weighted fitting of a surface in the neighborhood of each grid point. The gridded elevations are useful for the creating smaller-scale contour maps, and examining individual elevation measurements in specific geographic areas. Tape formats are described, and a FORTRAN program for reading the data tape is listed and provided on the tape.
Zwally, H. Jay; Major, Judith A.; Brenner, Anita C.; Bindschadler, Robert A.; Martin, Thomas V.
A gridded surface-elevation data set and a geo-referenced data base for the Seasat radar altimeter data over Greenland are described. This is a user guide to accompany the data provided to data centers and other users. The grid points are on a polar stereographic projection with a nominal spacing of 20 km. The gridded elevations are derived from the elevation data in the geo-referenced data base by a weighted fitting of a surface in the neighborhood of each grid point. The gridded elevations are useful for the creating of large-scale contour maps, and the geo-referenced data base is useful for regridding, creating smaller-scale contour maps, and examinating individual elevation measurements in specific geographic areas. Tape formats are described, and a FORTRAN program for reading the data tape is listed and provided on the tape.
Farahani, H. H.; Slobbe, D. C.; Klees, R.; Seitz, Kurt
We study the impact of an accurate computation and incorporation of coloured noise in radar altimeter data when computing a regional quasi-geoid model using least-squares techniques. Our test area comprises the Southern North Sea including the Netherlands, Belgium, and parts of France, Germany, and the UK. We perform the study by modelling the disturbing potential with spherical radial base functions. To that end, we use the traditional remove-compute-restore procedure with a recent GRACE/GOCE static gravity field model. Apart from radar altimeter data, we use terrestrial, airborne, and shipboard gravity data. Radar altimeter sea surface heights are corrected for the instantaneous dynamic topography and used in the form of along-track quasi-geoid height differences. Noise in these data are estimated using repeat-track and post-fit residual analysis techniques and then modelled as an auto regressive moving average process. Quasi-geoid models are computed with and without taking the modelled coloured noise into account. The difference between them is used as a measure of the impact of coloured noise in radar altimeter along-track quasi-geoid height differences on the estimated quasi-geoid model. The impact strongly depends on the availability of shipboard gravity data. If no such data are available, the impact may attain values exceeding 10 centimetres in particular areas. In case shipboard gravity data are used, the impact is reduced, though it still attains values of several centimetres. We use geometric quasi-geoid heights from GPS/levelling data at height markers as control data to analyse the quality of the quasi-geoid models. The quasi-geoid model computed using a model of the coloured noise in radar altimeter along-track quasi-geoid height differences shows in some areas a significant improvement over a model that assumes white noise in these data. However, the interpretation in other areas remains a challenge due to the limited quality of the control data.
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.
Meister, R.; Sandberg, L.; Levinsen, J. F.; Khvorostovsky, K.; Forsberg, R.
With the accelerating melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), which is the world's second-largest ice sheet and contains enough ice to raise global sea level by 7m, an improvement in our understanding of such changes is required. Envisat radar altimetry data can be used to provide information on the surface elevation changes the GIS is experiencing. This study is the first of its kind to explore the use of repeat track radar altimetry data to derive Greenland surface height changes. Because of the large footprint of the Envisat RA-2 altimeter (on the order of 5km), it has previously been assumed that towards the edges of the ice sheet, where steep slopes exist, radar altimetry data cannot be used to resolve changes with sufficient accuracy. However, here we present that a newly developed combination of repeat-track and cross-over data provide realistic estimates of ice-sheet-wide surface height changes. The repeat-track method makes use of all available observations and hence increases the number of measurements compared to the cross-over method, which only estimates changes at the location where ascending and a descending paths cross. Each method has its advantages; whilst the repeat-track method provides estimates at a higher spatial resolution, the cross-over method benefits from comparatively low errors. After derivation of dH/dt rates for the entire ice sheet from both methods, data were combined based on an analysis of their respective errors. As a generalisation, it can be said that near the ice sheet margins repeat-track data were used, whereas in the interior, the cross-over method provided more reliable results. Initial results show that for the outlet glacier Jakobshavn Isbræ, both the repeat-track and the cross-over methods measure similar thinning patterns, thus increasing confidence in the ability of radar altimetry to measure changes on the margins of the GIS. We compare our resulting map of surface height changes to dH/dt patterns derived from the
Lee, Lyongki; Beighley, R. Edward; Alsdorf, Douglas; Jung, Hahn Chul; Shum, C. K.; Duan, Jianbin; Guo, Junyi; Yamazaki, Dai; Andreadis, Konstantinos
The Congo Basin is the world's third largest in size (approximately 3.7 million km^2), and second only to the Amazon River in discharge (approximately 40,200 cms annual average). However, the hydrological dynamics of seasonally flooded wetlands and floodplains remains poorly quantified. Here, we separate the Congo wetland into four 3 degree x 3 degree regions, and use remote sensing measurements (i.e., GRACE, satellite radar altimeter, GPCP, JERS-1, SRTM, and MODIS) to estimate the amounts of water filling and draining from the Congo wetland, and to determine the source of the water. We find that the amount of water annually filling and draining the Congo wetlands is 111 km^3, which is about one-third the size of the water volumes found on the mainstem Amazon floodplain. Based on amplitude comparisons among the water volume changes and timing comparisons among their fluxes, we conclude that the local upland runoff is the main source of the Congo wetland water, not the fluvial process of river-floodplain water exchange as in the Amazon. Our hydraulic analysis using altimeter measurements also supports our conclusion by demonstrating that water surface elevations in the wetlands are consistently higher than the adjacent river water levels. Our research also highlights differences in the hydrology and hydrodynamics between the Congo wetland and the mainstem Amazon floodplain.
Lee, Hyongki; Beighley, R. Edward; Alsdorf, Douglas; Jung, Hahn Chul; Shum, C. K.; Duan, Jianbin; Guo, Junyi; Yamazaki, Dai; Andreadis, Konstantinos
The Congo Basin is the world's third largest in size (approx.3.7 million sq km), and second only to the Amazon River in discharge (approx.40,200 cu m/s annual average). However, the hydrological dynamics of seasonally flooded wetlands and floodplains remains poorly quantified. Here, we separate the Congo wetland into four 3deg 3deg regions, and use remote sensing measurements (i.e., GRACE, satellite radar altimeter, GPCP, JERS-1, SRTM, and MODIS) to estimate the amounts of water filling and draining from the Congo wetland, and to determine the source of the water. We find that the amount of water annually filling and draining the Congo wetlands is 111 cu km, which is about one-third the size of the water volumes found on the mainstem Amazon floodplain. Based on amplitude comparisons among the water volume changes and timing comparisons among their fluxes, we conclude that the local upland runoff is the main source of the Congo wetland water, not the fluvial process of river-floodplain water exchange as in the Amazon. Our hydraulic analysis using altimeter measurements also supports our conclusion by demonstrating that water surface elevations in the wetlands are consistently higher than the adjacent river water levels. Our research highlights differences in the hydrology and hydrodynamics between the Congo wetland and the mainstem Amazon floodplain.
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.
Guđmundsson, Magnús T.; Höganadóttir, Pórdís; Kristinsson, Arnór Bergur; Guđbjörnsson, Snaebjörn
The Katla caldera is located under the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap and is one of the most hazardous volcanoes in Iceland due to major jökulhlaups that accompany eruptions. Subglacial geothermal activity is manifested in several 10-50 m deep depressions (ice cauldrons) within and at the caldera rim and the total geothermal heat output is of the order of a few hundred megawatts. A shortlived but powerful pulse in geothermal heat output took place in 1999, probably including a minor subglacial eruption, when new ice cauldrons formed in three places and an unexpected jökulhlaup occurred. Following these events, a comprehensive monitoring program was set up for Katla, including ice surface elevation profiling from aircraft, to monitor variations in geothermal heat and detect signs of subglacial water accumulation. A radar altimeter coupled with a kinematic GPS is used, achieving an absolute elevation accuracy of 3 m and internal consistency of 1-2 m. Profiles across the caldera are flown twice a year. An annual accumulation-ablation cycle in surface elevation with amplitude of 5-10 m is observed. By removing this cycle from the data, changes due to subglacial geothermal activity are obtained. After the events in 1999, a decline in geothermal activity was observed. In 2001-03 some ice cauldrons expanded and deepened by 10-15 m, indicating renewed increase in geothermal activity. This trend is also apparent for 2003-05. The increase in geothermal poweramounts to a few tens of megawatts. It is likely that the increased thermal output is related to increased seismicity and caused by magma inflow.
Benveniste, J.; Berry, P.; Garlick, J.; Mathers, L.; Freeman, J.; Defrenne-Goncalves, D.
Data gathered by a series of satellite radar altimeters have been used extensively to construct historical records of lake and river levels. However, there is a clear requirement for accessing these data in a short timescale (NRT), in order to inform water management decisions. The availability of data from the Envisat RA-2 offers the exciting possibility of retrieving data from a large number of water bodies, including both lakes and rivers across the continents. The reason for this greatly enhanced dataset is that the Envisat RA-2 was specifically designed to remain `in lock' even over rough terrain, enabling the capture of echoes from targets in mountainous terrain. Whilst large lake targets situated in low relief terrain return clear and unambiguous signatures, determination of water levels from the complex echoes returned from water located within rough topography is difficult, since the echo shape is a convolution of the response from the water surface with components from the surrounding terrain. Accordingly, a sophisticated processing scheme has been developed. To verify that the processing of these NRT files is correct, and to assess the actual accuracy that can be achieved, several cycles of IGDR and Level 1B data were used. These data were processed through the NRT system to generate `NRT' data products over multiple targets in Africa. The results were then compared with the off-line processing of the corresponding cycles of SGDR data. The NRT results agree with those from the SGDR processing. In order to perform a full validation for river targets data were also generated over the Amazon basin, where they were compared both with the corresponding SGDR data, and with ground truth. The development of this sophisticated processing and retracking scheme for inland water has allowed, for the first time, production of NRT heights for a large number of targets, including river targets.
The effective management of the Earth's inland water is a major challenge facing scientists and governments worldwide. However, whilst demand for this often scarce resource continues to grow, the number and distribution of in-situ hydrological gauge stations is steadily falling and many catchments basins in the developing world are now entirely ungauged. Over the past few years research has been undertaken into a spacebased technique which can remotely measure river and lake heights using data from the series of satellite radar altimeters, originally designed to measure the height of the Earth's oceans. Results over inland water were initially confined to a handful of very large lakes, where the water surface resembled the ocean sufficiently well to allow existing processing techniques to retrieve meaningful measurements. This capability has now been transformed by the development of echo processing techniques which allow that part of the returned signal originating from inland water to be separated from the return from the surrounding terrain. This has extended the scope of this technique to monitoring thousands of river and lake heights worldwide, with the access to more than a decade of historical data now permitting analysis of trends and identification of climate signatures. This paper presents analyses of 15 years of altimeter data using results from hundreds of time series from ERS-2, EnviSat, TOPEX and Jason-1 to demonstrate the effectiveness of this technique in monitoring river and lake heights on a continental scale. The extension of this technique to near real time monitoring using data from the Envisat RA-2 is also presented. The results illustrate the current capability and future potential of this approach to derive a global picture of the Earth's inland water resources and to identify both climate signatures and regions where human usage is depleting the resource beyond its capacity to recharge.
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.
Levinsen, J. F.; Khvorostovsky, K.; Ticconi, F.; Shepherd, A.; Forsberg, R.; Sørensen, L. S.; Muir, A.; Pie, N.; Felikson, D.; Flament, T.; Hurkmans, R.; Moholdt, G.; Gunter, B.; Lindenbergh, R. C.; Kleinherenbrink, M.
In order to increase the understanding of the changing climate, the European Space Agency has launched the Climate Change Initiative (ESA CCI), a program which joins scientists and space agencies into 13 projects either affecting or affected by the concurrent changes. This work is part of the Ice Sheets CCI and four parameters are to be determined for the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), each resulting in a dataset made available to the public: Surface Elevation Changes (SEC), surface velocities, grounding line locations, and calving front locations. All CCI projects have completed a so-called Round Robin exercise in which the scientific community was asked to provide their best estimate of the sought parameters as well as a feedback sheet describing their work. By inter-comparing and validating the results, obtained from research institutions world-wide, it is possible to develop the most optimal method for determining each parameter. This work describes the SEC Round Robin and the subsequent conclusions leading to the creation of a method for determining GrIS SEC values. The participants used either Envisat radar or ICESat laser altimetry over Jakobshavn Isbræ drainage basin, and the submissions led to inter-comparisons of radar vs. altimetry as well as cross-over vs. repeat-track analyses. Due to the high accuracy of the former and the high spatial resolution of the latter, a method, which combines the two techniques will provide the most accurate SEC estimates. The data supporting the final GrIS analysis stem from the radar altimeters on-board Envisat, ERS-1 and ERS-2. The accuracy of laser data exceeds that of radar altimetry; the Round Robin analysis has, however, proven the latter equally capable of dealing with surface topography thereby making such data applicable in SEC analyses extending all the way from the interior ice sheet to margin regions. This shows good potential for a~future inclusion of ESA CryoSat-2 and Sentinel-3 radar data in the analysis, and
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.
Carter, Sasha Peter
The cold, lightless, and high pressure aquatic environment at the base of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is of interest to a wide range of disciplines. Stable subglacial lakes and their connecting channels remain perennially liquid three kilometers below some of the coldest places on Earth. The presence of subglacial water impacts flow of the overlying ice and provides clues to the geologic properties of the bedrock below, and may harbor unique life forms which have evolved out of contact with the atmosphere for millions of years. Periodic release of water from this system may impact ocean circulation at the margins of the ice sheet. This research uses airborne radar sounding, with its unique ability to infer properties within and at the base of the ice sheet over large spatial scales, to locate and characterize this unique environment. Subglacial lakes, the primary storage mechanism for subglacial water, have been located and classified into four categories on the basis of the radar reflection properties from the sub-ice interface: Definite lakes are brighter than their surroundings by at least two decibels (relatively bright), and are both consistently reflective (specular) and have a reflection coefficient greater than -10 decibels (absolutely bright). Dim lakes are relatively bright and specular but not absolutely bright, possibly indicating non-steady dynamics in the overlying ice. Fuzzy lakes are both relatively and absolutely bright, but not specular, and may indicate saturated sediments or high frequency spatially heterogeneous distributions of sediment and liquid water (i.e. a braided steam). Indistinct lakes are absolutely bright and specular but no brighter than their surroundings. Lakes themselves and the different classes of lakes are not arranged randomly throughout Antarctica but are clustered around ice divides, ice stream onsets and prominent bedrock troughs, with each cluster demonstrating a different characteristic lake classification distribution
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...
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.
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.
Lingle, Craig S.; Brenner, Anita C.; Zwally, H. Jay; DiMarzio, John P.
Mean changes in the surface elevation near the west margin of the Greenland ice sheet are measured using Seasat altimetry and altimetry from the Geosat Exact Repeat Mission (ERM). The Seasat data extend from early July through early October 1978. The ERM data extend from winter 1986-87 through fall 1988. Both seasonal and multi-year changes are measured using altimetry referenced to GEM T2 orbits. The possible effects of orbit error are minimized by adjusting the orbits into a common ocean surface. Seasonal mean changes in the surface height are recognizable during the Geosat ERM. The multi-year measurements indicate the surface was lower by 0.4 +/- 0.4 m on average in late summer 1987 than in late summer 1978. The surface was lower by 0.2 +/- 0.5 m on average in late summer 1988 than in late summer 1978. As a control case, the computations art also carried out using altimetry referenced to orbits not adjusted into a common ocean surface.
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.
Brozen, Madeline; Batina, Matthew; Parker, Stephen; Brooks, Christopher
The objective of the first phase of this project was to determine the feasibility of applying satellite altimetry data to monitor sea level rise and inundation within coastal Louisiana. Global sea level is rising, and coastal Louisiana is subsiding. Therefore, there is a need to monitor these trends over time for coastal restoration and hazard mitigation efforts. TOPEX/POSEIDON and Jason-data are used for global sea level estimates and have also been demonstrated successfully in water level studies of lakes, river basins, and floodplains throughout the world. To employ TOPEX/POSEIDON and Jason-1 data in coastal regions, the numerous steps involved in processing the data over non-open ocean areas must be assessed. This project outlined the appropriate methodology for processing non-open ocean data, including retracking and atmospheric corrections. It also inventoried the many factors in coastal land loss including subsidence, sea level rise, coastal geomorphology, and salinity levels, among others, through a review of remote sensing and field methods. In addition, the project analyzed the socioeconomic factors within the Coastal Zone as compared to the rest of Louisiana. While sensor data uncertainty must be addressed, it was determined that it is feasible to apply radar altimetry data from TOPEX/POSEIDON and Jason 1 to see trends in change within Coastal Louisiana since
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.
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.
Lichten, Stephen M.
The advent of satellite altimetry has greatly improved our ability to observe global ocean circulation. However, the swath of a single, nadir-viewing satellite altimeter is only a few km and the track spacing is several hundred km to resolve the two-dimensional structure of ocean eddies. Our goal is to increase spatial and temporal coverage by monitoring Global Positioning System (GPS) signals reflected from the ocean. A constellation of spacecraft would each carry a GPS receiver capable of recording 8 reflections simultaneously. The reflections are well distributed in azimuth and elevation and can be tracked continuously while the satellite is in view, and another is then acquired, as illustrated below. The diagram depicts a new approach at altimetry measurements where ocean surface reflected GPS signals are simultaneously tracked and processed in a GPS flight receiver in space. The reflected GPS signals from the ocean must be compared precisely with the direct GPS signals in order to infer the characteristics of the ocean from the combined data set. Understanding the features and accuracy of GPS altimetry measurement is crucial to establishing its suitability for oceanography. Preliminary work has enabled us to theoretically model the signal output of the correlator for a variety of system parameters such as wind speed (sea roughness), receiver height, incidence angle, receiver range and Doppler filter bandwidth and antenna gain. Expected signal-to-noise ratio has been estimated from which we have inferred, to a first approximation, the basic receiver gain requirements for a space-based altimeter and the expected range raw error. In 1998, work on a different task led to the extraction of the first reflected GPS signal observed from a spaceborne receiver during the 1995 Space Transportation System-68 (STS-68) Shuttle Radar Laboratory-2 (SRL-2) high resolution synthetic aperture radar mission. Good comparisons with our signal models have been obtained. Having
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.
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.
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
Brenner, Anita; Frey, Herb; DiMarzio, John; Tsaoussi, Lucia
The results of the surface topography mapping of South America during the ERS-1 geodetic mission are presented. The altimeter waveforms, the range measurement, and the internal and Doppler range corrections were obtained. The atmospheric corrections and solid tides were calculated. Comparisons between Shuttle laser altimetry and ERS-1 altimetry grid showed good agreement. Satellite radar altimetry data can be used to improve the topographic knowledge of regions for which only poor elevation data currently exist.
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
Blair, J. B.; Rabine, D.; Hofton, M. A.; Citrin, E.; Luthcke, S. B.; Misakonis, A.; Wake, S.
Full waveform laser altimetry has demonstrated its ability to capture highly-accurate surface topography and vertical structure (e.g. vegetation height and structure) even in the most challenging conditions. NASA's high-altitude airborne laser altimeter, LVIS (the Land Vegetation, and Ice Sensor) has produced high-accuracy surface maps over a wide variety of science targets for the last 2 decades. Recently NASA has funded the transition of LVIS into a full-time NASA airborne Facility instrument to increase the amount and quality of the data and to decrease the end-user costs, to expand the utilization and application of this unique sensor capability. Based heavily on the existing LVIS sensor design, the Facility LVIS instrument includes numerous improvements for reliability, resolution, real-time performance monitoring and science products, decreased operational costs, and improved data turnaround time and consistency. The development of this Facility instrument is proceeding well and it is scheduled to begin operations testing in mid-2016. A comprehensive description of the LVIS Facility capability will be presented along with several mission scenarios and science applications examples. The sensor improvements included increased spatial resolution (footprints as small as 5 m), increased range precision (sub-cm single shot range precision), expanded dynamic range, improved detector sensitivity, operational autonomy, real-time flight line tracking, and overall increased reliability and sensor calibration stability. The science customer mission planning and data product interface will be discussed. Science applications of the LVIS Facility include: cryosphere, territorial ecology carbon cycle, hydrology, solid earth and natural hazards, and biodiversity.
Moussavi, M. S.; Abdalati, W.; Scambos, T. A.
As the ICESat-2 mission is expected to enable large-scale assessment of terrestrial biomass, there is some concern as to whether the current instrument design will meet its ecosystem science objectives. This concern originates from the use of a low energy laser and photon-counting detector in the proposed instrument configuration that over densely vegetated areas, receives a low return (very few photons) from the ground surface. Canopy height retrievals (canopy elevation minus ground elevation) may be challenging in such areas. Here, we investigate a means of deriving canopy height using low-return-level photon-counting laser altimetry data, simulating the expected return from the planned ICESat-2 ATLAS sensor. To this end, an automatic methodology is developed, based on increasing the signal-to-noise ratio using the statistics of frames of multiple shots in the along-track direction that are comparable to the ICESat-2 footprints. We present the preliminary results of the proposed algorithm that are validated against the full-rate airborne photon counting lidar data and Digital Surface Models of the study areas. With canopy height residuals ranging from 1.34 - 1.86 m, initial results indicate promising performance over forested ecosystems of canopy closure up to 75%. These results will aid in developing data processing and analysis methods for future ICESat-2 measurements in order to maximize its application to this important science objective.
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.
Paiva, R. C.; Collischonn, W.; Bonnet, M.; Goncalves, L.; Getirana, A.; Calmant, S.
Large-scale hydrological models and forecast systems may be important tools to reduce the vulnerability of local population in places such as the Amazon River basin, where extreme hydrological events have occurred in the past few years. Due to the size of the basin and the slow speed of movement of its floods, uncertainty on model initial conditions (ICs) may play an important role for discharge forecasts using large scale hydrological models, even for relatively large lead times (~ 1 to 3 months). Data assimilation (DA) methods may provide an interesting way of merging both in situ and newly remotely sensed observations with models to estimate optimal ICs. We present the development and evaluation of a data assimilation framework for both gauged and radar altimetry based discharge and water levels into a large scale hydrological-hydrodynamic model of the Amazon River basin. We also explore the usefulness of such system to provide streamflow forecasts when forced by past climate and based mostly on model initial conditions. This work is in the context of recent developments of techniques for integrating information from models and remotely sensed data, and also of regional/global hydrological forecast systems including poorly gauged basins. We use the conceptual and physically based MGB-IPH model. The model uses the Penman Monteith for evapotranspiration and the Moore and Clarke model for soil water storage. River dynamics is simulated using full Saint-Venant equations and a simple floodplain storage model. The model was forced using satellite-derived daily rainfall (TRMM 3B42). We implemented a DA scheme based on the Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) capable of assimilating three types of data: (1) discharge observations; (2) water levels provided by the ENVISAT radar altimeter; and (3) discharge estimated from radar altimetry. All state variables of the hydrological model were updated at each analyses time step. Model state variables errors were generated by
Rutishauser, A.; Grima, C.; Sharp, M. J.; Blankenship, D. D.; Young, D. A.; Dowdeswell, J. A.
Under present warming conditions, summer surface melt has been observed to intensify and shift towards higher elevations in the accumulation zones of Canadian Arctic ice caps. Consequently, more meltwater percolates into the near surface snow and firn, and refreezes as ice layers. This process can lead to a significant increase in firn densification rates. Knowledge of spatiotemporal variations of the near-surface firn density, especially the distribution of ice layer formation is of great importance when assessing mass change estimates from repeat altimetry measurements. Here, we present an approach for characterizing the near-surface firn stratigraphy and determining the spatial distribution of refrozen melt layers on Devon Ice Cap, using the surface echo from airborne radio-echo sounding (RES) measurements. The RES surface echo is affected by the upper few meters of snow/firn/ice and thus contains information about the near-surface properties. More specifically, the radar surface return is a combination of a coherent (Pc) and a scattering signal component (Pn). Pc is related to the dielectric constant of the probed surface, whereas Pn is related to the near surface roughness. Hence, different near-surface snow/firn properties can be investigated by analyzing the signal components Pc and Pn and their spatial variability. The Radar Statistical Reconnaissance (RSR) methodology  allows the extraction of Pc and Pn from the surface radar return, which then can be used to compute near-surface roughness and firn density estimates. We apply the RSR method to RES data collected on Devon Ice Cap and determine Pc and Pn values. We then compare the results to ground based RES measurements and shallow firn cores (~11 m deep) collected along the airborne RES flight lines. This comparison shows that variations in the scattering coefficient Pn correlate to changes in the pattern of near-surface firn stratigraphy revealed by the ground based RES data and firn cores. Based on
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.
Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Barbieri, Kristine; DiMarzio, John P.; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui
A primary purpose of satellite altimeter measurements is determination of the mass balances of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and changes with time by measurement of changes in the surface elevations. Since the early 1990's, important measurements for this purpose have been made by radar altimeters on ERS-l and 2, Envisat, and CryoSat and a laser altimeter on ICESat. One principal factor limiting direct comparisons between radar and laser measurements is the variable penetration depth of the radar signal and the corresponding location of the effective depth of the radar-measured elevation beneath the surface, in contrast to the laser-measured surface elevation. Although the radar penetration depth varies significantly both spatially and temporally, empirical corrections have been developed to account for this effect. Another limiting factor in direct comparisons is caused by differences in the size of the laser and radar footprints and their respective horizontal locations on the surface. Nevertheless, derived changes in elevation, dHldt, and time-series of elevation, H(t), have been shown to be comparable. For comparisons at different times, corrections for elevation changes caused by variations in the rate offrrn compaction have also been developed. Comparisons between the H(t) and the average dH/dt at some specific locations, such as the Vostok region of East Antarctic, show good agreement among results from ERS-l and 2, Envisat, and ICESat. However, Greenland maps of dHidt from Envisat and ICESat for the same time periods (2003-2008) show some areas of significant differences as well as areas of good agreement. Possible causes of residual differences are investigated and described.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Rincon, Rafael F.
The reconfigurable L-Band radar is an ongoing development at NASA/GSFC that exploits the capability inherently in phased array radar systems with a state-of-the-art data acquisition and real-time processor in order to enable multi-mode measurement techniques in a single radar architecture. The development leverages on the L-Band Imaging Scatterometer, a radar system designed for the development and testing of new radar techniques; and the custom-built DBSAR processor, a highly reconfigurable, high speed data acquisition and processing system. The radar modes currently implemented include scatterometer, synthetic aperture radar, and altimetry; and plans to add new modes such as radiometry and bi-static GNSS signals are being formulated. This development is aimed at enhancing the radar remote sensing capabilities for airborne and spaceborne applications in support of Earth Science and planetary exploration This paper describes the design of the radar and processor systems, explains the operational modes, and discusses preliminary measurements and future plans.
Cheney, Robert E.
Since altimetry data are not really old enough to use the term data archaeology, Mr. Cheney referred to the stewardship of these data. He noted that it is very important to document the basis for an altimetry data set as the algorithms and corrections used to arrive at the Geophysical Data Record (GDR) have been improving and are continuing to improve the precision of sea level data derived from altimetry. He noted that the GEOSAT Exact Repeat Mission (ERM) data set has recently been reprocessed by his organization in the National Ocean Service of NOAA and made available to the scientific community on CD/ROM disks by the National Oceanographic Data Center of the U.S. (NODC). The new data set contains a satellite orbit more precise by an order of magnitude together with an improved water vapor correction. A new, comprehensive GDR Handbook has also been prepared.
Gwenzi, David; Lefsky, Michael A.; Suchdeo, Vijay P.; Harding, David J.
The next planned spaceborne lidar mission is the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2), which will use the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) sensor, a photon counting technique. To pre-validate the capability of this mission for studying three dimensional vegetation structure in savannas, we assessed the potential of the measurement approach to estimate canopy height in an oak savanna landscape. We used data from the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), an airborne photon counting lidar sensor developed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. ATLAS-like data was generated using the MATLAS simulator, which adjusts MABEL data's detected number of signal and noise photons to that expected from the ATLAS instrument. Transects flown over the Tejon ranch conservancy in Kern County, California, USA were used for this work. For each transect we chose to use data from the near infrared channel that had the highest number of photons. We segmented each transect into 50 m, 25 m and 14 m long blocks and aggregated the photons in each block into a histogram based on their elevation values. We then used an automated algorithm to identify cut off points where the cumulative density of photons from the highest elevation indicates the presence of the canopy top and likewise where such cumulative density from the lowest elevation indicates the mean terrain elevation. MABEL derived height metrics were moderately correlated to discrete return lidar (DRL) derived height metrics (r2 and RMSE values ranging from 0.60 to 0.73 and 2.9 m to 4.4 m respectively) but MATLAS simulation resulted in more modest correlations with DRL indices (r2 ranging from 0.5 to 0.64 and RMSE from 3.6 m to 4.6 m). Simulations also indicated that the expected number of signal photons from ATLAS will be substantially lower, a situation that reduces canopy height estimation precision especially in areas of low density vegetation cover. On the basis of the simulated
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.
Andersen, O. B.; Bondo, T.; Cheng, Y.
Lack of adequate spatial and temporal sea level observations in the Arctic Ocean is one of the most challenging problems in the study of changes in sea level and ocean circulation in the Arctic Ocean today. Especially as sea level variation in the Arctic Ocean plays an important role in the global climate system. Only a few tide gauges with long time series exists (1933-> present). Preliminarily investigations show that several of these are not indicative of sea level changes but rather of changes in river flows due to their position so a careful editing is required. The use of satellite altimetry (1992->present) is hampered due to a suite of problems. The error on sea level recovery increases, standard retracking removes most data in areas of sea ice and furthermore most of the Arctic is not covered due to the inclination of the satellites. Only the radar altimeters on board ERS and ENVISAT and the laser altimeter on board ICESAT have so far provided sparse information about Arctic sea level change. However, the combined relatively long operation period of the three satellites has now made it possible to investigate annual and decadal sea level variations. Together with similar results from ocean models like GECCO, MICOM and University of Washington Ocean model we aim to improve the recovery of sea level changes in the Arctic Ocean on annual to inter-decadal scale and the first result for this work will be presented. The presentation is a contribution to the EU supported projects MONARCH and MyOcean.
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.
Kirchner, P. B.; Bales, R. C.; Musselman, K. N.; Molotch, N. P.
We investigated the influence of canopy on snow accumulation and melt in a mountain forest using paired snow on and snow off scanning LiDAR altimetry, synoptic measurement campaigns and in-situ time series data of snow depth, SWE, and radiation collected from the Kaweah River watershed, Sierra Nevada, California. Our analysis of forest cover classified by dominant species and 1 m2 grided mean under canopy snow accumulation calculated from airborne scanning LiDAR, demonstrate distinct relationships between forest class and under-canopy snow depth. The five forest types were selected from carefully prepared 1 m vegetation classifications and named for their dominant tree species, Giant Sequoia, Jeffrey Pine, White Fir, Red Fir, Sierra Lodgepole, Western White Pine, and Foxtail Pine. Sufficient LiDAR returns for calculating mean snow depth per m2 were available for 31 - 44% of the canopy covered area and demonstrate a reduction in snow depth of 12 - 24% from adjacent open areas. The coefficient of variation in snow depth under canopies ranged from 0.2 - 0.42 and generally decreased as elevation increased. Our analysis of snow density snows no statistical significance between snow under canopies and in the open at higher elevations with a weak significance for snow under canopies at lower elevations. Incident radiation measurements made at 15 minute intervals under forest canopies show an input of up to 150 w/m2 of thermal radiation from vegetation to the snow surface on forest plots. Snow accumulated on the mid to high elevation forested slopes of the Sierra Nevada represents the majority of winter snow storage. However snow estimates in forested environments demonstrate a high level of uncertainty due to the limited number of in-situ observations and the inability of most remote sensing platforms to retrieve reflectance under dense vegetation. Snow under forest canopies is strongly mediated by forest cover and decoupled from the processes that dictate accumulation
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.
Benveniste, Jerome; Lucas, Bruno; DInardo, Salvatore
The prime objective of the SEOM (Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions) element is to federate, support and expand the large international research community that the ERS, ENVISAT and the Envelope programmes have build up over the last 20 years for the future European operational Earth Observation missions, the Sentinels. Sentinel-3 builds directly on a proven heritage of ERS-2 and Envisat, and CryoSat-2, with a dual-frequency (Ku and C band) advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar Altimeter (SRAL) that provides measurements at a resolution of ~300m in SAR mode along track. Sentinel-3 will provide exact measurements of sea-surface height along with accurate topography measurements over sea ice, ice sheets, rivers and lakes. The first of the two Sentinels is expected to be launched in early 2015. The current universal altimetry toolbox is BRAT (Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox) which can read all previous and current altimetry mission's data, but it does not have the capabilities to read the upcoming Sentinel-3 L1 and L2 products. ESA will endeavour to develop and supply this capability to support the users of the future Sentinel-3 SAR Altimetry Mission. BRAT is a collection of tools and tutorial documents designed to facilitate the processing of radar altimetry data. This project started in 2005 from the joint efforts of ESA (European Space Agency) and CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales), and it is freely available at http://earth.esa.int/brat. The tools enable users to interact with the most common altimetry data formats, the BratGUI is the front-end for the powerful command line tools that are part of the BRAT suite. BRAT can also be used in conjunction with Matlab/IDL (via reading routines) or in C/C++/Fortran via a programming API, allowing the user to obtain desired data, bypassing the data-formatting hassle. BRAT can be used simply to visualise data quickly, or to translate the data into other formats such as netCDF, ASCII text files, KML (Google Earth
... 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.
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.
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.
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.