Science.gov

Sample records for airborne radar altimeter

  1. 77 FR 21834 - Airborne Radar Altimeter Equipment (For Air Carrier Aircraft)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-11

    ... 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...

  2. The evolutionary trend in airborne and satellite radar altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fedor, L. S.; Walsh, E. J.

    1984-01-01

    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.

  3. Comparison of retracking algorithms using airborne radar and laser altimeter measurements of the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraro, Ellen J.; Swift, Calvin T.

    1995-05-01

    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.

  4. MARA (Multimode Airborne Radar Altimeter) system documentation. Volume 1: MARA system requirements document

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parsons, C. L. (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    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.

  5. Ice-type classifications from airborne pulse-limited radar altimeter return waveform characteristics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fedor, L. S.; Hayne, G. S.; Walsh, E. J.

    1989-01-01

    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.

  6. Comparison of Retracking Algorithms Using Airborne Radar and Laser Altimeter Measurements of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferraro, Ellen J.; Swift, Calvin T.

    1995-01-01

    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.

  7. Ku band airborne radar altimeter observations of marginal sea ice during the 1984 Marginal Ice Zone Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drinkwater, Mark R.

    1991-01-01

    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.

  8. 77 FR 3323 - Airborne Radar Altimeter Equipment (For Air Carrier Aircraft)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-23

    ... [Federal Register Volume 77, Number 14 (Monday, January 23, 2012)] [Notices] [Pages 3323-3324] [FR... Engineering Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012-1243 Filed 1-20-12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE... cancelling TSO-C67. Please note that TSO-C87, Airborne Low Range Radio Altimeter, is currently used for...

  9. Program Analyzes Radar Altimeter Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandemark, Doug; Hancock, David; Tran, Ngan

    2004-01-01

    A computer program has been written to perform several analyses of radar altimeter data. The program was designed to improve on previous methods of analysis of altimeter engineering data by (1) facilitating and accelerating the analysis of large amounts of data in a more direct manner and (2) improving the ability to estimate performance of radar-altimeter instrumentation and provide data corrections. The data in question are openly available to the international scientific community and can be downloaded from anonymous file-transfer- protocol (FTP) locations that are accessible via links from altimetry Web sites. The software estimates noise in range measurements, estimates corrections for electromagnetic bias, and performs statistical analyses on various parameters for comparison of different altimeters. Whereas prior techniques used to perform similar analyses of altimeter range noise require comparison of data from repetitions of satellite ground tracks, the present software uses a high-pass filtering technique to obtain similar results from single satellite passes. Elimination of the requirement for repeat-track analysis facilitates the analysis of large amounts of satellite data to assess subtle variations in range noise.

  10. Operation of a Radar Altimeter over the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grund, Matthew D.

    1996-01-01

    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.

  11. Electromagnetic bias of 10-GHz radar altimeter measurements of MSL

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choy, L. W.; Hammond, D. L.; Uliana, E. A.

    1984-01-01

    Electromagnetic bias, the small difference that exists between the radar measured mean sea level and the geometric mean sea level is an important issue in high precision satellite altimetry. Present day satellite altimetry has achieved, with SEASAT-1, a precision of 5 cm rms in the range measurement. Future altimeter designs are expected to improve the range measurement precision to cm rms. In order to exploit the capability of these precise radar altimeters are marine geodesy and oceanography, it is necessary to understand and account for all of the known biases in the range measurement. The electromagnetic bias or the EM bias, which has been attributed to the observed fact that ocean wave troughs tend to be better reflectors of nadir viewing microwave radar energy than ocean wave crests, can be observed with high resolution airborne radar. This report presents the results of the EM bias measurements made by NRL using an airborne radar altimeter operating at 10 GHz with a 1 ns range resolution. Data were taken for various sea states and wind conditions. The experimental results are compared with current theories.

  12. Issues related to waveform computations for radar altimeter applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newkirk, Michael H.; Brown, Gary S.

    1992-12-01

    An algorithm has been developed to model the average return power waveforms available from general radar altimeter systems, such as the Multimode Airborne Radar Altimeter (MARA) system operated at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Wallops Flight Facility. The algorithm is based on a convolutional model comprised of three functions: the average flat surface impulse response (FSIR), the radar system point target response (PTR), and the height pdf of the specular points on the sea surface. The FSIR is modified to account for the asymmetric antenna beam used by the MARA system, and then certain properties of this modified SIR are exploited to obtain closed-form expressions that can be rapidly evaluated. An FFT convolution routine is used to further speed up the computations. The result is an algorithm that can be used to study the effects of pointing errors in surface measurements.

  13. Radar altimeter calibration using SLR

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klosko, Steven M.

    1994-01-01

    Clearly a calibration of the TOPEX altimeter (and future TOPEX-class altimeters) which is more accurate and better prepared to meet the demands of global sea level trend monitoring is warranted. TOPEX/Posideon (T/P) is in its second year of data acquisition. If it survives or surpasses the two to five year projected baseline, an unprecedented opportunity for monitoring global sea level trends at mm/y levels will have been lost due to insufficient accuracy in its altimeter calibration. It is therefore paramount to revisit the design of the T/P calibration experiment and implement a more direct approach which better utilizes the accuracy of SLR to perform this needed bias assessment.

  14. FPGA Sequencer for Radar Altimeter Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berkun, Andrew C.; Pollard, Brian D.; Chen, Curtis W.

    2011-01-01

    A sequencer for a radar altimeter provides accurate attitude information for a reliable soft landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). This is a field-programmable- gate-array (FPGA)-only implementation. A table loaded externally into the FPGA controls timing, processing, and decision structures. Radar is memory-less and does not use previous acquisitions to assist in the current acquisition. All cycles complete in exactly 50 milliseconds, regardless of range or whether a target was found. A RAM (random access memory) within the FPGA holds instructions for up to 15 sets. For each set, timing is run, echoes are processed, and a comparison is made. If a target is seen, more detailed processing is run on that set. If no target is seen, the next set is tried. When all sets have been run, the FPGA terminates and waits for the next 50-millisecond event. This setup simplifies testing and improves reliability. A single vertex chip does the work of an entire assembly. Output products require minor processing to become range and velocity. This technology is the heart of the Terminal Descent Sensor, which is an integral part of the Entry Decent and Landing system for MSL. In addition, it is a strong candidate for manned landings on Mars or the Moon.

  15. Evaluation of meteorological airborne Doppler radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hildebrand, P. H.; Mueller, C. K.

    1984-01-01

    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.

  16. Radar altimeter waveform modeled parameter recovery. [SEASAT-1 data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Satellite-borne radar altimeters include waveform sampling gates providing point samples of the transmitted radar pulse after its scattering from the ocean's surface. Averages of the waveform sampler data can be fitted by varying parameters in a model mean return waveform. The theoretical waveform model used is described as well as a general iterative nonlinear least squares procedures used to obtain estimates of parameters characterizing the modeled waveform for SEASAT-1 data. The six waveform parameters recovered by the fitting procedure are: (1) amplitude; (2) time origin, or track point; (3) ocean surface rms roughness; (4) noise baseline; (5) ocean surface skewness; and (6) altitude or off-nadir angle. Additional practical processing considerations are addressed and FORTRAN source listing for subroutines used in the waveform fitting are included. While the description is for the Seasat-1 altimeter waveform data analysis, the work can easily be generalized and extended to other radar altimeter systems.

  17. TOPEX Project Radar Altimeter Development Requirements and Specifications, Version 6.0

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rossi, Laurence C.

    2003-01-01

    This document provides the guidelines by which the TOPEX Radar Altimeter hardware development effort for the TOPEX flight project shall be implemented and conducted. The conduct of this activity shall take maximum advantage of the efforts expended during the TOPEX Radar Altimeter Advanced Technology Model development program and other related Radar Altimeter development efforts. This document complies with the TOPEX Project Office document 633-420 (D-2218), entitled, "TOPEX Project Requirements and Constraints for the NASA Radar Altimeter" dated December 1987.

  18. Analysis and retracking of continental ice sheet radar altimeter waveforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, T. V.; Brenner, A. C.; Zwally, H. J.; Bindschadler, R. A.

    1983-01-01

    The Seasat-1 radar altimeter data set acquired over both the Antarctic and Greenland continental ice sheets is analyzed to obtain corrected ranges to the ice surface. The radar altimeter functional response over the continental ice sheets is considerably more complex than over the oceans. Causal factors identified in this complicated response include sloping surfaces, undulating ice surfaces with characteristic wavelengths on the same spatial scale as the altimeter beam-limited footprint, off-track reflections, and dynamic lag of the altimeter tracking circuit. Retracking methods using the altimeter return pulse waveforms give range corrections that are typically several meters. The entire set of Seasat-1 altimetry over the continental ice sheets is being retracked by fitting a multi-parameter function to each waveform. Many waveforms have double ramps indicating near-normal reflections from two distinct portions of the ice surface within the altimeter beam. Two independent range measurements differing by less than 25 m are obtained from retracking the double-ramp waveforms.

  19. GEOS-3 radar altimeter study for the South Atlantic Bight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leitao, C. D.; Huang, N.; Parsons, C. L.; Parra, C. G.; Mcmill, J. D.; Hayes, G. S.

    1980-01-01

    Three years of radar altimeter data from GEOS-3 for the South Atlantic Bight were processed. Mean monthly topographic maps were produced which estimate geostrophic flow in the region. Statistical distribution of the surface wind speed and significant wave height as a function of both space and time are presented.

  20. A Comparison of Snow Depth on Sea Ice Retrievals Using Airborne Altimeters and an AMSR-E Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Marksu, T.; Ivanoff, A.; Miller, J. A.; Brucker, L.; Sturm, M.; Maslanik, J. A.; Heinrichs, J. F.; Gasiewski, A.; Leuschen, C.; Krabill, W.; Sonntag, J.

    2011-01-01

    A comparison of snow depths on sea ice was made using airborne altimeters and an Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) simulator. The data were collected during the March 2006 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Arctic field campaign utilizing the NASA P-3B aircraft. The campaign consisted of an initial series of coordinated surface and aircraft measurements over Elson Lagoon, Alaska and adjacent seas followed by a series of large-scale (100 km ? 50 km) coordinated aircraft and AMSR-E snow depth measurements over portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. This paper focuses on the latter part of the campaign. The P-3B aircraft carried the University of Colorado Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR-A), the NASA Wallops Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) lidar altimeter, and the University of Kansas Delay-Doppler (D2P) radar altimeter. The PSR-A was used as an AMSR-E simulator, whereas the ATM and D2P altimeters were used in combination to provide an independent estimate of snow depth. Results of a comparison between the altimeter-derived snow depths and the equivalent AMSR-E snow depths using PSR-A brightness temperatures calibrated relative to AMSR-E are presented. Data collected over a frozen coastal polynya were used to intercalibrate the ATM and D2P altimeters before estimating an altimeter snow depth. Results show that the mean difference between the PSR and altimeter snow depths is -2.4 cm (PSR minus altimeter) with a standard deviation of 7.7 cm. The RMS difference is 8.0 cm. The overall correlation between the two snow depth data sets is 0.59.

  1. Tides on the Patagonian shelf from the Seasat radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parke, M. E.

    1981-01-01

    The purpose of the study described here is to show comparisons between measurements of the sea surface height by the Seasat radar altimeter and tidal elevations based on gauge data along the coast for two passes by the satellite along the shelf. The results provide initial confirmation that tides can be detected in this region by way of satellite altimetry. The study extends a similar presentation by Parke (1980).

  2. Titan dune heights retrieval by using Cassini Radar Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastrogiuseppe, M.; Poggiali, V.; Seu, R.; Martufi, R.; Notarnicola, C.

    2014-02-01

    The Cassini Radar is a Ku band multimode instrument capable of providing topographic and mapping information. During several of the 93 Titan fly-bys performed by Cassini, the radar collected a large amount of data observing many dune fields in multiple modes such as SAR, Altimeter, Scatterometer and Radiometer. Understanding dune characteristics, such as shape and height, will reveal important clues on Titan's climatic and geological history providing a better understanding of aeolian processes on Earth. Dunes are believed to be sculpted by the action of the wind, weak at the surface but still able to activate the process of sand-sized particle transport. This work aims to estimate dunes height by modeling the shape of the real Cassini Radar Altimeter echoes. Joint processing of SAR/Altimeter data has been adopted to localize the altimeter footprints overlapping dune fields excluding non-dune features. The height of the dunes was estimated by applying Maximum Likelihood Estimation along with a non-coherent electromagnetic (EM) echo model, thus comparing the real averaged waveform with the theoretical curves. Such analysis has been performed over the Fensal dune field observed during the T30 flyby (May 2007). As a result we found that the estimated dunes' peak to trough heights difference was in the order of 60-120 m. Estimation accuracy and robustness of the MLE for different complex scenarios was assessed via radar simulations and Monte-Carlo approach. We simulated dunes-interdunes different composition and roughness for a large set of values verifying that, in the range of possible Titan environment conditions, these two surface parameters have weak effects on our estimates of standard dune heights deviation. Results presented here are the first part of a study that will cover all Titan's sand seas.

  3. Space-qualified fiber optic link for radar altimeter applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suter, Joseph J.; Poret, Jay C.; Rosen, Moshe; Giannini, Judith A.; Bhatnagar, Vipul; Kilgus, Charles C.

    1993-09-01

    This paper reports on the system design of an rf-modulated optical link for spaceborne radar altimeter applications and presents results of rf carrier phase noise and phase stability measurements. Our study involved the transmission of rf-modulated optical signals at 834 nm wavelengths using Bias-T and Mach-Zehnder modulators. The rf/microwave signals' phase coherence, modulation levels, and insertion loss are reported. Phase noise measurements revealed a noise floor of at least -118 dBc/Hz at frequencies greater than 100 Hz from a 5-MHz carrier with direct modulation. The phase noise was degraded by about 10 dBc/Hz for external modulation techniques. The rf insertion losses appear smallest for the Bias-T intensity modulators (approximately 30 dB at an 834 nm optical carrier with 5 MHz modulation). The results of modulation experiments with 320 MHz radar altimeter chirps are also presented with an emphasis on coherence, stability, and rise and fall time. The linear FM chirp signal ramps down at a rate of -3.125 MHz/microsecond(s) (+/- 0.5%) and is flat to within +/- 1 dB. Measurements show that this type of FM chirp modulated on optical carriers at 834 nm meets radar altimeter system requirements.

  4. Integration of radar altimeter, precision navigation, and digital terrain data for low-altitude flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zelenka, Richard E.

    1992-01-01

    Avionic systems that depend on digitized terrain elevation data for guidance generation or navigational reference require accurate absolute and relative distance measurements to the terrain, especially as they approach lower altitudes. This is particularly exacting in low-altitude helicopter missions, where aggressive terrain hugging maneuvers create minimal horizontal and vertical clearances and demand precise terrain positioning. Sole reliance on airborne precision navigation and stored terrain elevation data for above-ground-level (AGL) positioning severely limits the operational altitude of such systems. A Kalman filter is presented which blends radar altimeter returns, precision navigation, and stored terrain elevation data for AGL positioning. The filter is evaluated using low-altitude helicopter flight test data acquired over moderately rugged terrain. The proposed Kalman filter is found to remove large disparities in predicted AGL altitude (i.e., from airborne navigation and terrain elevation data) in the presence of measurement anomalies and dropouts. Previous work suggested a minimum clearance altitude of 220 ft AGL for a near-terrain guidance system; integration of a radar altimeter allows for operation of that system below 50 ft, subject to obstacle-avoidance limitations.

  5. GEOSAT Follow-On Radar Altimeter Satellite Performance Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finkelstein, J. L.; Rau, M.; McMillan, J. D.

    2002-12-01

    Under a Navy Contract with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, the first GFO satellite was completed in 1997 and launched on 10 February 1998 on an Orbital Taurus launch vehicle. The satellite was operationally accepted on 29 November 2000. With an anticipated 8-year or more life, GFO (http://gfo.bmpcoe.org/Gfo) is a DoD satellite mission managed by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command's (SPAWAR's) Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) Systems Program Office (PMW 155) located in San Diego, California. The satellite is in the same Exact Repeat Orbit (ERO) as the original GEOSAT (800 km by 108 degrees inclination). All GFO's data products are available to the scientific community and are distributed by NOAA's Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry. The primary program objective was to develop an operational series of radar altimeter satellites to maintain continuous ocean observation for accurate global measurements of both mesoscale and basin-scale oceanography. Since its acceptance, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), under contract with the Navy, has provided a team known as the GFO Cal/Val and assisted by NASA and NOAA personnel has undertaken extensive and continuing calibration and validation activities on an exact repeat cycle basis. This paper will discuss the results of those Cal/Val efforts and present charts showing the performance history of the satellite, its sensors (both the Radar Altimeter and the Water Vapor Radiometer), and other relevant performance measures such as orbit accuracy.

  6. Mapping of airborne Doppler radar data

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, W.; Dodge, P.; Marks, F.D. Jr.; Hildebrand, P.H. NOAA, Miami, FL )

    1994-04-01

    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.

  7. A theoretical model for airborne radars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faubert, D.

    1989-11-01

    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.

  8. Calibration of Envisat radar altimeter over Lake Issykkul

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crétaux, J.-F.; Bergé-Nguyen, M.; Calmant, S.; Romanovski, V. V.; Meyssignac, B.; Perosanz, F.; Tashbaeva, S.; Arsen, A.; Fund, F.; Martignago, N.; Bonnefond, P.; Laurain, O.; Morrow, R.; Maisongrande, P.

    2013-04-01

    This study presents the results of calibration/validation (C/V) of Envisat satellite radar altimeter over Lake Issykkul located in Kyrgyzstan, which was chosen as a dedicated radar altimetry C/V site in 2004. The objectives are to estimate the absolute altimeter bias of Envisat and its orbit based on cross-over analysis with TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P), Jason-1 and Jason-2 over the ocean. We have used a new method of GPS data processing in a kinematic mode, developed at the Groupe de Recherche de Geodesie Spatiale (GRGS), which allows us to calculate the position of the GPS antenna without needing a GPS reference station. The C/V is conducted using various equipments: a local GPS network, a moving GPS antenna along the satellites tracks over Lake Issykkul, In Situ level gauges and weather stations. The absolute bias obtained for Envisat from field campaigns conducted in 2009 and 2010 is between 62.1 and 63.4 ± 3.7 cm, using the Ice-1 retracking algorithm, and between 46.9 and 51.2 cm with the ocean retracking algorithm. These results differ by about 10 cm from previous studies, principally due to improvement of the C/V procedure. Apart from the new algorithm for GPS data processing and the orbit error reduction, more attention has been paid to the GPS antenna height calculation, and we have reduced the errors induced by seiche over Lake Issykkul. This has been assured using cruise data along the Envisat satellite track at the exact date of the pass of the satellite for the two campaigns. The calculation of the Envisat radar altimeter bias with respect to the GPS levelling is essential to allow the continuity of multi-mission data on the same orbit, with the expected launch of SARAL/Altika mission in 2012. Implications for hydrology in particular, will be to produce long term homogeneous and reliable time series of lake levels worldwide.

  9. Engineering studies related to the GEOS-C radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, L. S.; Brown, G. S.

    1974-01-01

    Experiment requirements, technical characteristics, and GEOS-C radar altimeter related analyses are discussed along with results of a study on engineering test data requirements. Statistical analyses related to determination of wave height resolution achievable as a function of system characteristics and averaging period are described, in addition to a discussion on the desirability of using computer procedures to compensate for altitude tracker time-jitter. Data processing considerations for the GEOS-C system are examined. An extensive analysis of the spatial filter effect is given and results of a computation of geoidal power spectral density, based on Skylab altimeter data, is displayed and interpreted in terms of projected GEOS-C random errors. This information is then used in deriving minimum-mean-square filter procedures for both geoid undulation and slope data. The characteristics of mean received waveforms as a function of off-nadir angle are used to obtain tracker bias as a function of sea state and pointing angle. The angle estimation process proposed by the GEOS-C hardware contractor is also investigated from a standpoint of achievable angular resolution.

  10. A Next Generation Radar Altimeter: The Proposed SWOT Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, L. L.

    2014-12-01

    Conventional nadir-looking radar altimeter is based on pulse-limited footprint approach. Near a coast the pulse limited footprint is contaminated by land within the much larger radar footprint, causing data quality to decay within 10 km from a coast. In the open ocean, the instrument noise limits the detection of dynamic ocean signals to wavelengths longer than 70 km. Using the technique of radar interferometry, the proposed Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Mission would reduce instrument noise to resolve ocean signals to 15 km in wavelength over most of the open ocean without land contamination in the coastal zone. Sea surface height would be measured in two dimensions over a swath 120 km wide across the satellite's flight path. SWOT is under development as a joint mission of NASA and the French Space Agency, CNES, with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency and the UK Space Agency. The launch is baselined for 2020. An overview of the projected mission performance for oceanographic applications will be presented. SWOT would also measure the elevation of land surface water with hydrological applications.

  11. Remote sensing of Gulf Stream using GEOS-3 radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leitao, C. D.; Huang, N. E.; Parra, C. G.

    1978-01-01

    Radar altimeter measurements from the GEOS-3 satellite to the ocean surface indicated the presence of expected geostrophic height differences across the the Gulf Stream. Dynamic sea surface heights were found by both editing and filtering the raw sea surface heights and then referencing these processed data to a 5 minute x 5 minute geoid. Any trend between the processed data and the geoid was removed by subtracting out a linear fit to the residuals in the open ocean. The mean current velocity of 107 + or - 29 cm/sec calculated from the dynamic heights for all orbits corresponded with velocities obtained from hydrographic methods. Also, dynamic topographic maps were produced for August, September, and October 1975. Results pointed out limitations in the accuracy of the geoid, height anomaly deteriorations due to filtering, and lack of dense time and space distribution of measurements.

  12. DTED Integrity Monitoring Using Differential GPS and Radar Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Steve; deHaag, Maarten Uijt; Gray, Robert

    2007-01-01

    This paper discusses a real-time digital terrain elevation data (DTED) integrity monitor for Civil Aviation applications. Providing pilots with Synthetic Vision (SV) displays containing terrain information has the potential to improve flight safety by improving situational awareness and thereby reducing the likelihood of Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT). Utilization of the DTED for flight-critical terrain-displays, however, requires a DTED integrity check and timely integrity alerts to the pilots in those cases where DTED may provide hazardous misleading information. The discussed integrity monitor checks the consistency between the sensed terrain profile as computed from DGPS and radar altimeter data and the terrain profile as given by the DTED. Probability of agreement between these two profiles is used to monitor the DTED integrity. A case study to verify the integrity monitor#s performance is presented based on data collected during flight testing performed by NASA at Asheville, NC.

  13. Advanced application flight experiment breadboard pulse compression radar altimeter program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    Design, development and performance of the pulse compression radar altimeter is described. The high resolution breadboard system is designed to operate from an aircraft at 10 Kft above the ocean and to accurately measure altitude, sea wave height and sea reflectivity. The minicomputer controlled Ku band system provides six basic variables and an extensive digital recording capability for experimentation purposes. Signal bandwidths of 360 MHz are obtained using a reflective array compression line. Stretch processing is used to achieve 1000:1 pulse compression. The system range command LSB is 0.62 ns or 9.25 cm. A second order altitude tracker, aided by accelerometer inputs is implemented in the system software. During flight tests the system demonstrated an altitude resolution capability of 2.1 cm and sea wave height estimation accuracy of 10%. The altitude measurement performance exceeds that of the Skylab and GEOS-C predecessors by approximately an order of magnitude.

  14. End-to-end design consideration of a radar altimeter for terrain-aided navigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chun, Joohwan; Choi, Sanghyouk; Paek, Inchan; Park, Dongmin; Yoo, Kyungju

    2013-10-01

    We present a preliminary simulation study of an interferometric SAR altimeter for the terrain-aided navigation application. Our simulation includes raw SAR data generation, azimuth compression, leading edge detection of the echo signal, maximum likelihood angle estimation and the Bayesian state estimation. Sour results show that radar altimeter performance can be improved with the feedback loop from the rear-end navigation part.

  15. New Radar Altimeter Missions are Providing a Dramatically Sharper Image of Global Marine Tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandwell, D. T.; Müller, D.; Garcia, E.; Matthews, K. J.; Smith, W. H. F.; Zaron, E.; Zhang, S.; Bassett, D.; Francis, R.

    2015-12-01

    Marine gravity, derived from satellite radar altimetry, is a powerful tool for mapping tectonic structures, especially in the deep ocean basins where the topography remains unmapped by ships or is buried by thick sediment. The ability to infer seafloor tectonics from space was first demonstrated in 1978 using Seasat altimeter data but the spatial coverage was incomplete because of the short three-month lifetime of the satellite. Most ocean altimeters have repeat ground tracks with spacings of hundreds of kilometers so they do not resolve tectonic structures. Adequate altimeter coverage became available in 1995 when the United States Navy declassified the Geosat radar altimeter data and the ERS-1 altimeter completed a 1-year mapping phase. These mid-1990's altimeter-derived images of the ocean basins remained static for 15 years because there were no new non-repeat altimeter missions. This situation changed dramatically in 2010 when CryoSat-2, with its advanced radar altimeter, was launched into a non-repeat orbit and continues to collect data until perhaps 2020. In addition the Jason-1 altimeter was placed into a 14-month geodetic phase at the end of its lifetime. More recently the 1.5 times higher precision measurements from the AltiKa altimeter aboard the SARAL spacecraft began to drift away from its 35-day repeat trackline. The Chinese HY-2 altimeter is scheduled to begin a dense mapping phase in early 2016. Moreover in 2020 we may enjoy significantly higher resolution maps of the ocean basins from the planned SWOT altimeter mission with its advanced swath mapping ability. All of this new data will provide a much sharper image of the tectonics of the deep ocean basins and continental margins. During this talk we will tour of the new tectonic structures revealed by CryoSat-2 and Jason-1 and speculate on the tectonic views of the ocean basins in 2020 and beyond.

  16. A High Resolution Radar Altimeter to Measure the Topography of Ice Sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pawul, Rudolf A.

    1997-01-01

    This thesis is a reference for the Advanced Application Flight Experiment (AAFE) altimeter. The transmitter and receiver subsections are described and measurements of their current state is provided. During the 1994 NASA Greenland Experiment, the altimeter experienced several hardware malfunctions. The process of returning the radar to its fully operational state is presented in detail and necessary design modifications are explained. An updated radar user's manual is included along with various circuit designs which need to be implemented. The thesis is intended to provide an incoming graduate student with a solid foundation of the fundamentals of AAFE altimeter operation.

  17. Analysis of Airborne Radar Altimetry Measurements of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferraro, Ellen J.

    1994-01-01

    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.

  18. Wideband radar for airborne minefield detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, William W.; Burns, Brian; Dorff, Gary; Plasky, Brian; Moussally, George; Soumekh, Mehrdad

    2006-05-01

    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.

  19. 14 CFR 121.357 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 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....

  20. 14 CFR 121.357 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 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....

  1. 14 CFR 121.357 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 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....

  2. 14 CFR 121.357 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 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....

  3. 14 CFR 121.357 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 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....

  4. TOPEX Radar Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report. Update: Launch to January 1, 1997

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hancock, D. W., III; Hayne, G. S.; Brooks, R. L.; Lee, J. E.; Lockwood, D. W.

    1997-01-01

    The initial TOPEX Mission Radar Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report, in February 1994, presented performance results for the NASA Radar Altimeter on the TOPEX/POSEIDON spacecraft, from its launch in August 1992 to February 1994. There have been supplemental Engineering Assessment Reports, issued in March 1995 and again in May 1996, which updated the performance results through the end of calendar years 1994 and 1995, respectively. This supplement updates the altimeter performance to the end of calendar year 1996, and describes significant events that occurred during 1996. As the performance data base has expanded, and as analysis tools and techniques continue to evolve, the longer-term trends of the altimeter data have become more apparent. The updated findings are presented here.

  5. An Ultra Wide-Band Radar Altimeter for Ice Sheet Surface Elevation and Snow Cover Over Sea Ice Measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patel, A. E.; Gogineni, P. S.; Leuschen, C.; Rodriguez-Morales, F.; Panzer, B.

    2010-12-01

    The Ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are losing mass at a rapid rate and there has been significant decrease in sea ice volume over the last few years. CryoSat-II with optimized radar altimeter for ice-sheet and sea ice surface elevation measurements is launched. We developed ultra wide-band FM-CW radar that operates over the frequency range from 13-17 GHz for airborne measurements. The radar is designed to provide high-resolution surface-elevation data and also map near surface layers in polar firn with high precision. It is designed to generate an ultra linear transmit chirp using a fast settling PLL with a reference signal from Direct Digital Synthesizer (DDS). The pulse length of the transmit chirp is 240-us and pulse repetition frequency is 2-KHz. The peak transmit power of the system is 100-mW, radiated using horn antennas. The radar was deployed in Greenland and Antarctica in 2009-10 as a part of Operation Ice Bridge campaign to collect data in conjunction with other instruments including Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and Digital Mapping System Camera (DMS). The radar also collected data under the Cryosat-II path. This paper will provide an overview of the Ku-Band radar design along with results from the 2009-2010 field campaigns. The data collected over polar firn shows near surface internal layers down to a depth of about 15-m with a resolution of 15-cm. When flying over sea ice the radar provides snow cover thickness data to a depth of about 0.5-m. Even over highly crevassed areas, such as outlet glaciers, the radar is able to detect large surface elevation changes of a few tens of meters with high resolution.

  6. Airborne Radar Interferometric Repeat-Pass Processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hensley, Scott; Michel, Thierry R.; Jones, Cathleen E.; Muellerschoen, Ronald J.; Chapman, Bruce D.; Fore, Alexander; Simard, Marc; Zebker, Howard A.

    2011-01-01

    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.

  7. Airborne Differential Doppler Weather Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meneghini, R.; Bidwell, S.; Liao, L.; Rincon, R.; Heymsfield, G.; Hildebrand, Peter H. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    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

  8. Radar altimeter mean return wave forms from near-normal-incidence ocean surface scattering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayne, G. S.

    1980-01-01

    For a nearly Gaussian transmitted pulse shape scattered from a nearly Gaussian distributed sea surface, a small argument series expansion of one term lead to a several term power series expression for the mean return waveform. Specific expressions are given for the first four terms. These results, which require less computer time than numerical convolution, are useful for data analysis from current or past radar altimeters and for design studies of future systems. Several representative results are presented for an idealized Seasat-1 radar altimeter.

  9. An atlas of 1976 GEOS-3 radar altimeter data for tropical cyclone studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanley, H. R.; Chan, B.; Givens, C.; Taylor, R.

    1979-01-01

    The means for locating and extracting GEOS-3 altimeter data acquired for the analysis of specific hurricanes, typhoons, and other tropical cyclones are presented. These data are also expected to be extremely useful in the analysis of the behavior of the altimeter instrument in the presence of severe meteorological disturbances as well as provide a data base which can be useful in the resolution of apparently anomalous geoid or sea surface characteristics. Geographic locations of 1976 tropical cyclones were correlated with the closest approaching orbits of the GEOS-3 satellite and its radar altimeter. The cyclone locations and altimeter data were correlated for the 1976 season. The area of coverage includes the northern hemisphere. This document is a sequel to NASA TM-X-69364 which covered the majority of the 1975 season.

  10. Reduced backscattering cross section (Sigma degree) data from the Skylab S-193 radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, G. S.

    1975-01-01

    Backscattering cross section per unit scattering area data, reduced from measurements made by the Skylab S-193 radar altimeter over the ocean surface are presented. Descriptions of the altimeter are given where applicable to the measurement process. Analytical solutions are obtained for the flat surface impulse response for the case of a nonsymmetrical antenna pattern. Formulations are developed for converting altimeter AGC outputs into values for the backscattering cross section. Reduced data are presented for Missions SL-2, 3 and 4 for all modes of the altimeter where sufficient calibration existed. The problem of interpreting land scatter data is also discussed. Finally, a comprehensive error analysis of the measurement is presented and worst case random and bias errors are estimated.

  11. The corrections for significant wave height and attitude effects in the TOPEX radar altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayne, G. S.; Hancock, D. W.; Purdy, C. L.; Callahan, P. S.

    1994-12-01

    The routine ground processing of data from the NASA radar altimeter of TOPEX/POSEIDON includes instrument corrections for the effects of significant wave height and attitude angle changes on the altimeter's estimates of range, backscattered power, and significant wave height. This paper describes how these instrument corrections were generated and how they are applied. Detailed waveform fitting to telemetered waveform samples is use to assess the effectiveness of the corrections. There are several altimeter hardware-caused small waveform departures from the model waveforms and these departures, designated waveform 'features', are described in detailed. A consequence of the waveform features, and their positioning relationship to range rate, is that range data for ground tracks moving toward the equator may differ systematically by about a centimeter compared to range data for ground tracks moving away from the equator. The results and discussion are limited to side A of the redundant altimeter, as only side A has been operated on orbit.

  12. 14 CFR 135.175 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 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...

  13. 14 CFR 135.175 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 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. 14 CFR 125.223 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 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...

  15. 14 CFR 125.223 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 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...

  16. 14 CFR 135.175 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 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...

  17. 14 CFR 125.223 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 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...

  18. 14 CFR 125.223 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 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...

  19. 14 CFR 135.175 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 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...

  20. 14 CFR 125.223 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 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...

  1. 14 CFR 135.175 - Airborne weather radar equipment requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 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...

  2. Understanding the effects of rain on radar altimeter waveforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quartly, G. D.; Srokosz, M. A.; Guymer, T. H.

    1998-11-01

    For the past 20 years, altimeters have been used for observing the oceans, deriving the sea surface height, significant wave height and backscattered power (the latter being related to the wind speed). In recent years, the quality of the observations has increased remarkably, with the improved tracking and orbits of the Topex altimeter, and its operation simultaneously at two frequencies. However throughout all this time, the presence of atmospheric liquid water, whether as clouds or rain, has been found to detract seriously from the performance of the altimeter, with suspect data being discarded on a combination of blunder point tests and radiometrically-derived rain flags. We examine the waveforms (returns from the sea surface) for the Topex altimeter, illustrating the effect of an approaching rain cell and showing how the derived geophysical variables are affected. Comparisons are made between observed and simulated waveforms. Further, using the additional C-band return pulses, methods are presented for deriving realistic wind and wave height profiles across severe storms.

  3. A digital elevation model of the Greenland ice sheet and validation with airborne laser altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bamber, Jonathan L.; Ekholm, Simon; Krabill, William B.

    1997-01-01

    A 2.5 km resolution digital elevation model (DEM) of the Greenland ice sheet was produced from the 336 days of the geodetic phase of ERS-1. During this period the altimeter was operating in ice-mode over land surfaces providing improved tracking around the margins of the ice sheet. Combined with the high density of tracks during the geodetic phase, a unique data set was available for deriving a DEM of the whole ice sheet. The errors present in the altimeter data were investigated via a comparison with airborne laser altimeter data obtained for the southern half of Greenland. Comparison with coincident satellite data showed a correlation with surface slope. An explanation for the behavior of the bias as a function of surface slope is given in terms of the pattern of surface roughness on the ice sheet.

  4. The Next Generation Airborne Polarimetric Doppler Radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vivekanandan, J.; Lee, Wen-Chau; Loew, Eric; Salazar, Jorge; Chandrasekar, V.

    2013-04-01

    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

  5. The wide swath ocean altimeter: radar interferometry for global ocean mapping with centimetric accuracy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pollard, Brian D.; Rodriguez, Ernesto; Veilleux, Louise; Akins, Torry; Brown, Paula; Kitiyakara, Amirit; Zawadski, Mark

    2002-01-01

    We have developed an instrument concept that combines a conventional nadir altimeter with a radar interferometer to meet the above requirements. In this paper, we describe the overall mission concept and the interferometric radar design. We also describe several new technology developments that facilitate the inclusion of this instrument on a small, inexpensive spacecraft bus. Those include ultra-light, deployable reflectarray antennas for the radar interferometer; a novel five frequency feed horn for the radiometer and altimeter; a lightweight, low power integrated three frequency radiometer; and a field programmable gate array-based onboard data processor. Finally, we discuss recent algorithm developments for the onboard date processing, and present the expected instatements performance improvements over previously reported results.

  6. Ocean current surface measurement using dynamic elevations obtained by the GEOS-3 radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leitao, C. D.; Huang, N. E.; Parra, C. G.

    1977-01-01

    Remote Sensing of the ocean surface from the GEOS-3 satellite using radar altimeter data has confirmed that the altimeter can detect the dynamic ocean topographic elevations relative to an equipotential surface, thus resulting in a reliable direct measurement of the ocean surface. Maps of the ocean dynamic topography calculated over a one month period and with 20 cm contour interval are prepared for the last half of 1975. The Gulf Stream is observed by the rapid slope change shown by the crowding of contours. Cold eddies associated with the current are seen as roughly circular depressions.

  7. Removing interfering clutter associated with radar pulses that an airborne radar receives from a radar transponder

    DOEpatents

    Ormesher, Richard C.; Axline, Robert M.

    2008-12-02

    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.

  8. Measuring Geophysical Parameters of the Greenland Ice Sheet using Airborne Radar Altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferraro, Ellen J.; Swift. Calvin T.

    1995-01-01

    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.

  9. GEOS-3 ocean current investigation using radar altimeter profiling. [Gulf Stream surface topography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leitao, C. D.; Huang, N. E.; Parra, C. G.

    1978-01-01

    Both quasi-stationary and dynamic departures from the marine geoid were successfully detected using altitude measurements from the GEOS-3 radar altimeter. The quasi-stationary departures are observed either as elevation changes in single pass profiles across the Gulf Stream or at the crowding of contour lines at the western and northern areas of topographic maps generated using altimeter data spanning one month or longer. Dynamic features such as current meandering and spawned eddies can be monitored by comparing monthly mean maps. Comparison of altimeter inferred eddies with IR detected thermal rings indicates agreement of the two techniques. Estimates of current velocity are made using derived slope estimates in conjunction with the geostrophic equation.

  10. New Scientific Applications With Envisat Radar Altimeter Iindividual Echoes Over Ocean, Land and Ice.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gommenginger, C.; Challenor, P.; Srokosz, M.; Quartly, G.; Berry, P.; Freeman, J.; Rogers, C.; Haynes, S.; Benveniste, J.

    2006-12-01

    The ENVISAT Radar Altimeter (RA-2) is the first spaceborne altimeter to provide bursts of up to 2000 un- averaged individual echoes (IE), and for which both amplitude and phase data are available. This paper presents latest findings in our ongoing investigations into the exploitation of these new data products for new scientific applications over the ocean, land and ice surfaces. Analyses of the amplitude of individual echoes bursts already indicate much greater information content and the possibility for much higher spatial resolution over non-ocean surfaces than previously thought possible. More recent investigations of the phase have revealed particularly exciting new avenues of research, including the exploitation of phase fluctuations over the ocean to derive new information on the ocean wave spectrum. Equally unexpected and promising are the new results obtained when exploring the behaviour of the altimeter phase over land and ice surfaces.

  11. Measuring the Lake Level Evolution in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with Radar Altimeters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Mondejar, Albert; Martinez Val, Bernat; Escorihuela, Ma Jose; Nilo Garcia, Pablo; Martin-Puig, Cristina; Yang, Jungang; Liao, Jingjuan

    2014-11-01

    The lake-level change is one of the important indicators for the water balance of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). In this region lake level is directly affected by the temperature both upstream and in the surroundings. In addition, other factors like: precipitation, evaporation, glaciers, perennial snow cover and permafrost do have an impact as well. With global climate warming, it is becoming more necessary to strengthen the monitoring of lake levels. Although there are thousands of lakes in the QTP, most of them are in remote areas with difficult accessibility. Therefore, it is difficult to set up hydrological stations for the monitoring. Remote sensing offers a convenient solution for continuous monitoring over that region This paper presents the comparison of the lake level evolutions measured with current altimeters since 2010 and the followed methodology to process and cross calibrate the data. A description of the improvements achieved with the incorporation of the new high resolution altimeters, the Chinese first altimeter and the Ka band altimeter will also be incorporated. The Qinghai and the Zhari Namco lakes have been selected in order to validate the methodology independently for each radar altimeter and later retrieve the time series for the rest of the Plateau lakes. This is an ongoing study. The mid-term results presented here will be updated and presented in the following Dragon-3 symposiums.

  12. Detection of tides on the Patagonian shelf by the SEASAT satellite radar altimeter - An initial comparison

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parke, M. E.

    1980-01-01

    The detection of tides on the Patagonian shelf off Argentina by the SEASAT satellite radar altimeter is reported. The satellite data was obtained during two passes of the satellite over the shelf on August 1 and August 4, 1978, and compared with empirical estimates of the tidal elevation along the satellite ground tracks based on coastal tide gage data, an estimate of tidal variation over the shelf, and the tidal prediction equations of Shureman (1958). Good agreement was observed between the satellite data of sea surface height with respect to a standard ellipsoid and the empirical estimate for the near-shore pass, with agreement degraded slightly for the pass further off shore. It is concluded that the generally good agreement found demonstrates the applicability of satellite radar altimeter data to the determination of tides and that small length scale fluctuations in the geoid are minor along the two ground tracks.

  13. Observations of the surface of Titan by the Radar Altimeters on the Huygens Probe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, R. D.; Svedhem, H.; Trautner, R.; Kofman, W.; Herique, A.; Plettemeier, D.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Witasse, O.; Falkner, P.; Floury, N.; Ferri, F.

    2016-05-01

    Results from the radar altimeters on board the Huygens probe are reported, noting the content of data archived on the NASA Planetary Data System and its ESA counterpart. These instruments provide unique high-resolution information on the topography and electrical properties of the Titan surface over a ∼15 km track across a boundary between a bright highland and the dark dissected alluvial terrain on which the probe landed. The highland appears ∼100 m higher than the dark terrain. The dark terrain has a fairly high nadir radar backscatter, consistent with terrestrial lakebeds and alluvial surfaces, and shows small (5-10 m) elevation fluctuations. Possible signatures of surface or volume scattering in the backscatter amplitude and intermediate frequency spectrum are discussed. A previously-undocumented characteristic of the Automatic Gain Control (AGC) on the flight altimeter is noted.

  14. Skylab radar altimeter - Short-wavelength perturbations detected in ocean surface profiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leitao, C. D.; Mcgoogan, J. T.

    1974-01-01

    Short-wavelength anomalies in sea surface topography, caused by the gravitational effects of major ocean bottom topographic features, have been detected by the radar altimeter aboard Skylab. Some features, such as deep ocean trenches, seamounts, and escarpments, displace the ocean surface by as much as 15 meters over 100-kilometer wavelengths. This experiment demonstrates the potential of satellite altimetry for determining the ocean geoid and for mapping major features of the ocean bottom.

  15. Skylab radar altimeter: short-wavelength perturbations detected in ocean surface profiles.

    PubMed

    Leitao, C D; McGoogan, J T

    1974-12-27

    Short-wavelength anomalies in sea surface topography, caused by the gravitational effects of major ocean bottom topographic features, have been detected by the radar altimeter aboard Skylab. Some features, such as deep ocean trenches, seamounts, and escarpments, displace the ocean surface by as much as 15 meters over 100-kilometer wavelengths. This experiment demonstrates the potential of satellite altimetry for determining the ocean geoid and for mapping major features of the ocean bottom. PMID:17833933

  16. An improvement on OCOG algorithm in satellite radar altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Tao; Jiu, Dehang

    The Offset Center of Gravity (OCOG) algorithm is a new tracking algorithm based on estimate of the pulse amplitude, the pulse width and the true center of area of the pulse. It's obvious that this algorithm is sufficiently robust to permit the altimeter to keep tracking many kinds of surfaces. Having analyzed the performance of this algorithm, it is discovered that the algorithm performs satisfactorily in high SNR environments, but fails in low SNR environments. The cause of the degradation of its performance is studied and it is pointed out that to the Brown return model and the sea ice return model, the performance of the OCOG algorithm can be improved in low SNR environments by using noise gate.

  17. Comparison of TRMM Precipitation Radar and Airborne Radar Data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durden, S. L.; Im, E.; Haddad, Z. S.; Li, L.

    2003-06-01

    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.

  18. Design of a large dual polarized Ku band reflectarray for space borne radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hodges, Richard E.; Zawadzki, Mark

    2004-01-01

    We describe the design of a large dual-beam, dual polarized reflectarray designed for a space-based radar altimeter. This application requires a 2.16 X 0.35 m aperture that can be folded for launch stowage. Low mass and >50% efficiency are also required. A reflectarray antenna offers the best approach but also presents unique technical challenges since a reflectarry has never been used in a space based radar application. In what follows, we describe the design, analysis and measurements of a breadboard test array built to demonstrate the reflectarray concept.

  19. The S-193 radar altimeter experiment. [onboard Skylab for earth surface profile measurement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgoogan, J. T.; Miller, L. S.; Brown, G. S.; Hayne, G. S.

    1974-01-01

    The Skylab S-193 altimeter experiment utilizes a 10- and 100-ns pulse length, 13.9-GHz earth-pointed radar system to obtain earth-surface backscatter measurements from the Skylab spacecraft. Objectives of the experiment are to obtain precision measurements of surface profile for uses in geodesy, oceanography, and earth physics, and to measure radar-signal characteristics from an earth-orbit geometry to provide design information for future radar remote-sensors. The technical approach is that of measuring the power impulse response of the scattering surface. The hardware is designed to operate in five modes: waveform or impulse-response measurement and altitude determination; radar cross-section experiment; signal correlation experiment; 10-nsec pulse-compression evaluation; and nadir-seeker experiment.

  20. Validation of Airborne FMCW Radar Measurements of Snow Thickness Over Sea Ice in Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galin, Natalia; Worby, Anthony; Markus, Thorsten; Leuschen, Carl; Gogineni, Prasad

    2012-01-01

    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.

  1. The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS): An Airborne Laser Altimeter for Mapping Vegetation and Topography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bryan, J.; Rabine, David L.

    1998-01-01

    The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) is an airborne laser altimeter designed to quickly and extensively map surface topography as well as the relative heights of other reflecting surfaces within the laser footprint. Since 1997, this instrument has primarily been used as the airborne simulator for the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) mission, a spaceborne mission designed to measure tree height, vertical structure and ground topography (including sub-canopy topography). LVIS is capable of operating from 500 m to 10 km above ground level with footprint sizes from 1 to 60 m. Laser footprints can be randomly spaced within the 7 degree telescope field-of-view, constrained only by the operating frequency of the ND:YAG Q-switched laser (500 Hz). A significant innovation of the LVIS altimeter is that all ranging, waveform recording, and range gating are performed using a single digitizer, clock base, and detector. A portion of the outgoing laser pulse is fiber-optically fed into the detector used to collect the return signal and this entire time history of the outgoing and return pulses is digitized at 500 Msamp/sec. The ground return is then located using software digital signal processing, even in the presence of visibly opaque clouds. The surface height distribution of all reflecting surfaces within the laser footprint can be determined, for example, tree height and ground elevation. To date, the LVIS system has been used to monitor topographic change at Long Valley caldera, CA, as part of NASA's Topography and Surface Change program, and to map tree structure and sub-canopy topography at the La Selva Biological Research Station in Costa Rica, as part of the pre-launch calibration activities for the VCL mission. We present results that show the laser altimeter consistently and accurately maps surface topography, including sub-canopy topography, and vegetation height and structure. These results confirm the measurement concept of VCL and highlight the benefits of

  2. Ocean circulation modeling by use of radar altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olbers, Dirk; Alpers, W.; Hasselmann, K.; Maier-Reimer, E.; Kase, R.; Krauss, W.; Siedler, G.; Willebrand, J.; Zahel, W.

    1991-01-01

    The project will investigate the use of radar altimetry (RA) data in the determination of the ocean circulation models. RA data will be used to verify prognostic experiments of the steady state and seasonal cycle of large-scale circulation models and the statistical steady state of eddy-resolving models. The data will serve as initial and update conditions in data assimilation experiments and as constraints in inverse calculations. The aim of the project is a better understanding of ocean physics, the determination and mapping of ocean currents, and a contribution to the establishment of ocean circulation models for climate studies. The goal of the project is to use satellite radar altimetry data for improving our knowledge of ocean circulation both in a descriptive sense and through the physics that govern the circulation state. The basic tool is a series of ocean circulation models. Depending on the model, different techniques will be applied to incorporate the RA data.

  3. An initial assessment of the performance achieved by the Seasat-1 radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, W. F.

    1980-01-01

    The results of an initial on-orbit engineering assessment of the performance achieved by the radar altimeter system flown on SEASAT-1 are presented. Additionally, the general design characteristics of this system are discussed and illustrations of altimeter data product are provided. The instrument consists of a 13.5 GHz monostatic radar system that tracks in range only using a one meter parabolic antenna pointed at the satellite nadir. Two of its unique features are a linear FM transmitter with 320 MHz bandwidth which yields a 3.125 nanosecond time delay resolution, and microprocessor implemented closed loop range tracking, automatic gain control (AGC), and real time estimation of significant wave height (SWH). Results presented show that the altimeter generally performed in accordance with its orginal performance requirments of measuring altitude to a precision of less the 10 cm RMS, significant wave height to an accuracy of + or - 0.5 m or 10%, whichever is greater, and ocean backscatter coefficient to an accuracy of + or - 1 db, all over an SWH range of 1 to 20 meters.

  4. Photon-counting multikilohertz microlaser altimeters for airborne and spaceborne topographic measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degnan, John J.

    2002-11-01

    We consider the optimum design of photon-counting microlaser altimeters operating from airborne and spaceborne platforms under both day and night conditions. Extremely compact, passively Q-switched microlaser transmitters produce trains of low energy pulses at multi-kHz rates and can easily generate subnanosecond pulsewidths for precise ranging. To guide the design, we have modeled the solar noise background and developed simple algorithms, based on post-detection Poisson filtering (PDPF), to optimally extract the weak altimeter signal from a high noise background during daytime operations. The advantages of photon-counting detector arrays followed by multichannel timing receivers for high resolution topographic mapping are discussed. Practical technology issues, such as detector and/or receiver dead times and their impact on signal detection and ranging accuracy and resolution, have also been considered in the analysis. The theoretical results are reinforced by data from an airborne microlaser altimeter, developed under NASA's Instrument Incubator Program. The latter instrument has operated at several kHz rates from aircraft cruise altitudes up to 6.7 km with laser pulse energies on the order of a few microjoules. The instrument has successfully recorded decimeter accuracy or better single photon returns from man-made structures, tree canopies and underlying terrain and has demonstrated shallow water bathymetry at depths to a few meters. We conclude the discussion by analyzing a photon counting instrument designed to produce, over a mission life of 3 years, a globally contiguous map of the Martian surface, with 5 m horizontal resolution and decimeter vertical accuracy, from an altitude of 300 km. The transmitter power-receive aperture product required is comparable to the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) but the number of individual range measurements to the surface is increased by three to four orders of magnitude. For more modest scientific goals, on a

  5. Photon-Counting Multikilohertz Microlaser Altimeters for Airborne and Spaceborne Topographic Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degnan, John J.; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    We consider the optimum design of photon-counting microlaser altimeters operating from airborne and spaceborne platforms under both day and night conditions. Extremely compact Q-switched microlaser transmitters produce trains of low energy pulses at multi-kHz rates and can easily generate subnanosecond pulse-widths for precise ranging. To guide the design, we have modeled the solar noise background and developed simple algorithms, based on Post-Detection Poisson Filtering (PDPF), to optimally extract the weak altimeter signal from a high noise background during daytime operations. Practical technology issues, such as detector and/or receiver dead times, have also been considered in the analysis. We describe an airborne prototype, being developed under NASA's instrument Incubator Program, which is designed to operate at a 10 kHz rate from aircraft cruise altitudes up to 12 km with laser pulse energies on the order of a few microjoules. We also analyze a compact and power efficient system designed to operate from Mars orbit at an altitude of 300 km and sample the Martian surface at rates up to 4.3 kHz using a 1 watt laser transmitter and an 18 cm telescope. This yields a Power-Aperture Product of 0.24 W-square meter, corresponding to a value almost 4 times smaller than the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter (0. 88W-square meter), yet the sampling rate is roughly 400 times greater (4 kHz vs 10 Hz) Relative to conventional high power laser altimeters, advantages of photon-counting laser altimeters include: (1) a more efficient use of available laser photons providing up to two orders of magnitude greater surface sampling rates for a given laser power-telescope aperture product; (2) a simultaneous two order of magnitude reduction in the volume, cost and weight of the telescope system; (3) the unique ability to spatially resolve the source of the surface return in a photon counting mode through the use of pixellated or imaging detectors; and (4) improved vertical and

  6. The influence of rain and clouds on a satellite dual frequency radar altimeter system operating at 13 and 35 GHz

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, E. J.; Monaldo, F. M.; Goldhirsh, J.

    1983-01-01

    The effects of inhomogeneous spatial attenuation resulting from clouds and rain on the altimeter estimate of the range to mean sea level are modelled. It is demonstrated that typical cloud and rain attenuation variability at commonly expected spatial scales can significantly degrade altimeter range precision. Rain cell and cloud scale sizes and attenuations are considered as factors. The model simulation of altimeter signature distortion is described, and the distortion of individual radar pulse waveforms by different spatial scales of attenuation is considered. Examples of range errors found for models of a single cloud, a rain cell, and cloud streets are discussed.

  7. Simulation of a weather radar display for over-water airborne radar approaches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clary, G. R.

    1983-01-01

    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.

  8. Analysis of microwave backscatter measured by radar altimeter on land to study surface aerodynamic roughness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Le; Liu, Qinhuo

    2012-10-01

    The aerodynamic surface roughness z0 is a key parameter for climate and land-surface models to study surfaceatmosphere exchanges of mass and energy. The roughness length is difficult to estimate without wind speed profile data, which is intractable at regional to global scale. Theoretical formulations of roughness have been developed in terms of canopy attributes such as frontal area, height, and drag coefficient. This paper discusses the potential of radar altimetry, which provides the backscatter coefficient of the land surface at nadir view, to characterise the surface roughness at km scale. The AIEM model and ProSARproSIM are employed to simulate the backscatter coefficient under different surface condition and different observation geometry at bare soil and at pine forest, respectively. The altimetry backscatter decreases with increase of geometric roughness. The microwave backscatter measured at the nadir view is more sensitive to the surface roughness than that at the oblique observation, especially for the smooth surface. The direct forest return is the dominated scattering mechanism for normal incidence at forest area. Since we failed to collect the z0 measurement at arid and semi-arid area with sparse vegetation, the backscatter measurements at Ku and C band of altimeter Jason1 were analyzed with the ground measured aerodynamic surface roughness at three vegetated sites (Da yekou, Yin ke, and Chang Baisan) of China. The relationships we found between Jason1 sigma0 and z0 is not significant, since Jason1 lost track seriously at the three sites. Further research using the altimeter data of Jason2 and Cryosat is possible to demonstrate the potential to map z0 from orbit using radar altimeters.

  9. Performances Study of Interferometric Radar Altimeters: from the Instrument to the Global Mission Definition

    PubMed Central

    Enjolras, Vivien; Vincent, Patrick; Souyris, Jean-Claude; Rodriguez, Ernesto; Phalippou, Laurent; Cazenave, Anny

    2006-01-01

    The main limitations of standard nadir-looking radar altimeters have been known for long. They include the lack of coverage (intertrack distance of typically 150 km for the T/P / Jason tandem), and the spatial resolution (typically 2 km for T/P and Jason), expected to be a limiting factor for the determination of mesoscale phenomena in deep ocean. In this context, various solutions using off-nadir radar interferometry have been proposed by Rodriguez and al to give an answer to oceanographic mission objectives. This paper addresses the performances study of this new generation of instruments, and dedicated mission. A first approach is based on the Wide-Swath Ocean Altimeter (WSOA) intended to be implemented onboard Jason-2 in 2004 but now abandoned. Every error domain has been checked: the physics of the measurement, its geometry, the impact of the platform and external errors like the tropospheric and ionospheric delays. We have especially shown the strong need to move to a sun-synchronous orbit and the non-negligible impact of propagation media errors in the swath, reaching a few centimetres in the worst case. Some changes in the parameters of the instrument have also been discussed to improve the overall error budget. The outcomes have led to the definition and the optimization of such an instrument and its dedicated mission.

  10. Technical guidance and analytic services in support of SEASAT-A. [radar altimeters for altimetry and ocean wave height

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brooks, W. L.; Dooley, R. P.

    1975-01-01

    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.

  11. Elevation Change of the Southern Greenland Ice Sheet from Satellite Radar Altimeter Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haines, Bruce J.

    1999-01-01

    Long-term changes in the thickness of the polar ice sheets are important indicators of climate change. Understanding the contributions to the global water mass balance from the accumulation or ablation of grounded ice in Greenland and Antarctica is considered crucial for determining the source of the about 2 mm/yr sea-level rise in the last century. Though the Antarctic ice sheet is much larger than its northern counterpart, the Greenland ice sheet is more likely to undergo dramatic changes in response to a warming trend. This can be attributed to the warmer Greenland climate, as well as a potential for amplification of a global warming trend in the polar regions of the Northern Hemisphere. In collaboration with Drs. Curt Davis and Craig Kluever of the University of Missouri, we are using data from satellite radar altimeters to measure changes in the elevation of the Southern Greenland ice sheet from 1978 to the present. Difficulties with systematic altimeter measurement errors, particularly in intersatellite comparisons, beset earlier studies of the Greenland ice sheet thickness. We use altimeter data collected contemporaneously over the global ocean to establish a reference for correcting ice-sheet data. In addition, the waveform data from the ice-sheet radar returns are reprocessed to better determine the range from the satellite to the ice surface. At JPL, we are focusing our efforts principally on the reduction of orbit errors and range biases in the measurement systems on the various altimeter missions. Our approach emphasizes global characterization and reduction of the long-period orbit errors and range biases using altimeter data from NASA's Ocean Pathfinder program. Along-track sea-height residuals are sequentially filtered and backwards smoothed, and the radial orbit errors are modeled as sinusoids with a wavelength equal to one revolution of the satellite. The amplitudes of the sinusoids are treated as exponentially-correlated noise processes with a

  12. Identification of human motion signature using airborne radar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, Michael; Damini, Anthony

    2013-09-01

    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.

  13. Measuring Directional Wave Spectra and Wind Speed with a Scanning Radar Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, E. J.; Vandemark, D.; Wright, C. W.; Swift, R. N.; Scott, J. F.; Hines, D. E.

    1999-01-01

    The geometry for the NASA Scanning Radar Altimeter (SRA) is shown. It transmits a 8-ns duration pulse at Ka-band (8.3 mm) and measures time of flight as it scans a 1 degree (two-way) beam from left to right across the aircraft ground track. The most recent configuration determines the surface elevation at 64 points spaced at uniform angular intervals of about 0.7 across a swath whose width is about 0.8 times the aircraft altitude. The system generates these raster lines of the surface topography beneath the aircraft at about a 10 Hz rate. In postflight processing the SRA wave topographic data are transformed with a two-dimensional Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) and Doppler corrected to produce directional wave spectra. The SRA is not absolutely calibrated in power, but by measuring the relative fall-off of backscatter with increasing incidence angle, the SRA can also determine the mean square slope (mss) of the sea surface, a surrogate for wind speed. For the slope-dependent specular point model of radar sea surface scattering, an expression approximated by a geometric optics form, for the relative variation with incidence angle of the normalized backscatter radar cross section would be sigma (sup 0) (sub rel) = sec (exp 4) theta exp (-tan squared theta/mss) where theta is the off-nadir incidence angle.

  14. Synthesis of passive microwave and radar altimeter data for estimating accumulation rates of polar snow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, Curt H.

    1993-01-01

    In this paper, we compare dry-snow extinction coefficients derived from radar altimeter data with brightness temperature data from passive microwave measurements over a portion of the East Antarctic plateau. The comparison between the extinction coefficients and the brightness temperatures shows a strong negative correlation, where the correlation coefficients ranged from -0.87 to -0.95. The extinction coefficient of the dry polar snow decreases with increasing surface elevation, while the average brightness temperature increases with surface elevation. Our analysis shows that the observed trends are related to geographic variations in scattering coefficient of snow, which in turn are controlled by variations in surface temperature and snow accumulation rate. By combining information present in the extinction coefficient and brightness temperature data sets, we develop a model that can be used to obtain quantitative estimates of the accumulation rate of dry polar snow.

  15. The effect of oceanic whitecaps and foams on pulse-limited radar altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zheng, Q. A.; Klemas, V.; Hayne, G. S.; Huang, N. E.

    1983-01-01

    Based on electromagnetic field theory of stratified media, the microwave reflectivity of a sea surface covered by whitecaps and foams at 13.9 GHz was computed. The computed results show that the reflectivity declines with increasing thickness of foams. The reflectivity of the sea surface without any whitecaps or foams is 0.6066 (20 C, S:35 per thousand), but it will be less than 0.15 when the thickness of foam cover is more than 0.3 cm. While gathering the data of whitecap and foam coverage in situ and reviewing whitecapping models, it can be shown that the effect of oceanic whitecaps and foams on the measured results of a pulse-limited radar altimeter working at high frequencies will not be negligible in high sea state conditions.

  16. Large-scale Gulf Stream frontal study using GEOS 3 radar altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, N. E.; Leitao, C. D.; Parra, C. G.

    1978-01-01

    From data obtained by the GEOS 3 radar altimeter, sea surface heights are found by both editing and filtering the raw sea surface height measurements and then referencing these processed data to a 5 foot by 5 foot geoid. Any trend between the processed data and the geoid is removed by subtracting out a linear fit to the residuals in the open ocean. Data from individual passes are further processed by applying a minimum variance technique at the subsatellite crossing points to produce surface topography maps for the 6 months and an overall mean map which reveal important details about the Gulf Stream system. The differences between the monthly mean and the overall mean are calculated for each of the 6 months to show the temporal and spatial changes of the Gulf Stream front and spawned eddies. The standard deviation map is even more informative and shows preferred locations of Gulf Stream meanders.

  17. An atlas of 1975 GEOS-3 radar altimeter data for hurricane/tropical disturbance studies, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanley, H. R.; Chan, B.; Munson, J. R.

    1977-01-01

    Geographic locations of 1975 hurricanes and other tropical disturbances were correlated with the closest approaching orbits of the GEOS-3 satellite and its radar altimeter. The disturbance locations and altimeter data were gathered for a seven-month period beginning with GEOS-3 launch in mid-April 1975. Areas of coverage were the Atlantic Ocean, the Carribean, the Gulf of Mexico, the west coast of the continental United States, and the central and western Pacific Ocean. Volume 1 contains disturbance coverage data for the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Eastern Pacific Ocean. Central and Western Pacific coverage is documented in Volume II.

  18. Spectral combination of land-based, airborne, shipborne and altimeter-derived gravity values: examples in Taiwan and Tahiti

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Cheinway

    2016-04-01

    Taiwan and Tahiti are bordered by seas and are islands with mountain ranges up to 4000 m height. The gravity fields here are rough due to the geodynamic processes that create the islands. On and around the two islands, gravity data have been collected by land gravimeters in relative gravity networks (point-wise), by airborne and shipborne (along-track) methods and by transformations from sea surface heights (altimeter-derived). Typically, network-adjusted land gravity values have accuracies of few tens of micro gals and contain the full gravity spectrum. Airborne gravity values are obtained by filtering original one-HZ along-track gravity values collected at varying flight altitudes that are affected by aircraft dynamics, GPS positioning error and gravimeter error. At a 5000-m flight height, along-track airborne gravity has a typical spatial resolution of 4 km and an accuracy of few mgal. Shipborne gravity is similar to airborne gravity, but with higher spatial resolutions because of ship's lower speed. Altimeter-derived gravity has varying spatial resolutions and accuracies, depending on altimeter data, processing method and extent of waveform interference. Using the latest versions of Geosat/GM, ERS-1/GM, ENVISAT, Jason-1/GM, Cryosat-2 and SARAL altimeter data, one can achieve accuracies at few mgal. The synergy of the four kinds of gravity datasets is made by the band-limited least-squares collocation, which best integrates datasets of different accuracies and spatial resolutions. The method uses the best contributions from a DEM, a global gravity model, available gravity datasets to form an optimal gravity grid. We experiment with different optimal spherical harmonic degrees of EGM08 for use around the two islands. For Tahiti, the optimal degree is 1500. New high-resolution gravity and geoid grids are constructed for the two islands and can be used in future geophysical and geodetic studies.

  19. The Slope Imaging Multi-polarization Photon-counting Lidar: an Advanced Technology Airborne Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dabney, P.; Harding, D. J.; Huss, T.; Valett, S.; Yu, A. W.; Zheng, Y.

    2009-12-01

    The Slope Imaging Multi-polarization Photon-counting Lidar (SIMPL) is an airborne laser altimeter developed through the NASA Earth Science Technology Office Instrument Incubator Program with a focus on cryopshere remote sensing. The SIMPL instrument incorporates a variety of advanced technologies in order to demonstrate measurement approaches of potential benefit for improved airborne laser swath mapping and spaceflight laser altimeter missions. SIMPL incorporates beam splitting, single-photon ranging and polarimetry technologies at green and near-infrared wavelengths in order to achieve simultaneous sampling of surface elevation, slope, roughness and scattering properties, the latter used to differentiate surface types. The transmitter is a 1 nsec pulse width, 11 kHz, 1064 nm microchip laser, frequency doubled to 532 nm and split into four plane-polarized beams using birefringent calcite crystal in order to maintain co-alignment of the two colors. The 16 channel receiver splits the received energy for each beam into the two colors and each color is split into energy parallel and perpendicular to the transmit polarization plane thereby proving a measure of backscatter depolarization. The depolarization ratio is sensitive to the proportions of specular reflection and surface and volume scattering, and is a function of wavelength. The ratio can differentiate, for example, water, young translucent ice, older granular ice and snow. The solar background count rate is controlled by spatial filtering using a pinhole array and by spectral filtering using temperature-controlled narrow bandwidth filters. The receiver is fiber coupled to 16 Single Photon Counting Modules (SPCMs). To avoid range biases due to the long dead time of these detectors the probability of detection per laser fire on each channel is controlled to be below 30%, using mechanical irises and flight altitude. Event timers with 0.1 nsec resolution in combination the narrow transmit pulse yields single

  20. Estimation of Sea Wave Heights by Two-Frequency Cross-Correlation Function of Reflected Signals of a Spaceborne Radar Altimeter with Nadir Synthesis of Antenna Aperture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ka, Min-Ho; Baskakov, Aleksandr I.; Terekhov, Vladimir A.

    In the work we introduce novel approach to remote sensing from space for the estimation of sea wave heights with a spaceborne high precision two-frequency radar altimeter with nadir synthesis antenna aperture. Experiments show considerable reduction of the decorrelation factor of the correlation coefficient and so significant enhancement of the sensitivity of the altimeter for the estimation for the sea wave status.

  1. The NASA Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lou, Yunling; Kim, Yunjin; van Zyl, Jakob

    1996-01-01

    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.

  2. Investigating the Performance of the Jason-2/OSTM Radar Altimeter Over Lakes and Reservoirs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borlett. C/ < /; Beckley, B.

    2010-01-01

    Many inland water investigations utilize archival and near-real time radar altimetry data to enable observation of the variation in surface water level. A multi-altimeter approach allows a more global outlook with improved spatial resolution, and combined long-term observations improve statistical analyses. Central to all programs is a performance assessment of each instrument. Here, we focus on data quantity and quality pertaining to the Poseidon-3 radar altimeter onboard the Jason-2/OSTM satellite.Utilizing an interim data set (IGDR), studies show that the new on-board DIODE/median and DIODE/DEM tracking modes are performing well, acquiring and maintaining the majority of lake and reservoir surfaces in varying terrains. The 20-Hz along-track resolution of the data, and particularly the availability of the range output from the ice-retracker algorithm, also improves the number of valid height measurements. Based on test-case lakes and reservoirs, output from the ice-retracker algorithm is also seen to have a clear advantage over the ocean-retracker having better height stability across calm and icy surfaces, a greater ability to gain coastline waters, and less sensitivity to loss of water surface when there is island contamination in the radar echo. Such on-board tracking and postprocessing retracking enables the lake waters to be quickly gained after coastline crossing. Values can range from <0.1 s to 2.5 s, but the majority of measurements are obtained in less than 0.4 s or <2.3 km from the coast. Validation exercises reveal that targets of 150 km2 surface area and 0.8 km width are able to be monitored offering greater potential to acquire lakes in the 100 C300 km2 size-category. Time series of height variations are also found to be accurate to 3 to 33 cm rms depending on target size and the presence of winter ice. These findings are an improvement over the IGDR/GDR results from the predecessor Jason-1 and TOPEX/Poseidon missions and can satisfy the accuracy

  3. Airborne radar surveys of snow depth over Antarctic sea ice during Operation IceBridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panzer, B.; Gomez-Garcia, D.; Leuschen, C.; Paden, J. D.; Gogineni, P. S.

    2012-12-01

    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 [4]. 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

  4. Description and availability of airborne Doppler radar data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harrah, S. D.; Bracalente, E. M.; Schaffner, P. R.; Baxa, E. G.

    1993-01-01

    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.

  5. Determination of mean surface position and sea state from the radar return of a short-pulse satellite altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrick, D. E.

    1972-01-01

    Using the specular point theory of scatter from a very rough surface, the average backscatter cross section per unit area per radar cell width is derived for a cell located at a given height above the mean sea surface. This result is then applied to predict the average radar cross section observed by a short-pulse altimeter as a function of time for two modes of operation: pulse-limited and beam-limited configurations. For a pulse-limited satellite altimeter, a family of curves is calculated showing the distortion of the leading edge of the receiver output signal as a function of sea state (i.e., wind speed). A signal processing scheme is discussed that permits an accurate determination of the mean surface position--even in high seas--and, as a by-product, the estimation of the significant seawave height (or wind speed above the surface). Comparison of these analytical results with experimental data for both pulse-limited and beam-limited operation lends credence to the model. Such a model should aid in the design of short-pulse altimeters for accurate determination of the geoid over the oceans, as well as for the use of such altimeters for orbital sea-state monitoring.

  6. Crop classification using airborne radar and LANDSAT data. [Colby, Kansas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ulaby, F. T. (Principal Investigator); Li, R. Y.; Shanmugam, K. S.

    1981-01-01

    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.

  7. New Scientific Applications for Ocean, Coastal, Land and Ice Remote Sensing with ENVISAT Radar Altimeter Individual Echoes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gommenginger, C.; Challenor, P.; Gomez-Enri, J.; Quartly, G.; Srokosz, M.; Berry, P. A. M.; Garlick, J.; Cotton, D.; Carter, D.; Rogers, C.; Haynes, S.; LeDuc, I.; Pilar Milagro, M.; Benveniste, J.

    2006-07-01

    The Radar Altimeter on ENVISAT (RA-2) is the first space borne altimeter to provide average waveforms at two radar frequencies as well as bursts of up to 2000 individual echo samples at Ku band, in addition to standard altimeter geophysical products. This paper presents results of a recent study which investigates new scientific applications for ocean, land and ice remote sensing using ENVISAT RA-2 individual echoes. Examples of new applications include the possible use of RA-2 individual waveforms phase measurements to derive new ocean wave spectrum information and the development of improved re-tracking algorithms for rapidly varying land and ice surfaces. Analyses of bursts of individual echoes indicate much greater information content and that higher spatial resolution can be obtained over non-ocean surfaces than previously thought possible. Averaged waveform data at Ku and S band serve also to examine the change of response of ocean and land/ice surfaces with radar wavelength, with implications for a wide range of applications including vegetation and texture studies over land/ice, as well as for rain cell and improved sea state measurements over the ocean and the coastal zone.

  8. TOPEX Radar Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report Update: Side B Turn-On to January 1, 2004. Volume 18

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hancock, David W., III; Lockwood, D. W.; Hayne, G. S.; Brooks, R. L.

    2004-01-01

    This is the eleventh in a series of TOPEX Radar Engineering Assessment Reports, The initial TOPEX Radar Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report, in February 1994, presented performance results for the NASA Radar Altimeter on the TOPEX/POSEIDON spacecraft, from the time of its launch in August 1992 to February 1994. Since the time of that initial report and prior to this report, there have been nine interim supplemental Engineering Assessment Reports, issued in March 1995, May 1996, March 1997, June 1998, August 1999, September 2000, June 2001, March 2002 and again in May 2003.The sixth supplement in September 2000 was the first assessment report that addressed Side B performance, and presented the altimeter performance from the turn-on of Side B until the end of calendar year 1999. This report extends the performance assessment of Side B to the end of calendar year 2003 and includes the performance assessment of Jason-1, the TOPEX follow-on mission, launched on December 7, 2001.

  9. Tilt Modulation Distortions in Wave Topography Measured by a Scanning Radar Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, Edward J.

    1999-01-01

    Work continues on estimating tilt modulation distortions in the wave topography measured by a scanning radar altimeter. To quantify this effect, a two-dimensional simulation has been performed in the cross-track plane only which assumed that sinusoidal waves of constant wavelength propagate in the cross-track direction (and are infinitely long-crested in the along-track direction). The initial results reported earlier for a Gaussian surface scattering model indicated that when the highest reasonable value of mss is used in the simulation (the Plant limit of 0.08), the nadir values of the ratio of the apparent to actual wave height are the same as for the omnidirectional scattering case. But as the off-nadir angle increased, the apparent wave height increased and became larger than the actual wave height by about 10 degrees off-nadir. And the shorter the wavelength, the larger the apparent wave height increase. This represented a systematic over-estimate of the wave amplitude for waves propagating in the cross-track direction. For lower values of mss the situation worsened. The simulation has been improved by incorporating actual variations of backscattered power with incidence angle measured by the SRA instead of the Gaussian model. The resulting distortion was about half that originally reported. The 3-dimensional simulation to model waves propagating at various azimuthal angles relative to the cross-track plane is still in progress. The results of this model will be verified by comparing them with Scanning Radar Altimeter (SRA) data and optimum correction procedures will be developed. An assessment of the improved 2-dimensional model indicates that the distortion will generally be small in the data taken during the Southern Ocean Waves Experiment (SOWEX) presently be analyzed. But tilt modulation effects are of great concern for SRA data collected during the 1998 hurricane season since the minimum aircraft altitude was 1.5 km and it frequently flew higher. For a

  10. Geostatistical Methods For Determination of Roughness, Topography, And Changes of Antarctic Ice Streams From SAR And Radar Altimeter Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herzfeld, Ute C.

    2002-01-01

    The central objective of this project has been the development of geostatistical methods fro mapping elevation and ice surface characteristics from satellite radar altimeter (RA) and Syntheitc Aperture Radar (SAR) data. The main results are an Atlas of elevation maps of Antarctica, from GEOSAT RA data and an Atlas from ERS-1 RA data, including a total of about 200 maps with 3 km grid resolution. Maps and digital terrain models are applied to monitor and study changes in Antarctic ice streams and glaciers, including Lambert Glacier/Amery Ice Shelf, Mertz and Ninnis Glaciers, Jutulstraumen Glacier, Fimbul Ice Shelf, Slessor Glacier, Williamson Glacier and others.

  11. Characterizing Englacial and Subglacial Temperature Structure Using Airborne Radar Sounding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schroeder, D. M.; Seroussi, H. L.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  12. Proceedings of the Third Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanzyl, Jakob J. (Editor)

    1991-01-01

    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.

  13. The NASA/JPL Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lou, Yunling; Kim,Yunjin; vanZyl, Jakob

    1996-01-01

    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.

  14. Hydrometeor discrimination in melting layer using multiparameter airborne radar measurement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kumagai, H.; Meneghini, R.; Kozu, T.

    1992-01-01

    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.

  15. Multifrequency and multipolarization radar scatterometry of sand dunes and comparison with spaceborne and airborne radar images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blom, Ronald; Elachi, Charles

    1987-01-01

    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.

  16. A wing pod-based millimeter wavelength airborne cloud radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vivekanandan, J.; Ellis, S.; Tsai, P.; Loew, E.; Lee, W. C.; Emmett, J.; Dixon, M.; Burghart, C.; Rauenbuehler, S.

    2015-04-01

    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.

  17. A wing pod-based millimeter wavelength airborne cloud radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vivekanandan, J.; Ellis, S.; Tsai, P.; Loew, E.; Lee, W.-C.; Emmett, J.; Dixon, M.; Burghart, C.; Rauenbuehler, S.

    2015-08-01

    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.

  18. Airborne Polarimetric, Two-Color Laser Altimeter Measurements of Lake Ice Cover: A Pathfinder for NASA's ICESat-2 Spaceflight Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, David; Dabney, Philip; Valett, Susan; Yu, Anthony; Vasilyev, Aleksey; Kelly, April

    2011-01-01

    The ICESat-2 mission will continue NASA's spaceflight laser altimeter measurements of ice sheets, sea ice and vegetation using a new measurement approach: micropulse, single photon ranging at 532 nm. Differential penetration of green laser energy into snow, ice and water could introduce errors in sea ice freeboard determination used for estimation of ice thickness. Laser pulse scattering from these surface types, and resulting range biasing due to pulse broadening, is assessed using SIMPL airborne data acquired over icecovered Lake Erie. SIMPL acquires polarimetric lidar measurements at 1064 and 532 nm using the micropulse, single photon ranging measurement approach.

  19. Airborne Doppler radar detection of low altitude windshear

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bracalente, Emedio M.; Jones, William R.; Britt, Charles L.

    1990-01-01

    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.

  20. Airborne radar technology for windshear detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hibey, Joseph L.; Khalaf, Camille S.

    1988-01-01

    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.

  1. CBSIT 2009: Airborne Validation of Envisat Radar Altimetry and In Situ Ice Camp Measurements Over Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Connor, Laurence; Farrell, Sinead; McAdoo, David; Krabill, William; Laxon, Seymour; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline; Markus, Thorsten

    2010-01-01

    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

  2. Greenland annual accumulation along the EGIG line, 1959-2004, from ASIRAS airborne radar and neutron-probe density measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overly, Thomas B.; Hawley, Robert L.; Helm, Veit; Morris, Elizabeth M.; Chaudhary, Rohan N.

    2016-08-01

    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.

  3. Investigation of the applications of GEOS-3 radar altimeter data in remote sensing of land and sea features

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, L. S.

    1977-01-01

    A number of GEOS-3 passes over the Atlantic Ocean and Southeastern U.S. are examined. Surface-truth and radar altimeter data comparisons are given in terms of surface correlation length, signal fluctuation characteristics, and altitude tracker dynamic response. Detailed analyses are given regarding spatial resolution and its dependency on angular backscatter behavior. These analyses include data from passes over ocean (diffuse scatter), land (large body scatter), and mirror-like inland water areas (pseudo-specular scatter). Altimeter data are examined for a pass over a large reservoir and marsh area of differing water levels; this geometry represents a stepchange in altitude which is usable in determination of the transient response of the tracker. The extent to which pulse-length limited operation pertains over-land is examined. A Wiener filter altitude algorithm is discussed which permits specification of tracker variance and geoidal spectral characteristics during operation.

  4. Recent Data Campaigns and Results from the Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS): An Airborne, Medium-Footprint, Full-Waveform, Swath Mapping Laser Altimeter System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blair, J. B.; Hofton, M. A.; Rabine, D. L.; Luthcke, S. B.; Greim, H.

    2005-12-01

    The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) is an airborne, medium-sized footprint laser altimeter system. By digitally recording the shape of the returning laser pulse (waveform), LVIS provides a precise and accurate view of the vertical structure within each footprint/pixel including both the sub-canopy and canopy-top topography. Applications of LVIS data include biomass estimation for a wide variety of forest types, ground surface change detection for tectonic studies, mapping sea surface topography to assist in coastal hazard assessment, and hydrology studies utilizing sub-canopy topography in densely forested regions. Since 1998, LVIS data have been collected in various areas of New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Panama and Costa Rica. The data calibration and geolocation processing system utilizes a formal Bayesian least-squares-estimation of pointing, ranging and timing parameters based on a batch reduction of altimeter range residuals. Data are released publicly on the LVIS website at http://lvis.gsfc.nasa.gov. Results show data precisions of <50 cm are routinely achieved in all forest types and <5 cm in bare ground conditions. Because of its unique capability to simultaneously map vegetation and sub-canopy ground topography, LVIS data can be used to assess the accuracy of other remote sensing systems. For example, ground and canopy top elevations generated by LVIS were used to assess the accuracy of Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) elevations at study sites with different levels of relief and land cover type. Results showed that the mean vertical offset between the SRTM elevations and LVIS ground elevations varied with landcover type and study site location. Comparisons between LVIS and ICESat will also be presented.

  5. NOSS altimeter algorithm specifications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hancock, D. W.; Forsythe, R. G.; Mcmillan, J. D.

    1982-01-01

    A description of all algorithms required for altimeter processing is given. Each description includes title, description, inputs/outputs, general algebraic sequences and data volume. All required input/output data files are described and the computer resources required for the entire altimeter processing system were estimated. The majority of the data processing requirements for any radar altimeter of the Seasat-1 type are scoped. Additions and deletions could be made for the specific altimeter products required by other projects.

  6. Observations of Florida Convective Storms using Dual Wavelength Airborne Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heymsfield, G. M.; Heymsfield, A. J.; Belcher, L.

    2004-01-01

    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.

  7. The NASA/JPL Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Yun-Jin; Lou, Yun-Ling; vanZyl, Jakob

    1996-01-01

    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.

  8. Algorithms for airborne Doppler radar wind shear detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gillberg, Jeff; Pockrandt, Mitch; Symosek, Peter; Benser, Earl T.

    1992-01-01

    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.

  9. Airborne Radar Observations of Severe Hailstorms: Implications for Future Spaceborne Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heymsfield, Gerald M.; Tian, Lin; Li, Lihua; McLinden, Matthew; Cervantes, Jaime I.

    2013-01-01

    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.

  10. An Altimeter Wind Speed Model Using Both Radar Backscatter and Significant Wave Height

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandemark, D.; Gourrion, J.; Bailey, S.; Chapron, B.; Zukor, Dorothy (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The development and validation of a new altimeter wind speed model will be presented. This algorithm provides a direct mapping of TOPEX-measured backscatter and significant wave height to 10 m wind speed. A large scatterometer/altimeter crossover data set was assembled to develop the routine and several large ancillary data sets have been assembled for validation purposes. Validation results suggest that this two input routine provides marginal, yet measurable improvements over the standard single-parameter MCW algorithm.

  11. Real-time simulation of an airborne radar for overwater approaches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karmarkar, J.; Clark, D.

    1982-01-01

    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.

  12. Multiresolution fusion of radar sounder and altimeter data for the generation of high resolution DEMs of ice sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilisei, Ana-Maria; Bruzzone, Lorenzo

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the dynamics and processes of the ice sheets is crucial for predicting the behavior of climate change. A potential approach to achieve this is by using high resolution (HR) digital elevation models (DEMs) of the ice surface derived from remote sensing radar or laser altimeters. Unfortunately, at present HR DEMs of large portions of the ice sheets are not available. To address this issue, in this paper we propose a multisensor data fusion technique for the generation of a HR DEM of the ice sheets, which fuses two types of data, i.e., radargrams acquired by radar sounder (RS) instruments and ice surface elevation data measured by altimeter (ALT) instruments. The aim of the technique is to generate a DEM of the ice surface at the best possible horizontal resolution by exploiting the complementary characteristics of the RS and ALT data. This is done by defining a novel processing scheme that involves image processing techniques based on data rescaling, geostatistical interpolation and multiresolution analysis (MRA). The method has been applied to a subset of RS and ALT data acquired over a portion of the Byrd Glacier in Antarctica. Experimental results confirm the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  13. Probing Shallow Aquifers in Northern Kuwait Using Airborne Sounding Radars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heggy, E.; Fadlelmawla, A.; Farr, T. G.; Al-Rashed, M.

    2011-12-01

    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

  14. Characterizing Subglacial Interfaces With Airborne Radar Sounding Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, M. E.; Blankenship, D. D.; Morse, D. L.

    2004-12-01

    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

  15. Recent ice sheet snow accumulation and firn storage of meltwater inferred by ground and airborne radars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miege, Clement

    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

  16. Recent Airborne Radar Depth Sounding of Recovery Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jilu; Gogineni, Sivaprasad; Yan, Stephen; Mahmood, Ali; Awasthi, Abhishek; Rodriguez-Morales, Fernando

    2015-04-01

    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.

  17. Millimeter-wave radar sensing of airborne chemicals.

    SciTech Connect

    Gopalsami, N.; Raptis, A. C.; Energy Technology

    2001-04-01

    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.

  18. Radar Thickness Measurements over the Southern Part of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chuah, Teong Sek; Gogineni, Siva Prasad; Allen, Christopher; Wohletz, Brad; Wong, Y. C.; Ng, P. Y.; Ajayi, E.

    1996-01-01

    We performed ice thickness measurements over the southern part of the Greenland ice sheet during June and July 1993. We used an airborne coherent radar depth sounder for these measurements. The radar was operated from a NASA P-3 aircraft equipped with GPS receivers. Radar data were collected in conjunction with laser altimeter and microwave altimeter measurements of ice surface elevation. This report provides radio echograms and thickness profiles from data collected during 1993.

  19. Charge-coupled device data processor for an airborne imaging radar system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arens, W. E. (Inventor)

    1977-01-01

    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.

  20. Simulation of multistatic and backscattering cross sections for airborne radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biggs, Albert W.

    1986-07-01

    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.

  1. Studies of ice clouds using 95 GHz airborne radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolde, Mengistu Yirdaw

    2000-12-01

    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

  2. The Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), an Airborne Simulator for the ICESat-2 Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGill, Matthew; Markus, Thorsten; Scott, V. Stanley; Neumann, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    The Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission is currently under development by NASA. The primary mission of ICESat-2 will be to measure elevation changes of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, document changes in sea ice thickness distribution, and derive important information about the current state of the global ice coverage. To make this important measurement, NASA is implementing a new type of satellite-based surface altimetry based on sensing of laser pulses transmitted to, and reflected from, the surface. Because the ICESat-2 measurement approach is different from that used for previous altimeter missions, a high-fidelity aircraft instrument, the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), was developed to demonstrate the measurement concept and provide verification of the ICESat-2 methodology. The MABEL instrument will serve as a prototype for the ICESat-2 mission and also provides a science tool for studies of land surface topography. This paper outlines the science objectives for the ICESat-2 mission, the current measurement concept for ICESat-2, and the instrument concept and preliminary data from MABEL.

  3. TOPEX Radar Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report Final Update-Side B Turn-On to End-of-Mission on October 9, 2005

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockwood, Dennis W.; Hancock, David W., III; Hayne, George S.; Brooks, Ronald L.

    2006-01-01

    This is the thirteenth and final report in a series of TOPEX Radar Altimeter Engineering Assessment Reports. The initial TOPEX Radar Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report, in February 1994, presented performance results for the NASA Radar Altimeter on the TOPEX/POSEIDON spacecraft, from its launch in August 1992 to February 1994. Since the time of that initial report and prior to this report, there have been eleven interim supplemental Engineering Assessment Reports, issued in March 1995, May 1996, March 1997, June 1998, August 1999, September 2000, June 2001, March 2002, May 2003, April 2004 and September 2005. The sixth supplement in September 2000 was the first assessment report that addressed Side B performance, and presented the altimeter performance from Side B turn-on until the end of calendar year 1999. This report extends the performance assessment of Side B to the final collection of data on October 9, 2005, and includes the performance assessment of Jason-1, the TOPEX follow-on mission, launched on December 7, 2001. This report provides some comparisons of Side A and Side B performance.

  4. An atlas of 1977 and 1978 GEOS-3 radar altimeter data for tropical cyclone studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanley, H. R.; Taylor, R. L.

    1980-01-01

    All of the GEOS 3 satellite altimeter schedule information were collected with all of the available 1977 and 1978 tropical cyclone positional information. The time period covers from March 23, 1977 through Nov. 23, 1978. The geographical region includes all ocean area north of the equator divided into the following operational areas: the Atlantic area (which includes the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico); the eastern Pacific area; the central and western Pacific area; and the Indian Ocean area. All available source material concerning tropical cyclones was collected. The date/time/location information was extracted for each disturbance. This information was compared with the GEOS 3 altimeter ON/OFF history information to determine the existence of any altimeter data close enough in both time and location to make the data potentially useful for further study (the very liberal criteria used was time less than 24 hours and location within 25 degrees). Geographic plots (cyclone versus GEOS 3 orbit track) were produced for all of the events found showing the approximate location of the cyclone and the GEOS 3 orbit traces for the full day.

  5. Application of vector analysis on study of illuminated area and Doppler characteristics of airborne pulse radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Haijiang; Yang, Ling

    2014-12-01

    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.

  6. Ice island detection and characterization with airborne synthetic aperture radar

    SciTech Connect

    Jeffries, M.O.; Sackinger, W.M. )

    1990-04-15

    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.

  7. Airborne Synthetic Aperature Radar (AIRSAR) on left rear fuselage of DC-8 Airborne Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    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.

  8. Estimate of Forest Height in the Brazilian Amazon Using Radar Altimeter Data of SARIN Mode Onboard Cryosat-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Le; Liu, Qinhuo

    2014-11-01

    This paper addresses the potential and limitations of radar altimetry inversion techniques for quantitative forest parameter estimation in tropical forests using Cryosat2 SIRAL waveform data of the synthetic aperture/interferometric (SARin) mode for very dense and tall forest canopies in Brazil, Amazon. The 20Hz waveform data of SARin mode of Cycle 5 subcycle 3 (August 20th, 2012) and subcycles 4 (September 18th, 2012) were analyzed and used to retrieve canopy height under Cryosat2 ground track. Waveform analysis shows that the power waveform exhibits interesting features in detecting forest vertical structures in different area. With the help of coherence waveform, the canopy height is derived by determining the key points of forest top and ground returns. Because of lack of field tree height measurement in 2012 at Amazon, we validated the results using the global forest height product based on ICEsat1 GLAS data in 2005 and the field measurements at Tapajos National Forest, Brazil in 1999. Results indicated that the mean value of the canopy height from Cryosat2/SIRAL is between that of the Lidar data and field measurements. The height estimated using Cryosat2/ SIRAL data is much closer to the Lorey’s height than the mean and maximum height. Radar altimeter has shown promise to map structure in high density regions of the tropics.

  9. Altimeter waveform software design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayne, G. S.; Miller, L. S.; Brown, G. S.

    1977-01-01

    Techniques are described for preprocessing raw return waveform data from the GEOS-3 radar altimeter. Topics discussed include: (1) general altimeter data preprocessing to be done at the GEOS-3 Data Processing Center to correct altimeter waveform data for temperature calibrations, to convert between engineering and final data units and to convert telemetered parameter quantities to more appropriate final data distribution values: (2) time "tagging" of altimeter return waveform data quantities to compensate for various delays, misalignments and calculational intervals; (3) data processing procedures for use in estimating spacecraft attitude from altimeter waveform sampling gates; and (4) feasibility of use of a ground-based reflector or transponder to obtain in-flight calibration information on GEOS-3 altimeter performance.

  10. Flight test evaluation of a video tracker for enhanced offshore airborne radar approach capability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clary, G. R.; Cooper, P. G.

    1982-01-01

    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.

  11. Wave-measurement capabilities of the surface contour radar and the airborne oceanographic lidar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, Edward J.; Hancock, David W., III; Hines, Donald E.; Swift, Robert N.; Scott, John F.

    1987-01-01

    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.

  12. Engineering studies related to the Skylab program. Task H: Microwave/optical/infrared image processing for ocean current recognition. [from radar altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, A. G.

    1974-01-01

    Images from the Skylab S-193 radar altimeter were selected from data obtained on appropriate passes made by Skylabs 2, 3, and 4 missions for the following three objectives: (1) to serve as a precursor to an investigation for the planned GEOS-C mission, in which radar altimeter data will be analyzed to reveal ocean current related to surface topography; (2) to determine the value of satellite infrared and visual radiometer data as potential sources of ground truth data, the results of which be incorporated in the planning of the SEASAT program; and (3) to determine whether optimal data reduction techniques are useful for revealing clues on Gulf Stream topographic signature characteristics. The results obtained which apply to the stated objectives are discussed.

  13. Greenland annual accumulation along the EGIG line, 1959-2004, from ASIRAS airborne radar and detailed neutron-probe density measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overly, T. B.; Hawley, R. L.; Helm, V.; Morris, E. M.; Chaudhary, R. N.

    2015-12-01

    We report annual snow accumulation rates from 1959 to 2004 along a 250 km segment of the Expéditions Glaciologiques Internationales au Groenland (EGIG) line across central Greenland using Airborne SAR/Interferometric Radar Altimeter System (ASIRAS) radar layers and detailed neutron-probe (NP) density profiles. ASIRAS-NP accumulation rates are not statistically different (C.I. 95 %) from in situ EGIG accumulation measurements from 1985 to 2004. Below 3000 m elevation, ASIRAS-NP increases by 20 % for the period 1995 to 2004 compared to 1985 to 1994. Above 3000 m elevation, accumulation increases by 13 % for 1995-2004 compared to 1985-1994. Model snow accumulation results from the calibrated Fifth Generation Mesoscale Model modified for polar climates (Polar MM5) underestimate mean annual accumulation by 16 % compared to ASIRAS-NP from 1985 to 2004. We test radar-derived accumulation rates sensitivity to density using modelled density profiles in place of detailed NP data. ASIRAS radar layers combined with Herron and Langway (1980) model density profiles (ASIRAS-HL) produce accumulation rates within 3.5 % of ASIRAS-NP estimates. We suggest using Herron and Langway (1980) density profiles to calibrate radar layers detected in dry snow regions of ice sheets lacking detailed in situ density measurements, such as those observed by the IceBridge campaign.

  14. Dual-Frequency Airborne Scanning Rain Radar Antenna System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hussein, Ziad A.; Green, Ken

    2004-01-01

    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.

  15. The Effect of Rain on Nadir Ocean Backscatter in TOPEX Radar Altimeter Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Durden, Stephen L.

    1996-01-01

    Rainfall profile from the 14 GHz TRMM Precipitation Radar will require correction for attenuation effects. An important technique for this is the surface reference technique, which estimates the path attenuation through rain by comparing the clear air ocean backscatter with ocean backscatter in rain.

  16. Measurement of backscattering from sea with an airborne radar at L band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Xianyun; Zhang, Zhongzhi; Yin, Zhiying; Sun, Fang; Kang, Shifeng; Wang, Laibu; Yu, Yunchao; Wen, Fangru

    1998-08-01

    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.

  17. NASA Wallops Flight Center GEOS-3 altimeter data processing report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanley, H. R.; Dwyer, R. E.

    1980-01-01

    The procedures used to process the GEOS-3 radar altimeter data from raw telemetry data to a final user data product are described. In addition, the radar altimeter hardware design and operating parameters are presented to aid the altimeter user in understanding the altimeter data.

  18. Sensitivity Of Elevations Observed By Satellite Radar Altimeter Over Ice Sheets To Variations In Backscatter Power And Derived Corrections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Donghui; Zwally, H. Jay; Cornejo, Helen G.; Barbieri, Kristine A.; DiMarzio, John P.

    2011-02-01

    Radar-altimeter-measured surface elevations over ice sheets are sensitive to changes in the surface backscatter power that vary temporally and geographically. A correction is needed to extract the real elevation change (dH/dt) from the altimetry- measured ranges using either the backscatter coefficient (σ0) or the Automatic Gain control (AGC) as a measure of the backscatter power. We derive sensitivities between observed changes in elevation and changes in the backscatter power using three methods, which give different sensitivities (short-term, mixed-term, and long-term) and different correlation coefficients. The short-term sensitivities tend to be larger than the mixed term sensitivities and give larger corrections. The resulting corrected H(t) series show significant differences from the uncorrected H(t). In particular, the apparent seasonal cycle in the corrected H(t) is much smoother and smaller in amplitude. Also, in many locations the derived dH/dt from the corrected H(t) is quite different than from the uncorrected H(t).

  19. A 19-year radar altimeter elevation change time-series of the East and West Antarctic ice sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundal, A. V.; Shepherd, A.; Wingham, D.; Muir, A.; Mcmillan, M.; Galin, N.

    2012-12-01

    We present 19 years of continuous radar altimeter observations of the East and West Antarctic ice sheets acquired by the ERS-1, ERS-2, and ENVISAT satellites between May 1992 and September 2010. Time-series of surface elevation change were developed at 39,375 crossing points of the satellite orbit ground tracks using the method of dual cycle crossovers (Zwally et al., 1989; Wingham et al., 1998). In total, 46.5 million individual measurements were included in the analysis, encompassing 74 and 76 % of the East and West Antarctic ice sheet, respectively. The satellites were cross-calibrated by calculating differences between elevation changes occurring during periods of mission overlap. We use the merged time-series to explore spatial and temporal patterns of elevation change and to characterise and quantify the signals of Antarctic ice sheet imbalance. References: Wingham, D., Ridout, A., Scharroo, R., Arthern, R. & Shum, C.K. (1998): Antarctic elevation change from 1992 to 1996. Science, 282, 456-458. Zwally, H. J., Brenner, A. C., Major, J. A., Bindschadler, R. A. & Marsh, J. G. (1989): Growth of Greenland ice-sheet - measurements. Science, 246, 1587-1589.

  20. Bathymetry and Composition of Titan's Hydrocarbon Seas from the Cassini RADAR Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastrogiuseppe, Marco; Hayes, Alex; Poggiali, Valerio; Lunine, Jonathan; Seu, Roberto; Hofgartner, Jason; Le Gall, Alice; Lorenz, Ralph

    2016-04-01

    The Cassini RADAR's altimetry mode has been successfully used for probing the depth and composition of Titan's hydrocarbons seas. In May 2013, during the spacecraft's T91 flyby of Titan, the instrument demonstrated its capabilities as a radar sounder, presenting a unique opportunity to constraint the depth and composition of Titan's second largest sea, Ligeia Mare. Later, observations of Kraken Mare and Punga Mare were planned and executed in August 2014 (T104) and January 2015 (T108), respectively. While most of the seafloor was not detected at Kraken, suggesting the sea was either too deep or too absorptive in these areas to observe a return from the seafloor, shallow areas near Moray Sinus did show subsurface reflections. At Punga Mare, a clear detection of the subsurface was observed with a maximum depth of 120 m along the radar altimetry transect. Herein we present a re-analysis of altimetry data acquired over Ligeia Mare and, earlier in the Cassini mission (in December 2008 during T49), over the southern Ontario Lacus. Depths measurements and liquid composition are obtained using a novel technique which makes use of radar simulations and Monte Carlo-based inversions. Simulation is based on a two-layer model, where the surface is represented by a specular reflection and the seafloor is modeled using a facet-based synthetic surface, including thermal noise, speckle effects, analog to digital conversion (ADC), block adaptive quantization (BAQ), and allows for possible receiver saturation. This new analysis provides an update to the Ku-band attenuation (the Cassini RADAR operates at a wavelength of 2 cm) and results in a new estimate for loss tangent and composition. We found a value of specific attenuation of the liquid equal to 0.14±0.02 dB/m and 0.2±0.1 dB/m, which is equivalent to a loss tangent of 4.4±0.9x10^-5 and 7±3x10^-5 for Ligeia Mare and Ontario Lacus, respectively. Assuming that Titan's liquid bodies are composed by a ternary mixture of methane

  1. Echo Source Discrimination in Airborne Radar Sounding Data From the Dry Valleys, Antarctica, for Mars Analog Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, J. W.; Blankenship, D. D.; Peters, M. E.; Kempf, S. D.; Williams, B. J.

    2003-12-01

    The identification of features on Mars exhibiting morphologies consistent with ice/rock mixtures, near-surface ice bodies and near-surface liquid water, and the importance of such features to the search for water on Mars highlights the need for appropriate terrestrial analogs in order to prepare for upcoming radar missions targeting these and other water-related features. Climatic, hydrological, and geological conditions in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are analogous in many ways to those on Mars, and a number of ice-related features in the Dry Valleys may have direct morphologic and compositional counterparts on Mars. We have collected roughly 1,000 line-km of airborne radar sounding data in the Dry Valleys for Mars analog studies. A crucial first step in the data analysis process is the discrimination of echo sources in the radar data. The goal is to identify all returns from the surface of surrounding topography in order to positively identify subsurface echoes. This process will also be critical for radar data that will be collected in areas of Mars exhibiting significant topography, so that subsurface echoes are identified unambiguously. Using a Twin Otter airborne platform, data were collected in three separate flights during the austral summers of 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 using multiple systems, including a chirped 52.5 - 67.5 MHz coherent radar operating at 750 W and 8 kW peak power (with multiple receivers) and 1 - 2 microsecond pulse width, and a 60 MHz pulsed, incoherent radar operating at 8 kW peak power with 60 ns and 250 ns pulse width. The chirped, coherent data are suitable for the implementation of advanced pulse compression algorithms and SAR focusing. Flight elevation was nominally 500 m above the surface. Targets included permafrost, subsurface ice bodies, rock/ice glaciers, ice-covered saline lakes, and glacial deposits in Taylor and Beacon Valleys. A laser altimeter (fixed relative to the aircraft frame) was also used during both

  2. Pulse-to-pulse correlation in CryoSat SAR mode radar altimeter echoes from the sea surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, W. H.

    2012-12-01

    Serial correlation among successive radar echoes returned from the ocean surface is an important design constraint in satellite altimetry. Walsh [1974, 1982] established the conventional wisdom. Taking the radar footprint to be a uniformly radiating disk, he derived a theoretically expected echo decorrelation time of about 0.5 milliseconds. Following Walsh, ocean altimeters usually employ a pulse repetition frequency (PRF) around 2 kHz, in order to obtain statistically independent echoes at (so it is thought) the maximum possible rate. CryoSat, designed for ranging to ice surfaces, employs a PRF of 18.2 kHz in its SAR mode. CryoSat SAR echo sequences over ocean surfaces can be used to empirically determine the ocean echo decorrelation, and thus to test Walsh's model. Such a test is presented in this paper. The analysis begins by forming the ensemble average of complex cross products of pairs of echoes separated by a time lag L * PRI, where the pulse repetition interval (PRI) is 55 microseconds and the echo lag L runs from 0 to 32. The L = 0 case yields the conventional pulse-limited waveform, which is used to determine the sea state in each ensemble average. The averages of lagged echo cross products reveal the complex coherency, with sampling in both slow time (lag, L), and fast time (range, sampled in waveform gates). Data from many areas and sea states are analyzed, and the results are explained using a simple theory approximating the complex coherency expected from a Gaussian radar pulse. This theory generalizes the classical Brown [1977] waveform model to lagged echo cross products, and generalizes Walsh's work to the case of footprints with non-uniform illumination and diffuse edges. Phase is due to vertical motion of the antenna. Amplitude variations in fast time are due to horizontal motion of the antenna, and are independent of wave height; their functional form confirms Brown's assumption that scattering is independent of azimuth. In slow time, the

  3. The effect of land cover type on radar altimeter response and its influence on retracker algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Eric Oliveira; Maillard, Philippe

    2014-10-01

    Satellite altimeters on-board Envisat and SARAL (Altika) are routinely used to create virtual monitoring stations from the satellite path crossing with any river of significant width. These virtual stations have the advantage of having a low operational cost and providing near real-time absolute measurement of water level. However, many shortcomings still remain open questions and the precision of measurements can vary widely depending on a number of factors such as the river width and environmental conditions surrounding the water course. In this article we have concentrated our efforts on the relation between land cover classes, the shape of waveforms produced by the backscatter response and the separability among different land cover classes and water. Seven land cover classes often encountered nearby large river banks were analyzed: agriculture, native forest, planted forest, savanna, pasture, urban and open water. Waveforms of these classes were sampled to build a waveform library. They were compared among themselves using cross-correlation, cumulative difference and Kolmogorov-Smirnov distance. Average waveforms for each class were calculated and compared. The results show that only the "open water" and "forest" classes could be characterized as having a typical behavior, probably caused by the limitations of the measurements used. Furthermore, these two classes have very similar responses and could easily be confused. The other classes generally showed chaotic behavior which can mostly be attributed to variations in their cover characteristics. We expect that a better understanding of the influence of land cover on waveform shapes will increase accuracy of water level measurements.

  4. Processing of High Resolution, Multiparametric Radar Data for the Airborne Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar APR-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tanelli, Simone; Meagher, Jonathan P.; Durden, Stephen L.; Im, Eastwood

    2004-01-01

    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.

  5. A model for forming airborne synthetic aperture radar images of underground targets

    SciTech Connect

    Doerry, A.W.

    1994-01-01

    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.

  6. Users guide for an Airborne Windshear Doppler Radar Simulation (AWDRS) program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Britt, Charles L.

    1990-01-01

    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.

  7. Performance of the NASA Airborne Radar with the Windshear Database for Forward-Looking Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Switzer, George F.; Britt, Charles L.

    1996-01-01

    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.

  8. Validating NASA's Airborne Multikilohertz Microlaser Altimeter (Microaltimeter) by Direct Comparison of Data Taken Over Ocean City, Maryland Against an Existing Digital Elevation Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abel, Peter

    2003-01-01

    NASA's Airborne Multikilohertz Microlaser Altimeter (Microaltimeter) is a scanning, photon-counting laser altimeter, which uses a low energy (less than 10 microJuoles), high repetition rate (approximately 10 kHz) laser, transmitting at 532 nm. A 14 cm diameter telescope images the ground return onto a segmented anode photomultiplier, which provides up to 16 range returns for each fire. Multiple engineering flights were made during 2001 and 2002 over the Maryland and Virginia coastal area, all during daylight hours. Post-processing of the data to geolocate the laser footprint and determine the terrain height requires post- detection Poisson filtering techniques to extract the actual ground returns from the noise. Validation of the instrument's ability to produce accurate terrain heights will be accomplished by direct comparison of data taken over Ocean City, Maryland with a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the region produced at Ohio State University (OSU) from other laser altimeter and photographic sources. The techniques employed to produce terrain heights from the Microaltimeter ranges will be shown, along with some preliminary comparisons with the OSU DEM.

  9. Mapping diverse forest cover with multipolarization airborne radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ford, J. P.; Wickland, D. E.; Sharitz, R. R.

    1985-01-01

    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.

  10. Motion of Major Ice Shelf Fronts in Antarctica from Slant Range Analysis of Radar Altimeter Data, 1978 - 1998

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. J.; Beckley, M. A.; Brenner, A. C.; Giovinetto, M. B.; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Slant range analysis of radar altimeter data from the Seasat, Geosat, ERS-1 and ERS-2 databases are used to determine barrier location at particular times, and estimate barrier motion (km/yr) for major Antarctic ice shelves. The barrier locations, which are the seaward edges or fronts of floating ice shelves, advance with time as the ice flows from the grounded ice sheets and retreat whenever icebergs calve from the fronts. The analysis covers various multiyear intervals from 1978 to 1998, supplemented by barrier location maps produced elsewhere for 1977 and 1986. Barrier motion is estimated as the ratio between mean annual ice shelf area change for a particular interval, and the length of the discharge periphery. This value is positive if the barrier location progresses seaward, or negative if the barrier location regresses (break-back). Either positive or negative values are lower limit estimates because the method does not detect relatively small area changes due to calving or surge events. The findings are discussed in the context of the three ice shelves that lie in large embayments (the Filchner-Ronne, Amery, and Ross), and marginal ice shelves characterized by relatively short distances between main segments of grounding line and barrier (those in the Queen Maud Land sector between 10.1 deg. W and 32.5 deg. E, and the West and Shackleton ice shelves). All the ice shelves included in the study account for approximately three-fourths of the total ice shelf area of Antarctica, and discharge approximately two-thirds of the total grounded ice area.

  11. Measurements of Ocean Surface Scattering Using an Airborne 94-GHz Cloud Radar: Implication for Calibration of Airborne and Spaceborne W-band Radars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Li-Hua; Heymsfield, Gerald M.; Tian, Lin; Racette, Paul E.

    2004-01-01

    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.

  12. Multiparametric airborne radar observations of the melting layer during the Wakasa Bay experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tanelli, S.; Meagher, J.; Durden, S. L.; Im, E.

    2003-01-01

    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.

  13. Feasibility of inter-comparing airborne and spaceborne observations of radar backscattering coefficients

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  14. 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)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vane, Gregg; Evans, Diane L.; Kahle, Anne B.

    1989-01-01

    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.

  15. Laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The development of a laser altimeter for use in the Apollo Lunar Orbital Experiments mission is discussed. The altimeter provides precise measurement of an Apollo vehicle above the lunar surface from an orbit of 40 to 80 nautical miles. The technical characteristics of the altimeter are described. Management of the altimeter development program is analyzed.

  16. Laser Altimeter Evaluation of an SRTM DEM for Western Washington State

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carabajal, C. C.; Harding, D. J.

    2002-05-01

    Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and laser altimeter measurements of topography provide complimentary approaches to characterize landforms. Results from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) will provide an unprecedented, near-global, Digital Elevation Model (DEM) at 30 m resolution using a single pass C-band (5.6 cm wavelength) radar interferometer. In vegetated terrains, the C-band radar energy penetrates part way into vegetation cover. The elevation of the resulting radar phase center, somewhere between the canopy top and underlying ground, depends on the vegetation height, density, structure, and presence or absence of foliage. The high vertical accuracy and spatial resolution achieved by laser altimeters, and their capability to directly measure the vertical distribution of vegetation and underlying ground topography, provides a method to evaluate InSAR representations of topography. In order to provide an independent assessment of SRTM DEM accuracy and error characteristics, a simple but rigorous methodology based on comparisons to airborne and satellite laser altimeter profiles has been developed and tested. Initially, an SRTM DEM produced for a large part of western Washington State by the JPL PI processor has been compared to Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) and airborne Scanning Lidar Imager of Canopies by Echo Recovery (SLICER) data. The accuracy of the laser altimeter data sets has been previously characterized. For SLICER profiles, each about 40 km long, the mean and standard deviation of elevation differences between the SRTM DEM and SLICER-defined canopy top and ground are computed. The SRTM DEM is usually located between the canopy top and ground. A poor correlation is observed between the per-pixel error estimate provided with the SRTM DEM and the observed SLICER to SRTM elevation differences. In addition to these profile comparisons, a very high resolution DEM acquired by Terrapoint, LLC for the Puget Sound Lidar Consortium

  17. Rain and cloud effects on a satellite dual-frequency radar altimeter system operating at 13.5 and 35 GHz

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, E. J.; Monaldo, F. M.; Goldhirsh, J.

    1984-01-01

    The influence of clouds and rain on the return waveform signatures from satellite borne radar altimeters operating at 13.5 and 35 GHz are examined. It is specifically demonstrated that spatial nonuniformity in the cloud liquid water content or variations of the rain rate may result in significant distortions of the altimeter signature. The distorted signal is produced as a result of nonuniform attenuation occurring at the different range bins associated with the reflected signal. Determination of the mean sea height by employing tracking algorithms on these distorted echoes may result in gross errors. Although the influence of clouds on the altimeter signature and hence tracking precision is minimal at 13.5 GHz (e.g., less than 4 cm for a 1-s average), it may produce unacceptable mean sea level uncertainties at 35 GHz (e.g., 20 cm for a 1-s average) assuming a significant waveheight of 4 m. On the other hand, the signatures at both 13.5 GHz and 35 GHz become grossly distorted for rain rates of 10 mm/h and higher resulting in mean sea height errors of 46 and 65 cm, respectively, for significant wave heights of 2 m.

  18. Some case studies of ocean wave physical processes utilizing the GSFC airborne radar ocean wave spectrometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jackson, F. C.

    1984-01-01

    The NASA K sub u band Radar Ocean Wave Spectrometer (ROWS) is an experimental prototype of a possible future satellite instrument for low data rate global waves measurements. The ROWS technique, which utilizes short pulse radar altimeters in a conical scan mode near vertical incidence to map the directional slope spectrum in wave number and azimuth, is briefly described. The potential of the technique is illustrated by some specific case studies of wave physical processes utilizing the aircraft ROWS data. These include: (1) an evaluation of numerical hindcast model performance in storm sea conditions, (2) a study of fetch limited wave growth, and (3) a study of the fully developed sea state. Results of these studies, which are briefly summarized, show how directional wave spectral observations from a mobile platform can contribute enormously to our understanding of wave physical processes.

  19. Description, characteristics and testing of the NASA airborne radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, W. R.; Altiz, O.; Schaffner, P.; Schrader, J. H.; Blume, H. J. C.

    1991-01-01

    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.

  20. UAVSAR: Airborne L-band Radar for Repeat Pass Interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moes, Timothy R.

    2009-01-01

    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.

  1. Seasat altimeter calibration: initial results.

    PubMed

    Tapley, B D; Born, G H; Hagar, H H; Lorell, J; Parke, M E; Diamante, J M; Douglas, B C; Goad, C C; Kolenkiewicz, R; Marsh, J G; Martin, C F; Smith, S L; Townsend, W F; Whitehead, J A; Byrne, H M; Fedor, L S; Hammond, D C; Mognard, N M

    1979-06-29

    Preliminary analysis of radar altimeter data indicates that the instrument has met its specifications for measuring spacecraft height above the ocean surface (+/- 10 centimeters) and significant wave height (+/- 0.5 meter). There is ample evidence that the radar altimeter, having undergone development through three earth orbit missions [Skylab, Geodynamics Experimental Ocean Satellite 3 (GEOS-3), and Seasat], has reached a level of precision that now makes possible its use for important quantitative oceanographic investigations and practical applications. PMID:17814198

  2. Flight investigation of helicopter IFR approaches to oil rigs using airborne weather and mapping radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bull, J. S.; Hegarty, D. M.; Phillips, J. D.; Sturgeon, W. R.; Hunting, A. W.; Pate, D. P.

    1979-01-01

    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.

  3. Range profiling of the rain rate by an airborne weather radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meneghini, Robert; Nakamura, Kenji

    1990-01-01

    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.

  4. Characterization of wetland, forest, and agricultural ecosystems in Belize with airborne radar (AIRSAR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pope, Kevin O.; Rey-Benayas, Jose Maria; Paris, Jack F.

    1992-01-01

    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.

  5. Polarization differences in airborne ground penetrating radar performance for landmine detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogaru, Traian; Le, Calvin

    2016-05-01

    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.

  6. Definition and fabrication of an airborne scatterometer radar signal processor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    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.

  7. Comparative study of tracking performance in an airborne tracking radar simulator using global positioning system versus monopulse radar techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Joseph H.; Holley, William D.; Gagnon, Garry

    1993-10-01

    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.

  8. Demonstration of radar reflector detection and ground clutter suppression using airborne weather and mapping radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, D. J.; Bull, J. S.; Chisholm, J. P.

    1982-01-01

    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.

  9. Towards a Semantic Interpretation of Urban Areas with Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Hondt, O.; Guillaso, S.; Hellwich, O.

    2016-06-01

    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.

  10. Annual Greenland accumulation rates (2009-2012) from airborne Snow Radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  11. Airborne Doppler radar velocity measurements of precipitation seen in ocean surface reflection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atlas, D.; Matejka, T. J.

    1985-01-01

    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.

  12. 77 FR 37470 - Technical Standard Order (TSO)-C65a, Airborne Doppler Radar Ground Speed and/or Drift Angle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-21

    ... 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...

  13. SRTM and Laser Altimeter Views of Western Washington State Topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harding, D. J.; Carabajal, C. C.

    2001-12-01

    Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and laser altimeter measurements of topography provide complimentary approaches to characterize landforms. Results from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) will provide an unprecedented, near-global, public-domain topography data set at 90 m resolution using a single pass C-band (5.6 cm wavelength) radar interferometer. In vegetated terrains, the C-band radar energy will penetrate part way into vegetation cover. The elevation of the resulting radar phase center, somewhere between the canopy top and underlying ground, will depend on the vegetation density, structure, and presence or absence of foliage. The high vertical accuracy and spatial resolution achieved by laser altimeters, and their capability to directly measure vegetation height and ground topography beneath vegetation cover, provides a method to evaluate InSAR representations of topography. Here a preliminary C-band SRTM digital elevation model (DEM) for a portion of western Washington State is evaluated using laser altimeter data to assess its elevation accuracy and the extent of vegetation penetration. The SRTM DEM extends from the Cascades Range westward to the Olympic Peninsula. The laser altimeter data includes two profiles acquired by the second flight of the Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA-02) in August, 1997, numerous transects acquired by the airborne Scanning Lidar Imager of Canopies by Echo Recovery (SLICER) in September, 1995, and comprehensive mapping in the Puget Lowland region acquired by Terrapoint, LLC for the Puget Sound Lidar Consortium in the winters of 2000 and 2001. SLA-02 and SLICER acquired waveforms that record the height distribution of illuminated surfaces within 120 m and 10 m diameter footprints, respectively. The Terrapoint elevations consist of up to four discrete returns from 1 m footprints spaced 1.5 apart, with all areas mapped twice. Methods for comparing laser altimeter and SRTM topography developed here will be

  14. Clutter filter design considerations for Airborne Doppler radar detection of windshear

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baxa, Ernest G., Jr.

    1990-01-01

    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.

  15. Shuttle Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bufton, Jack L.; Harding, David J.; Garvin, James B.

    1999-01-01

    The Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) is a Hitchhiker experiment that has flown twice; first on STS-72 in January 1996 and then on STS-85 in August 1997. Both missions produced successful laser altimetry and surface lidar data products from approximately 80 hours per mission of SLA data operations. A total of four Shuttle missions are planned for the SLA series. This paper documents SLA mission results and explains SLA pathfinder accomplishments at the mid-point in this series of Hitchhiker missions. The overall objective of the SLA mission series is the transition of the Goddard Space Flight Center airborne laser altimeter and lidar technology to low Earth orbit as a pathfinder for NASA operational space-based laser remote sensing devices. Future laser altimeter sensors will utilize systems and approaches being tested with SLA, including the Multi-Beam Laser Altimeter (MBLA) and the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS). MBLA is the land and vegetation laser sensor for the NASA Earth System Sciences Pathfinder Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) Mission, and GLAS is the Earth Observing System facility instrument on the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat). The Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter, now well into a multi-year mapping mission at the red planet, is also directly benefiting from SLA data analysis methods, just as SLA benefited from MOLA spare parts and instrument technology experience [5] during SLA construction in the early 1990s.

  16. Annual Greenland accumulation rates (2009-2012) from airborne snow radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  17. Multi-Frequency Airborne Radar Measurements of Outlet Glaciers and Ice Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gogineni, P. S.; Braaten, D. A.; Rodriguez-Morales, F.; Li, J.; Leuschen, C.; Paden, J. D.; Hale, R.; Arnold, E.; Panzer, B.; Gomez-Garcia, D.; Crowe, R.; Patel, A. E.; Yan, J.

    2012-12-01

    Outlet glaciers and ice streams in Greenland and Antarctica are important delivery systems of inland ice to the oceans. Satellite observations are showing that parts of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are undergoing rapid changes, including both speed-up of several glaciers in Greenland and erratic behavior of Antarctic glaciers buttressed by ice shelves. While satellite sensors provide data on the surface flow speed and document the rapid changes the ice sheets are undergoing, they do not provide the essential information needed to understand the ice dynamics driving these changes or a detailed assessment of mass balance. In particular, a more complete knowledge of ice thickness, bed topography, and basal conditions are needed to better understand the dynamic processes causing rapid changes, assess outlet glacier discharge, and assess future discharge potential. Simultaneous measurements of snow accumulation from internal layering over the glacier catchment provide an assessment of temporally-varying surface mass balance. We developed a radar instrumentation package that can be operated both on long-range and short-range aircraft. This package includes four radars operating over a frequency range of about 180 MHz to 18 GHz. These are: (1) a wideband radar depth sounder that operates at a center frequency of 195 MHz to sound and image ice; (2) an ultra-wideband radar that operates over a frequency range of 600 to 900 MHz to map near-surface internal layers in polar firn and ice; (3) an ultra-wideband microwave radar that operates over a frequency range of about 2 to 8 GHz to measure the thickness of snow cover over sea ice and map near-surface internal layers in polar firn with fine resolution of about 5 cm; and (4) a radar altimeter that operates over a frequency range of 12 to 18 GHz for high-precision surface elevation measurements. During the last three years, these radars have been flown on several different aircraft over the Greenland and Antarctic ice

  18. The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS): A Medium-Altitude, Digitization-Only, Airborne Laser Altimeter for Mapping Vegetation and Topography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair, J. Bryan; Rabine, David L.; Hofton, Michelle A.

    1999-01-01

    The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) is an airborne, scanning laser altimeter designed and developed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. LVIS operates at altitudes up to 10 km above ground, and is capable of producing a data swath up to 1000 m wide nominally with 25 m wide footprints. The entire time history of the outgoing and return pulses is digitized, allowing unambiguous determination of range and return pulse structure. Combined with aircraft position and attitude knowledge, this instrument produces topographic maps with decimeter accuracy and vertical height and structure measurements of vegetation. The laser transmitter is a diode-pumped Nd:YAG oscillator producing 1064 nm, 10 nsec, 5 mJ pulses at repetition rates up to 500 Hz. LVIS has recently demonstrated its ability to determine topography (including sub-canopy) and vegetation height and structure on flight missions to various forested regions in the U.S. and Central America. The LVIS system is the airborne simulator for the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) mission (a NASA Earth remote sensing satellite due for launch in 2000), providing simulated data sets and a platform for instrument proof-of-concept studies. The topography maps and return waveforms produced by LVIS provide Earth scientists with a unique data set allowing studies of topography, hydrology, and vegetation with unmatched accuracy and coverage.

  19. Remote Sensing of Snow-covered Sea Ice with Ultra-wideband Airborne Radars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, S.; Gogineni, P. S.; Gomez-Garcia, D.; Leuschen, C.; Hale, R.; Rodriguez-Morales, F.; Paden, J. D.; Li, J.

    2015-12-01

    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

  20. Airborne Radar Sounding and Ice Thickness Measurements over Lake Vostok, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, M. E.; Blankenship, D. D.; Morse, D. L.; Holt, J. W.; Kempf, S. D.; Richter, T. G.; Falola, B.; Oliason, S.

    2002-05-01

    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

  1. Microphysical Retrievals Over Stratiform Rain Using Measurements from an Airborne Dual-Wavelength Radar-Radiometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meneghini, Robert; Kumagai, Hiroshi; Wang, James R.; Iguchi, Toshio; Kozu, Toshiaki

    1997-01-01

    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

  2. Investigation of Advanced Radar Techniques for Atmospheric Hazard Detection with Airborne Weather Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pazmany, Andrew L.

    2014-01-01

    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.

  3. Airborne profiling of ice thickness using a short pulse radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vickers, R. S.; Heighway, J. E.; Gedney, R.

    1973-01-01

    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.

  4. A geologic analysis of the Side-Looking Airborne Radar imagery of southern New England

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Banks, Paul T.

    1975-01-01

    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.

  5. Annual Greenland Accumulation Rates (2009-2012) from Airborne Snow Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  6. A comparison of airborne and ground-based radar observations with rain gages during the CaPE experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Satake, Makoto; Short, David A.; Iguchi, Toshio

    1992-01-01

    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.

  7. A comparison of airborne and ground-based radar observations with rain gages during the CaPE experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Satake, Makoto; Short, David A.; Iguchi, Toshio

    1992-01-01

    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.

  8. Simulation of airborne radar observations of precipitating systems at various frequency bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louf, Valentin; Pujol, Olivier; Riedi, Jérôme

    2013-05-01

    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.

  9. NOSS Altimeter Detailed Algorithm specifications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hancock, D. W.; Mcmillan, J. D.

    1982-01-01

    The details of the algorithms and data sets required for satellite radar altimeter data processing are documented in a form suitable for (1) development of the benchmark software and (2) coding the operational software. The algorithms reported in detail are those established for altimeter processing. The algorithms which required some additional development before documenting for production were only scoped. The algorithms are divided into two levels of processing. The first level converts the data to engineering units and applies corrections for instrument variations. The second level provides geophysical measurements derived from altimeter parameters for oceanographic users.

  10. The application of airborne imaging radars (L and X-band) to earth resources problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drake, B.; Shuchman, R. A.; Bryan, M. L.; Larson, R. W.; Liskow, C. L.; Rendleman, R. A.

    1974-01-01

    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.

  11. Indoor experimental facility for airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) configurations - rail-SAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirose, Getachew; Phelan, Brian R.; Sherbondy, Kelly D.; Ranney, Kenneth I.; Koenig, Francois; Narayanan, Ram M.

    2014-05-01

    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.

  12. An Efficient Adaptive Angle-Doppler Compensation Approach for Non-Sidelooking Airborne Radar STAP.

    PubMed

    Shen, Mingwei; Yu, Jia; Wu, Di; Zhu, Daiyin

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. A videoSAR mode for the x-band wideband experimental airborne radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damini, A.; Balaji, B.; Parry, C.; Mantle, V.

    2010-04-01

    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.

  14. Retrieval of Snow and Rain From Combined X- and W-B and Airborne Radar Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liao, Liang; Meneghini, Robert; Tian, Lin; Heymsfield, Gerald M.

    2008-01-01

    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.

  15. Airborne and spaceborne radar images for geologic and environmental mapping in the Amazon rain forest, Brazil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ford, John P.; Hurtak, James J.

    1986-01-01

    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.

  16. The Coplane Analysis Technique for Three-Dimensional Wind Retrieval Using the HIWRAP Airborne Doppler Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Didlake, Anthony C., Jr.; Heymsfield, Gerald M.; Tian, Lin; Guimond, Stephen R.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  17. GEOLOGIC APPLICATIONS OF SIDE-LOOKING AIRBORNE RADAR DATA IN THE CENTRAL APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pohn, Howard A.; Southworth, C. Scott

    1984-01-01

    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.

  18. Surface Clutter Removal in Airborne Radar Sounding Data from the Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, J. W.; Blankenship, D. D.; Morse, D. L.; Peters, M. E.; Kempf, S. D.

    2005-01-01

    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.

  19. STORM: A New Airborne Polarimetric Real-Aperture Radar for Earth Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podvin, D. Hauser. T.; Dechambre, M.; Valentin, R.; Caudal, G.; Daloze, J.-F.

    2003-04-01

    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

  20. Ground clutter measurements using the NASA airborne doppler radar: Description of clutter at the Denver and Philadelphia airports

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harrah, Steven D.; Delnore, Victor E.; Goodrich, Michael S.; Vonhagel, Chris

    1992-01-01

    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.

  1. Wind Retrieval Algorithms for the IWRAP and HIWRAP Airborne Doppler Radars with Applications to Hurricanes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guimond, Stephen Richard; Tian, Lin; Heymsfield, Gerald M.; Frasier, Stephen J.

    2013-01-01

    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.

  2. Combination of Radar Altimeter and In-Situ Measurements to deduce Rating-Curves at Some Virtual Stations in the Ungauged Amazon and Orinoco Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leon, J.; Seyler, F.; Calmant, S.; Bonnet, M.

    2008-12-01

    In the last two years, virtual gauged stations have been proposed to increase the density of hydrological network in ungauged or very poorly monitored basins (Leon, 2006). In spatial hydrology a virtual station is considered as any crossing of water body surface (i.e., large rivers) by radar altimeter satellite tracks. The main objective of this study is to review the usefulness of altimetric data presenting rating curves obtained for some virtual stations at the poorly gauged basins of Caqueta (Colombian Amazon basin), Uaupes and Upper Negro (Brazilian Amazon basin) and Upper Orinoco. Rating curve parameters at virtual stations are estimated by fitting with a power law distribution the temporal series of water surface altitude derived from ENVISAT satellite measurements and modeled discharges. The applied methodology (Leon et al. 2006a) allows the ellipsoidal height of effective zero flow to be estimated. This parameter is a good proxy of the mean water depth from which the river bed slope can be computed. These quantities combined with rating-curve parameters are highly valuable for understanding hydrological behaviour, especially at ungauged basins where hydrodynamical studies had always been prevented by the lack of in-situ data. The results obtained allow to propose a new insight into the hydrological behaviour of the region shared by Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela, which is very difficult to access, and then very poorly known.

  3. An application of space-time adaptive processing to airborne and spaceborne monostatic and bistatic radar systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. Volume of water equivalent estimates in Central Chilean glaciers, derived from airborne radar surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberreuter, J.; Gacitúa, G.; Uribe, J.; Rivera, A.; Zamora, R.; Loriaux, T.

    2013-12-01

    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

  5. Operations Manager Tim Miller checks out software for the Airborne Synthetic Aperature Radar (AIRSAR

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    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.

  6. DATA ACQUISITION AND APPLICATIONS OF SIDE-LOOKING AIRBORNE RADAR IN THE U. S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, John Edwin; Kover, Allan N.

    1985-01-01

    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.

  7. Comparison of surface wind stress measurements - Airborne radar scatterometer versus sonic anemometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brucks, J. T.; Leming, T. D.; Jones, W. L.

    1980-01-01

    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.

  8. Estimation of sea-surface winds using backscatter cross-section measurements from airborne research weather radar

    SciTech Connect

    Hildebrand, P.H. . Remote Sensing Facility)

    1994-01-01

    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.

  9. The estimation of pointing angle and normalized surface scattering cross section from GEOS-3 radar altimeter measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, G. S.; Curry, W. J.

    1977-01-01

    The statistical error of the pointing angle estimation technique is determined as a function of the effective receiver signal to noise ratio. Other sources of error are addressed and evaluated with inadequate calibration being of major concern. The impact of pointing error on the computation of normalized surface scattering cross section (sigma) from radar and the waveform attitude induced altitude bias is considered and quantitative results are presented. Pointing angle and sigma processing algorithms are presented along with some initial data. The intensive mode clean vs. clutter AGC calibration problem is analytically resolved. The use clutter AGC data in the intensive mode is confirmed as the correct calibration set for the sigma computations.

  10. Initial test results using the GEOS-3 engineering model altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayne, G. S.; Clary, J. B.

    1977-01-01

    Data from a series of experimental tests run on the engineering model of the GEOS 3 radar altimeter using the Test and Measurement System (TAMS) designed for preflight testing of the radar altimeter are presented. These tests were conducted as a means of preparing and checking out a detailed test procedure to be used in running similar tests on the GEOS 3 protoflight model altimeter systems. The test procedures and results are also included.

  11. Enhanced Feature Based Mosaicing Technique for Visually and Geometrically Degraded Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manikandan, S.; Vardhini, J. P.

    2015-11-01

    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 %.

  12. Airborne Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) for peat analyses in the Canadian Northern wetlands study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelletier-Travis, Ramona E.

    1991-01-01

    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.

  13. EcoSAR: NASA's P-band fully polarimetric single pass interferometric airborne radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osmanoglu, B.; Rincon, R. F.; Fatoyinbo, T. E.; Lee, S. K.; Sun, G.; Daniyan, O.; Harcum, M. E.

    2014-12-01

    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

  14. Analysis of airborne Doppler lidar, Doppler radar and tall tower measurements of atmospheric flows in quiescent and stormy weather

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bluestein, H. B.; Doviak, R. J.; Eilts, M. D.; Mccaul, E. W.; Rabin, R.; Sundara-Rajan, A.; Zrnic, D. S.

    1986-01-01

    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.

  15. Airborne derivation of microburst alerts from ground-based Terminal Doppler Weather Radar information: A flight evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hinton, David A.

    1993-01-01

    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.

  16. The pulse-pair algorithm as a robust estimator of turbulent weather spectral parameters using airborne pulse Doppler radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baxa, Ernest G., Jr.; Lee, Jonggil

    1991-01-01

    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.

  17. Situational awareness sensor management of space-based EO/IR and airborne GMTI radar for road targets tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Fallah, A.; Zatezalo, A.; Mahler, R.; Mehra, R. K.; Pham, K.

    2010-04-01

    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.

  18. Intercomparison of single-frequency methods for retrieving a vertical rain profile from airborne or spaceborne radar data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Iguchi, Toshio; Meneghini, Robert

    1994-01-01

    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.

  19. Progress report on the NASA/JPL airborne synthetic aperture radar system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lou, Y.; Imel, D.; Chu, A.; Miller, T.; Moller, D.; Skotnicki, W.

    2001-01-01

    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.

  20. 77 FR 53962 - Technical Standard Order (TSO)-C65a, Airborne Doppler Radar Ground Speed and/or Drift Angle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-04

    ... 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)....

  1. Analysis and improved design considerations for airborne pulse Doppler radar signal processing in the detection of hazardous windshear

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Jonggil

    1990-01-01

    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.

  2. The Impact of Snow and Ice Morphology on Radar Altimetric Determination of Sea Ice Thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, T.; Brozena, J. M.; Ball, D.; Liang, R.; Abelev, A.; Gardner, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    Observations of the current state of Arctic sea ice indicate a trend towards a younger, thinner and more mobile pack that exhibits significant inter-annual variability. Radar returns from altimeters are impacted by the morphology of snow and ice features on the surface as well as the characteristics of radar pulse penetration through the snow pack. Together these contribute to uncertainty in the procedures for deriving sea ice freeboard from radar altimeter data. We make use of dense lidar grids and airborne snow radar measurements, collected on the sea ice pack north of Barrow, Alaska by the Naval Research Laboratory in 2014 and 2015, to investigate the effect of ice surface morphology on radar altimeter measurements. We quantify the effect of surface morphology using a nested approach that includes forward modeling, snow radar data and a comprehensive set of in situ measurements. Our results allow us to better constrain the altimetric uncertainty resulting from ice surface morphology, with respect to ice type. This will lead to an enhanced understanding of sources of uncertainty in altimeter-derived sea ice thickness products.

  3. UAVSAR - A New Airborne L-Band Radar for Repeat Pass Interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mace, Thomas H.; Lou, Yunling

    2009-01-01

    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.

  4. Air-Sea Spray Airborne Radar Profiler Characterizes Energy Fluxes in Hurricanes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Durden, Stephen L.; Esteban-Fermandez, D.

    2010-01-01

    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.

  5. Spectrum Modal Analysis for the Detection of Low-Altitude Windshear with Airborne Doppler Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kunkel, Matthew W.

    1992-01-01

    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.

  6. Designing clutter rejection filters with complex coefficients for airborne pulsed Doppler weather radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jamora, Dennis A.

    1993-01-01

    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.

  7. Airborne ROWS data report for the high resolution experiment, June 1993

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandemark, D.; Hines, D.; Bailey, S.; Stewart, K.

    1994-01-01

    Airborne radar ocean wave spectrometer (ROWS) data collected during the Office of Naval Research's High Resolution Remote Sensing Experiment of June 1993 are presented. This data summary covers six flights made using NASA's T-39 aircraft over a region of the North Atlantic off the coast of North Carolina and includes multiple crossings of the gulf stream. The Ku-band ROWS was operated in a configuration which continuously switched between an altimeter and a spectrometer channel. Data derived from the two channels include altimeter radar cross section, altimeter-derived sea surface mean square slope and wind speed, and directional and nondirectional longwave spectra. Discussion is provided for several events of particular interest.

  8. Multi-frequency fine resolution imaging radar instrumentation and data acquisition. [side-looking radar for airborne imagery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rendleman, R. A.; Champagne, E. B.; Ferris, J. E.; Liskow, C. L.; Marks, J. M.; Salmer, R. J.

    1974-01-01

    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.

  9. The design and development of signal-processing algorithms for an airborne x-band Doppler weather radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nicholson, Shaun R.

    1994-01-01

    Improved measurements of precipitation will aid our understanding of the role of latent heating on global circulations. Spaceborne meteorological sensors such as the planned precipitation radar and microwave radiometers on the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) provide for the first time a comprehensive means of making these global measurements. Pre-TRMM activities include development of precipitation algorithms using existing satellite data, computer simulations, and measurements from limited aircraft campaigns. Since the TRMM radar will be the first spaceborne precipitation radar, there is limited experience with such measurements, and only recently have airborne radars become available that can attempt to address the issue of the limitations of a spaceborne radar. There are many questions regarding how much attenuation occurs in various cloud types and the effect of cloud vertical motions on the estimation of precipitation rates. The EDOP program being developed by NASA GSFC will provide data useful for testing both rain-retrieval algorithms and the importance of vertical motions on the rain measurements. The purpose of this report is to describe the design and development of real-time embedded parallel algorithms used by EDOP to extract reflectivity and Doppler products (velocity, spectrum width, and signal-to-noise ratio) as the first step in the aforementioned goals.

  10. Topographic analyses of K*lauea Volcano, Hawai'i, from interferometric airborne radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowland, Scott K.; MacKay, Mary E.; Garbeil, Harold; Mouginis-Mark, Peter J.

    We analyze digital topographic data collected in September 1993 over a 500-km2 portion of K*lauea Volcano, Hawai'i, by the C-band (5.6-cm wavelength) topographic synthetic aperture radar (TOPSAR) airborne interferometric radar. Field surveys covering an 1-km2 area of the summit caldera and the distal end of an 8-m-thick 'a'* flow indicate that the 10-m spatial resolution TOPSAR data have a vertical accuracy of 1-2m over a variety of volcanic surfaces. After conversion to a common datum, TOPSAR data agree favorably with a digital elevation model (DEM) produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), with the important exception of the region of the ongoing eruption (which postdates the USGS DEM). This DEM comparison gives us confidence that subtracting the USGS data from TOPSAR data will produce a reasonable estimate of the erupted volume as of September 1993. This subtraction produces dense rock equivalent (DRE) volumes of 392, 439, and 90×106m3 for the Pu'u '*'*, K*pa'ianah*, and episode 50-53 stages of the eruption, respectively. These are 124, 89, and 94% of the volumes calculated by staff of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) but do not include lava of K*pa'ianah* and episodes 50-53 that flowed into the ocean and are thus invisible to TOPSAR. Accounting for this lava increases the TOPSAR volumes to 124, 159, and 129% of the HVO volumes. Including the +/-2-m uncertainty derived from the field surveys produces TOPSAR-derived volumes for the eruption as a whole that range between 81 and 125% of the USGS-derived values. The vesicularity- and ocean-corrected TOPSAR volumes yield volumetric eruption rates of 4.5, 4.5, and 2.7m3/s for the three stages of the eruption, which compare with HVO-derived values of 3.6, 2.8, and 2.1m3/s, respectively. Our analysis shows that care must be taken when vertically registering the TOPSAR and USGS DEMs to a common datum because C-band TOPSAR penetrates only partially into thick forest and therefore produces a DEM within the tree

  11. The Utility and Validity of Kinematic GPS Positioning for the Geosar Airborne Terrain Mapping Radar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freedman, Adam; Hensley, Scott; Chapin, Elaine; Kroger, Peter; Hussain, Mushtaq; Allred, Bruce

    1999-01-01

    GeoSAR is an airborne, interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR) system for terrain mapping, currently under development by a consortium including NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Calgis, Inc., a California mapping sciences company, and the California Department of Conservation (CaIDOC), with funding provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Topographic Engineering Center (TEC) and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). IFSAR data processing requires high-accuracy platform position and attitude knowledge. On 9 GeoSAR, these are provided by one or two Honeywell Embedded GPS Inertial Navigation Units (EGI) and an Ashtech Z12 GPS receiver. The EGIs provide real-time high-accuracy attitude and moderate-accuracy position data, while the Ashtech data, post-processed differentially with data from a nearby ground station using Ashtech PNAV software, provide high-accuracy differential GPS positions. These data are optimally combined using a Kalman filter within the GeoSAR motion measurement software, and the resultant position and orientation information are used to process the dual frequency (X-band and P-band) radar data to generate high-accuracy, high -resolution terrain imagery and digital elevation models (DEMs). GeoSAR requirements specify sub-meter level planimetric and vertical accuracies for the resultant DEMS. To achieve this, platform positioning errors well below one meter are needed. The goal of GeoSAR is to obtain 25 cm or better 3-D positions from the GPS systems on board the aircraft. By imaging a set of known point target corner-cube reflectors, the GeoSAR system can be calibrated. This calibration process yields the true position of the aircraft with an uncertainty of 20- 50 cm. This process thus allows an independent assessment of the accuracy of our GPS-based positioning systems. We will present an overview of the GeoSAR motion measurement system, focusing on the use of GPS and the blending of position data from the

  12. Airborne In Situ and Ground-based Polarimetric Radar Measurements of Tropical Convection in Support of CRYSTAL-FACE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poellot, Michael R.; Kucera, Paul A.

    2004-01-01

    This report describes the work performed by the University of North Dakota (UND) under NASA Grant NAG5-11509, titled Airborne In Situ and Ground-based Polarimetric Radar Measurements of Tropical Convection in Support of CRYSTAL-FACE. This work focused on the collection of data by two key platforms: the UND Citation II research aircraft and the NASA NPOL radar system. The CRYSTAL-FACE (C-F) mission addresses several key issues from the NASA Earth System Enterprise, including the variability of water in the atmosphere, the forcing provided by tropical cirrus and the response of the Earth system to this forcing. In situ measurements and radar observations of tropical convection, cirrus clouds and their environment are core elements of C-F. One of the primary issues that C-F is addressing is the relationship of tropical cirrus anvils to precipitating deep convection. The in situ measurements from C-F are being used to validate remote sensing of Earth-Atmosphere properties, increase our knowledge of upper tropospheric water vapor and its distribution, and increase our knowledge of tropical cirrus cloud morphology and composition. Radar measurements, especially polarimetric diversity observations available fiom the NASA NPOL radar, are providing essential information about the initiation, modulation, and dissipation of convective cores and the generation of associated anvils in tropical convection. Specifically, NPOL radar measurements contain information about convective intensity and its vertical structure for comparison with thermodynamic and kinematic environmental measurements observed from soundings. Because of the polarimetric diversity of MOL, statistics on bulk microphysical properties can be retrieved and compared to the other characteristics of convection and associated cirrus anvils. In summary, the central objectives of this proposal were to deploy the UND Citation research aircraft as an in situ sensing platform for this mission and to provide collaborative

  13. Terminal Fall Velocity From Airborne Doppler Radar : Application To The Frontal Cyclones of Fastex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Protat, A.; Lemaitre, Y.; Bouniol, D.

    Knowledge of water drop and ice crystal terminal velocities is particularly important for an adequate representation of particle sedimentation in cloud-resolving, opera- tional forecast and climate models. A new method is proposed in the present study to retrieve terminal fall velocity from airborne Doppler radar observations. To extract the terminal fall velocity from the Doppler information, statistical considerations are introduced, stating that for a long sampling time span (a whole aircraft mission, for in- stance) and for moderate the mean vertical air motions vanish with respect to the mean terminal fall velocity. This underlying hypothesis of the method is validated with in- situ data, in-situ microphysical VT-Z relationships in rain, and averages of convective- scale retrievals of the vertical wind component. A detailed analysis of the statistical relationships obtained in liquid and ice phases for 6 frontal cyclones sampled during FASTEX at different stages of development shows that an SuniversalT VT-Z rain rela- & cedil;tionship can be proposed for the North-Atlantic frontal cyclones at mature stage. In ice phase, such an SuniversalT relationship is not found. It is nevertheless suggested that & cedil;a general relationship can be derived if the frontal cyclones are split into categories depending on their stage of development. These VT-Z SuniversalT relationships can & cedil;be introduced in model parameterisation schemes in order to better describe sedimen- tation of ice and water and dynamical-microphysical interactions occurring within the North-Atlantic frontal cyclones.

  14. Fourth Airborne Geoscience Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The focus of the workshop was on how the airborne community can assist in achieving the goals of the Global Change Research Program. The many activities that employ airborne platforms and sensors were discussed: platforms and instrument development; airborne oceanography; lidar research; SAR measurements; Doppler radar; laser measurements; cloud physics; airborne experiments; airborne microwave measurements; and airborne data collection.

  15. Evolving subglacial water systems in East Antarctica from airborne radar sounding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  16. Signal processing for airborne doppler radar detection of hazardous wind shear as applied to NASA 1991 radar flight experiment data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baxa, Ernest G., Jr.

    1992-01-01

    Radar data collected during the 1991 NASA flight tests have been selectively analyzed to support research directed at developing both improved as well as new algorithms for detecting hazardous low-altitude windshear. Analysis of aircraft attitude data from several flights indicated that platform stability bandwidths were small compared to the data rate bandwidths which should support an assumption that radar returns can be treated as short time stationary. Various approaches at detection of weather returns in the presence of ground clutter are being investigated. Non-coventional clutter rejection through spectrum mode tracking and classification algorithms is a subject of continuing research. Based upon autoregressive modeling of the radar return time sequence, this approach may offer an alternative to overcome errors in conventional pulse-pair estimates. Adaptive filtering is being evaluated as a means of rejecting clutter with emphasis on low signal-to-clutter ratio situations, particularly in the presence of discrete clutter interference. An analysis of out-of-range clutter returns is included to illustrate effects of ground clutter interference due to range aliasing for aircraft on final approach. Data are presented to indicate how aircraft groundspeed might be corrected from the radar data as well as point to an observed problem of groundspeed estimate bias variation with radar antenna scan angle. A description of how recorded clutter return data are mixed with simulated weather returns is included. This enables the researcher to run controlled experiments to test signal processing algorithms. In the summary research efforts involving improved modelling of radar ground clutter returns and a Bayesian approach at hazard factor estimation are mentioned.

  17. TRMM Precipitation Radar Reflectivity Profiles Compared to High-Resolution Airborne and Ground-Based Radar Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heymsfield, G. M.; Geerts, B.; Tian, L.

    1999-01-01

    In this paper, TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Satellite) Precipitation Radar (PR) products are evaluated by means of simultaneous comparisons with data from the high-altitude ER-2 Doppler Radar (EDOP), as well as ground-based radars. The comparison is aimed primarily at the vertical reflectivity structure, which is of key importance in TRMM rain type classification and latent heating estimation. The radars used in this study have considerably different viewing geometries and resolutions, demanding non-trivial mapping procedures in common earth-relative coordinates. Mapped vertical cross sections and mean profiles of reflectivity from the PR, EDOP, and ground-based radars are compared for six cases. These cases cover a stratiform frontal rainband, convective cells of various sizes and stages, and a hurricane. For precipitating systems that are large relative to the PR footprint size, PR reflectivity profiles compare very well to high-resolution measurements thresholded to the PR minimum reflectivity, and derived variables such as bright band height and rain types are accurate, even at high PR incidence angles. It was found that for, the PR reflectivity of convective cells small relative to the PR footprint is weaker than in reality. Some of these differences can be explained by non-uniform beam filling. For other cases where strong reflectivity gradients occur within a PR footprint, the reflectivity distribution is spread out due to filtering by the PR antenna illumination pattern. In these cases, rain type classification may err and be biased towards the stratiform type, and the average reflectivity tends to be underestimated. The limited sensitivity of the PR implies that the upper regions of precipitation systems remain undetected and that the PR storm top height estimate is unreliable, usually underestimating the actual storm top height. This applies to all cases but the discrepancy is larger for smaller cells where limited sensitivity is compounded

  18. Characteristics of Deep Tropical and Subtropical Convection from Nadir-Viewing High-Altitude Airborne Doppler Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heymsfield, Gerald M.; Tian, Lin; Heymsfield, Andrew J.; Li, Lihua; Guimond, Stephen

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents observations of deep convection characteristics in the tropics and subtropics that have been classified into four categories: tropical cyclone, oceanic, land, and sea breeze. Vertical velocities in the convection were derived from Doppler radar measurements collected during several NASA field experiments from the nadir-viewing high-altitude ER-2 Doppler radar (EDOP). Emphasis is placed on the vertical structure of the convection from the surface to cloud top (sometimes reaching 18-km altitude). This unique look at convection is not possible from other approaches such as ground-based or lower-altitude airborne scanning radars. The vertical motions from the radar measurements are derived using new relationships between radar reflectivity and hydrometeor fall speed. Various convective properties, such as the peak updraft and downdraft velocities and their corresponding altitude, heights of reflectivity levels, and widths of reflectivity cores, are estimated. The most significant findings are the following: 1) strong updrafts that mostly exceed 15 m/s, with a few exceeding 30 m/s, are found in all the deep convection cases, whether over land or ocean; 2) peak updrafts were almost always above the 10-km level and, in the case of tropical cyclones, were closer to the 12-km level; and 3) land-based and sea-breeze convection had higher reflectivities and wider convective cores than oceanic and tropical cyclone convection. In addition, the high-resolution EDOP data were used to examine the connection between reflectivity and vertical velocity, for which only weak linear relationships were found. The results are discussed in terms of dynamical and microphysical implications for numerical models and future remote sensors.

  19. TOPEX NASA Altimeter Operations Handbook, September 1992. Volume 6

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hancock, David W., III; Hayne, George S.; Purdy, Craig L.; Bull, James B.; Brooks, Ronald L.

    2003-01-01

    This operations handbook identifies the commands for the NASA radar altimeter for the TOPEX/Poseidon spacecraft, defines the functions of these commands, and provides supplemental reference material for use by the altimeter operations personnel. The main emphasis of this document is placed on command types, command definitions, command sequences, and operational constraints. Additional document sections describe uploadable altimeter operating parameters, the telemetry stream data contents (for both the science and the engineering data), the Missions Operations System displays, and the spacecraft and altimeter health monitors.

  20. Thermal structure and radar backscatter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Topliss, B. J.; Stepanczak, M.; Guymer, Trevor H.; Cotton, David P.

    1994-12-01

    Infrared (IR) remote sensing from satellites is a well-proven technique for measuring sea surface temperature (SST) and for detecting and monitoring oceanographic features which have strong thermal contrast. Unfortunately, cloud cover often limits the continuity of the datasets and therefore their usefulness. There is some evidence that radar backscatter can be modified by sea surface temperature structure which raises the possibility that sensors such as synthetic aperture radar, scatterometers and altimeters could provide an all-weather complement to those operating in the IR. As a background, the results of a project which used coincident airborne radar and IR measurements of an eddy system in the Tyrrhenian Sea during October 1989 are briefly described. During a 5-day period, variations in radar backscatter of several dB occurred in a region where SST varied by 2 - 3 degree(s)C. The correlation between normalized radar cross section, sigma naught ((sigma) 0 or sigma-0) and SST appeared to depend on the ambient wind. Unfortunately, no satellite radar data were available during the experiment, since Geosat had just failed and ERS-1 was not due for launch until 1991. Building on this work, a study has commenced in which preliminary analyses of ERS-1 altimeter data, from tracks which repeat every 3 days, have been conducted for a section of the Gulf Stream after it has separated from the US coast. The along track variation of sigma naught has been compared with contemporaneous NOAA AVHRR-2 imagery and the relationship between SST structure and sigma naught for individual passes is discussed in terms of environmental parameters such as the local wind field and ocean currents. The possibility of the interaction of environmental parameters such as waves and currents are explored and some evidence for both wave enhancement and attenuation at the north wall of the Gulf Stream is illustrated. Tentative explanations for relationships observed by the various analysis

  1. An analysis of the economic impact of the AN/APS-134 FLAR (Forward Looking Airborne Radar) retrofit on Coast Guard HC-130 aircraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunn, R. E.

    1984-12-01

    Concern over the growing drug smuggling problem and improved national defense capability are manifest in the need for a new forward looking airborne radar (FLAR) for Coast Guard HC-130 aircraft, with a capability of detecting a target of 1 square meter radar cross section. This thesis reexamines the analysis that selected the AN/APS-134 FLAR over other contenders based on mission need, radar performance and life cycle cost criteria. This thesis presents a better understanding of the resulting HC-130 force structure based on the impact of FLAR technology.

  2. Retrieve Optically Thick Ice Cloud Microphysical Properties by Using Airborne Dual-Wavelength Radar Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Zhien; Heymsfield, Gerald M.; Li, Lihua; Heymsfield, Andrew J.

    2005-01-01

    An algorithm to retrieve optically thick ice cloud microphysical property profiles is developed by using the GSFC 9.6 GHz ER-2 Doppler Radar (EDOP) and the 94 GHz Cloud Radar System (CRS) measurements aboard the high-altitude ER-2 aircraft. In situ size distribution and total water content data from the CRYSTAL-FACE field campaign are used for the algorithm development. To reduce uncertainty in calculated radar reflectivity factors (Ze) at these wavelengths, coincident radar measurements and size distribution data are used to guide the selection of mass-length relationships and to deal with the density and non-spherical effects of ice crystals on the Ze calculations. The algorithm is able to retrieve microphysical property profiles of optically thick ice clouds, such as, deep convective and anvil clouds, which are very challenging for single frequency radar and lidar. Examples of retrieved microphysical properties for a deep convective clouds are presented, which show that EDOP and CRS measurements provide rich information to study cloud structure and evolution. Good agreement between IWPs derived from an independent submillimeter-wave radiometer, CoSSIR, and dual-wavelength radar measurements indicates accuracy of the IWC retrieved from the two-frequency radar algorithm.

  3. A survey of airborne radar systems for deployment on a High Altitude Powered Platform (HAPP)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choudhury, B. J.; Leung, K. C.

    1979-01-01

    A survey was conducted to find out the system characteristics of commercially available and unclassified military radars suitable for deployment on a stationary platform. A total of ten domestic and eight foreign manufacturers of the radar systems were identified. Questionnaires were sent to manufacturers requesting information concerning the system characteristics: frequency, power used, weight, volume, power radiated, antenna pattern, resolution, display capabilities, pulse repetition frequency, and sensitivity. A literature search was also made to gather the system characteristics information. Results of the survey are documented and comparisons are made among available radar systems.

  4. Internal wave observations made with an airborne synthetic aperture imaging radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elachi, C.; Apel, J. R.

    1976-01-01

    Synthetic aperture L-band radar flown aboard the NASA CV-990 has observed periodic striations on the ocean surface off the coast of Alaska which have been interpreted as tidally excited oceanic internal waves of less than 500 m length. These radar images are compared to photographic imagery of similar waves taken from Landsat 1. Both the radar and Landsat images reveal variations in reflectivity across each wave in a packet that range from low to high to normal. The variations point to the simultaneous existence of two mechanisms for the surface signatures of internal waves: roughening due to wave-current interactions, and smoothing due to slick formation.

  5. Challenges to Airborne and Orbital Radar Sounding in the Presence of Surface Clutter: Lessons Learned (so far) from the Dry Valleys of Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, J. W.; Peters, M. E.; Kempf, S. D.; Morse, D. L.; Blankenship, D. D.

    2005-12-01

    The search for life and in-situ resources for exploration on Mars targets both liquid and solid water, whether distributed or in reservoirs. Massive surface ice may cover potential habitats or other features of great interest. Ice-rich layering in the high latitudes holds clues to the climatic history of the planet. Multiple geophysical methods will clearly be necessary to fully characterize these various states of water (and other forms of ice), but radar sounding will be a critical component of the effort. Orbital radar sounders are already being employed and plans for surface-based and suborbital, above-surface radar sounders are being discussed. The difficulties in interpreting data from each type of platform are quite different. Given the lack of existing orbital radar sounding data from any planetary body, the analysis of airborne radar sounding data is quite useful for assessing the advantages and disadvantages of above-surface radar sounding on Mars. In addition to over 300,000 line-km of data collected over the Antarctic ice sheet by airborne radar sounding, we have recently analyzed data from the Dry Valleys of Antarctica where conditions and features emulate Mars in several respects. These airborne radar sounding data were collected over an ice-free area of Taylor Valley, ice-covered lakes, Taylor Glacier, and Beacon Valley. The pulsed radar (52.5 - 67.5 MHz chirp) was coherently recorded. Pulse compression and unfocused SAR processing were applied. One of the most challenging aspects of above-surface radar sounding is the determination of echo sources. This can, of course, be problematic for surface-based radar sounders given possible subsurface scattering geometries, but it is most severe for above-surface sounders because echoes from cross-track surface topography (surface clutter) can have similar time delays to those from the subsurface. We have developed two techniques to accomplish the identification of this surface clutter in single-pass airborne

  6. Summary of Turbulence Data Obtained During United Air Lines Flight Evaluation of an Experimental C Band (5.5 cm) Airborne Weather Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coe, E. C.; Fetner, M. W.

    1954-01-01

    Data on atmospheric turbulence in the vicinity of thunderstorms obtained during a flight evaluation of an experimental C band (5.5 cm) airborne radar are summarized. The turbulence data were obtained with an NACA VGH recorder installed in a United Air Lines DC-3 airplane.

  7. Comparison of sea surface wind speed fields by SEASAT radar altimeter, scatterometer and scanning multichannel microwave radiometer with an emphasis on the Southern Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mognard, N. M.; Campbell, W. J.

    1984-01-01

    The SEASAT altimeter (ALT), scatterometer (SASS), and scanning microwave multichannel radiometer (SMMR) measured sea surface wind speed. During the satellite lifetime from June to October 1978, the Austral winter, the highest wind speeds were recorded in the Southern Ocean. Three-month, monthly, and three-day surface wind speed fields deduced from the three Seasat wind speed sensors are compared. The monthly and three-day fields show a pronounced mesoscale (1000 km) variability in wind speed. At all space and time scales analyzed, differences of 40% are found in the magnitude of the wind speed features, with the ALT consistently yielding the lowest wind speed and the SMMR the highest.

  8. Precise Orbit Determination for Altimeter Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelensky, N. P.; Luthcke, S. B.; Rowlands, D. D.; Lemoine, F. G.; Beckley, B. B.; Wang, Y.; Chinn, D. S.

    2002-05-01

    Orbit error remains a critical component in the error budget for all radar altimeter missions. This paper describes the ongoing work at GSFC to improve orbits for three radar altimeter satellites: TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P), Jason, and Geosat Follow-On (GFO). T/P has demonstrated that, the time variation of ocean topography can be determined with an accuracy of a few centimeters, thanks to the availability of highly accurate orbits (2-3 cm radially) produced at GSFC. Jason, the T/P follow-on, is intended to continue measurement of the ocean surface with the same, if not better accuracy. Reaching the Jason centimeter accuracy orbit goal would greatly benefit the knowledge of ocean circulation. Several new POD strategies which promise significant improvement to the current T/P orbit are evaluated over one year of data. Also, preliminary, but very promising Jason POD results are presented. Orbit improvement for GFO has been dramatic, and has allowed this mission to provide a POESEIDON class altimeter product. The GFO Precise Orbit Ephemeris (POE) orbits are based on satellite laser ranging (SLR) tracking supplemented with GFO/GFO altimeter crossover data. The accuracy of these orbits were evaluated using several tests, including independent TOPEX/GFO altimeter crossover data. The orbit improvements are shown over the years 2000 and 2001 for which the POEs have been completed.

  9. Azimuthal Signature of Coincidental Brightness Temperature and Normalized Radar Cross-Section Obtained Using Airborne PALS Instrument

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colliander, Andreas; Kim, Seungbum; Yueh, Simon; Cosh, Mike; Jackson, Tom; Njoku, Eni

    2010-01-01

    Coincidental airborne brightness temperature (TB) and normalized radar-cross section (NRCS) measurements were carried out with the PALS (Passive and Active L- and S-band) instrument in the SMAPVEX08 (SMAP Validation Experiment 2008) field campaign. This paper describes results obtained from a set of flights which measured a field in 45(sup o) steps over the azimuth angle. The field contained mature soy beans with distinct row structure. The measurement shows that both TB and NRCS experience modulation effects over the azimuth as expected based on the theory. The result is useful in development and validation of land surface parameter forward models and retrieval algorithms, such as the soil moisture algorithm for NASA's SMAP (Soil Moisture Active and Passive) mission. Although the footprint of the SMAP will not be sensitive to the small resolution scale effects as the one presented in this paper, it is nevertheless important to understand the effects at smaller scale.

  10. The development of a power spectral density processor for C and L band airborne radar scatterometer sensor systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harrison, D. A., III; Chladek, J. T.

    1983-01-01

    A real-time signal processor was developed for the NASA/JSC L-and C-band airborne radar scatterometer sensor systems. The purpose of the effort was to reduce ground data processing costs. Conversion of two quadrature channels of data (like and cross polarized) was made to obtain Power Spectral Density (PSD) values. A chirp-z transform (CZT) approach was used to filter the Doppler return signal and improved high frequency and angular resolution was realized. The processors have been tested with record signals and excellent results were obtained. CZT filtering can be readily applied to scatterometers operating at other wavelengths by altering the sample frequency. The design of the hardware and software and the results of the performance tests are described in detail.

  11. Jigsaw phase III: a miniaturized airborne 3-D imaging laser radar with photon-counting sensitivity for foliage penetration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaidyanathan, Mohan; Blask, Steven; Higgins, Thomas; Clifton, William; Davidsohn, Daniel; Carson, Ryan; Reynolds, Van; Pfannenstiel, Joanne; Cannata, Richard; Marino, Richard; Drover, John; Hatch, Robert; Schue, David; Freehart, Robert; Rowe, Greg; Mooney, James; Hart, Carl; Stanley, Byron; McLaughlin, Joseph; Lee, Eui-In; Berenholtz, Jack; Aull, Brian; Zayhowski, John; Vasile, Alex; Ramaswami, Prem; Ingersoll, Kevin; Amoruso, Thomas; Khan, Imran; Davis, William; Heinrichs, Richard

    2007-04-01

    Jigsaw three-dimensional (3D) imaging laser radar is a compact, light-weight system for imaging highly obscured targets through dense foliage semi-autonomously from an unmanned aircraft. The Jigsaw system uses a gimbaled sensor operating in a spot light mode to laser illuminate a cued target, and autonomously capture and produce the 3D image of hidden targets under trees at high 3D voxel resolution. With our MIT Lincoln Laboratory team members, the sensor system has been integrated into a geo-referenced 12-inch gimbal, and used in airborne data collections from a UH-1 manned helicopter, which served as a surrogate platform for the purpose of data collection and system validation. In this paper, we discuss the results from the ground integration and testing of the system, and the results from UH-1 flight data collections. We also discuss the performance results of the system obtained using ladar calibration targets.

  12. Combined VHF Dopplar radar and airborne (CV-990) measurements of atmospheric winds on the mesoscale

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fairall, Christopher W.; Thomson, Dennis W.

    1989-01-01

    Hourly measurements of wind speed and direction obtained using two wind profiling Doppler radars during two prolonged jet stream occurrences over western Pennsylvania were analyzed. In particular, the time-variant characteristics of derived shear profiles were examined. To prevent a potential loss of structural detail and retain statistical significance, data from both radars were stratified into categories based on the location data from the Penn State radar were also compared to data from Pittsburgh radiosondes. Profiler data dropouts were studied in an attempt to determine possible reasons for the apparently reduced performance of profiling radars operating beneath a jet stream. Temperature profiles for the radar site were obtained using an interpolated temperature and dewpoint temperature sounding procedure developed at Penn State. The combination of measured wind and interpolated temperature profiles allowed Richardson number profiles to be generated for the profiler sounding volume. Both Richardson number and wind shear statistics were then examined along with pilot reports of turbulence in the vicinity of the profiler.

  13. An optical radar for airborne use over natural waters. [for underwater target detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levis, C. A.; Swarner, W. G.; Prettyman, C.; Reinhardt, G. W.

    1975-01-01

    An optical radar for detecting targets in natural waters was built and tested in the Gulf of Mexico. The transmitter consists of a Q switched neodymium glass laser, with output amplified and doubled in KDP to 0.53 micrometer wavelength. The receiver incorporates a noval optical spatial filter to reduce the dynamic range required of the photodetector to a reasonable value. Detection of targets to a depth of 26 meters (84 feet) was achieved with a considerable sensitivity margin. The sensitivity of the radar is highly dependent on the optical attenuation coefficient. In general, measured returns fell between the values predicted on the basis of monopath and multipath attenuation. By means of simple physical arguments, a radar equation for the system was derived. To validate this theoretical model, measurements of optical attenuation and of water surface behavior were also instrumented, and some of these results are given.

  14. Seasat altimeter determination of ocean current variability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernstein, R. L.; Whritner, R. H.; Born, G. H.

    1982-01-01

    An experiment conducted in the Kuroshio Current, east of Japan, has confirmed the ability of radar altimeters of precision on the order of 10 cm, such as that of the Seasat satellite, to measure the small oceanic height variations associated with geostrophic ocean currents. Changes in surface dynamic height were inferred from data gathered by air-expendable barithermographs, which had been dropped to coincide with the Seasat subtrack, for the periods between the flights of September 25 and October 5 and 13, 1978. The changes registered generally agreed to within + or - 10 cm of the height changes observed in the altimeter data.

  15. The USGS Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) program: CD-ROMs expand potential for petroleum exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Kover, A.N.; Schoonmaker, J.W. Jr.; Pohn. H.A. )

    1991-03-01

    The United States Geological Survey (USGS) began the systematic collection of Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) data in 1980. The SLAR image data, useful for many geologic applications including petroleum exploration, are compiled into mosaics using the USGS 1:250,000-scale topographic map series for format and control. Mosaics have been prepared for over 35% of the United States. Image data collected since 1985 are also available as computer compatible tapes (CCTs) for digital analysis. However, the use of tapes is often cumbersome. To make digital data more readily available for use on a microcomputer, the USGS has started to prepare compact discs-read only memory (CD-ROM). Several experimental discs have been compiled to demonstrate the utility of the medium to make available very large data sets. These discs include necessary nonproprietary software text, radar, and other image data. The SLAR images selected for these discs show significantly different geologic features and include the Long Valley caldera, a section of the San Andreas fault in the Monterey area, the Grand Canyon, and glaciers in southeastern Alaska. At present, several CD-ROMs are available as standard products distributed by the USGS EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57198. This is also the source for all USGS SLAR photographic and digital material.

  16. Analysis of volcanic surface morphology on Venus from comparison of Arecibo, Magellan, and terrestrial airborne radar data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, Bruce A.; Campbell, Donald B.

    1992-01-01

    The paper compares Arecibo Observatory and Magellan radar data for Venus to airborne radar images for potential terrestrial analog surfaces. Volcanic deposits in western Eistla Regio and northern Sedna Planitia are characterized. It is shown that the expected-sense circularly polarized echoes in the 'dark plains' and broad flow aprons of Eistla Regio decrease rapidly with incidence angle. This angular scattering behavior implies surfaces no rougher than terrestrial pahoehoe flows. Polarization ratio comparisons show that the extensive lava flows in Western Eistla Regio and Sedna Planitia are generally consistent with the properties of terrestrial pahoehoe flows, with only limited occurrences of a'a morphology. Three scenarios are suggested. Many of the large flow units in the two study regions were emplaced as complexes of low-effusion rate pahoehoe flows, rather than as higher eruption rate events which might be expected to produce a'a surface textures; the long lava flows were originally emplaced as a'a but have since weathered to a smoother texture; or a combination of atmospheric and magma compositional effects combine to inhibit a'a formation even at high volume eruption rates.

  17. Measurement of Attenuation with Airborne and Ground-Based Radar in Convective Storms Over Land and Its Microphysical Implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tian, Lin; Heymsfield, G. M.; Srivastava, R. C.; Starr, D. OC. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Observations by the airborne X-band Doppler radar (EDOP) and the NCAR S-band polarimetric (S-POL) radar from two field experiments are used to evaluate the Surface ref'ercnce technique (SRT) for measuring the path integrated attenuation (PIA) and to study attenuation in deep convective storms. The EDOP, flying at an altitude of 20 km, uses a nadir beam and a forward pointing beam. It is found that over land, the surface scattering cross-section is highly variable at nadir incidence but relatively stable at forward incidence. It is concluded that measurement by the forward beam provides a viable technique for measuring PIA using the SRT. Vertical profiles of peak attenuation coefficient are derived in vxo deep convective storms by the dual-wavelength method. Using the measured Doppler velocity, the reflectivities at. the two wavelengths, the differential reflectivity and the estimated attenuation coefficients, it is shown that: supercooled drops and dry ice particles probably co-existed above the melting level in regions of updraft, that water-coated partially melted ice particles probably contributed to high attenuation below the melting level, and that the data are not readil explained in terms of a gamma function raindrop size distribution.

  18. The US Geological Survey's side-looking airborne radar acquisition program: Image data from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific

    SciTech Connect

    Kovar, A.N.; Schoonmaker, J.W. Jr. )

    1993-04-01

    The US Geological Survey (USGS) has been systematically collecting side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) image data for the US since 1980. The image strip swaths, ranging in width from 20 to 46 km, are acquired commercially by X-band (3 cm) radar systems. Data are acquired with 60 percent side-lap for better mosaic preparation and stereoscopic capability. The image strips are assembled into 1[degree] x 2[degree] mosaic quadrangles that are based on the USGS 1:250,000-topographic map series for control, format, and nomenclature. These mosaics present the data in a broad synoptic view that facilitates geologic interpretation. SLAR image mosaics have been prepared for more than 35 percent of the US west of the Rocky Mountain front. In addition to quadrangle mosaics, regional composite mosaics have been prepared as value-added products. These include Pacific Northwest (14 quadrangles), southern California Coastal (from San Francisco to San Diego), Reno-Walker (includes parts of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks), Uinta Basin (Salt Lake City, Price and Grand Junction), and Salton Sea Region (San Diego, Santa Ana, El Centro and Salton Sea). Most of the image data are available on computer compatible tapes and photographic products. To make the data more accessible and reasonably priced, the strip images are being processed into CD-ROM (compact disc, read-only memory). One demonstration CD-ROM includes the mosaics of Las Vegas, Mariposa, Ritzville, Walla Walla, and Pendleton quadrangles.

  19. Measurement of Attenuation with Airborne and Ground-Based Radar in Convective Storms Over Land Its Microphysical Implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tian, Lin; Heymsfield, G. M.; Srivastava, R. C.; O'C.Starr, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Observations by the airborne X-band Doppler radar (EDOP) and the NCAR S-band polarimetric (S-Pol) radar from two field experiments are used to evaluate the surface reference technique (SRT) for measuring the path integrated attenuation (PIA) and to study attenuation in deep convective storms. The EDOP, flying at an altitude of 20 km, uses a nadir beam and a forward pointing beam. It is found that over land, the surface scattering cross-section is highly variable at nadir incidence but relatively stable at forward incidence. It is concluded that measurement by the forward beam provides a viable technique for measuring PIA using the SRT. Vertical profiles of peak attenuation coefficient are derived in two deep convective storms by the dual-wavelength method. Using the measured Doppler velocity, the reflectivities at the two wavelengths, the differential reflectivity and the estimated attenuation coefficients, it is shown that: supercooled drops and (dry) ice particles probably co-existed above the melting level in regions of updraft, that water-coated partially melted ice particles probably contributed to high attenuation below the melting level.

  20. Adaptive clutter rejection filters for airborne Doppler weather radar applied to the detection of low altitude windshear

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keel, Byron M.

    1989-01-01

    An optimum adaptive clutter rejection filter for use with airborne Doppler weather radar is presented. The radar system is being designed to operate at low-altitudes for the detection of windshear in an airport terminal area where ground clutter returns may mask the weather return. The coefficients of the adaptive clutter rejection filter are obtained using a complex form of a square root normalized recursive least squares lattice estimation algorithm which models the clutter return data as an autoregressive process. The normalized lattice structure implementation of the adaptive modeling process for determining the filter coefficients assures that the resulting coefficients will yield a stable filter and offers possible fixed point implementation. A 10th order FIR clutter rejection filter indexed by geographical location is designed through autoregressive modeling of simulated clutter data. Filtered data, containing simulated dry microburst and clutter return, are analyzed using pulse-pair estimation techniques. To measure the ability of the clutter rejection filters to remove the clutter, results are compared to pulse-pair estimates of windspeed within a simulated dry microburst without clutter. In the filter evaluation process, post-filtered pulse-pair width estimates and power levels are also used to measure the effectiveness of the filters. The results support the use of an adaptive clutter rejection filter for reducing the clutter induced bias in pulse-pair estimates of windspeed.

  1. NASA's Operation Icebridge: Using Instrumented Aircraft to Bridge the Observational Gap Between Icesat and Icesat-2 Laser Altimeter Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studinger, M.

    2014-12-01

    NASA's Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the polar regions with the global climate system. Operation IceBridge utilizes a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled to characterize annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. In addition, Operation IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of Earth's polar ice to climate change and resulting sea-level rise. IceBridge also helps bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA's ICESat satellite missions. Combined with previous aircraft observations, as well as ICESat, CryoSat-2 and the forthcoming ICESat-2 observations, Operation IceBridge will produce a cross-calibrated 17-year time series of ice sheet and sea-ice elevation data over Antarctica, as well as a 27-year time series over Greenland. These time series will be a critical resource for predictive models of sea ice and ice sheet behavior. In addition to laser altimetry, Operation IceBridge is using a comprehensive suite of instruments to produce a three-dimensional view of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and the sea ice. The suite includes two NASA laser altimeters, the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS); four radar systems from the University of Kansas' Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), a Ku-band radar altimeter, accumulation radar, snow radar and the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS); a Sander Geophysics airborne gravimeter (AIRGrav), a magnetometer and a high-resolution stereographic camera (DMS). Since its start in 2009, Operation IceBridge has deployed 8 geophysical survey aircraft and 19 science instruments. All IceBridge data is freely available from NSIDC (http://nsidc.org/data/icebridge) 6 months after completion of a campaign.

  2. Ice-volcano interactions during the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, as revealed by airborne imaging radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magnússon, E.; Gudmundsson, M. T.; Roberts, M. J.; Sigurã°Sson, G.; HöSkuldsson, F.; Oddsson, B.

    2012-07-01

    During the eruption of the ice-covered Eyjafjallajökull volcano, a series of images from an airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) were obtained by the Icelandic Coast Guard. Cloud obscured the summit from view during the first three days of the eruption, making the weather-independent SAR a valuable monitoring resource. Radar images revealed the development of ice cauldrons in a 200 m thick ice cover within the summit caldera, as well as the formation of cauldrons to the immediate south of the caldera. Additionally, radar images were used to document the subglacial and supraglacial passage of floodwater to the north and south of the eruption site. The eruption breached the ice surface about four hours after its onset at about 01:30 UTC on 14 April 2010. The first SAR images, obtained between 08:55 and 10:42 UTC, show signs of limited supraglacial drainage from the eruption site. Floodwater began to drain from the ice cap almost 5.5 h after the beginning of the eruption, implying storage of meltwater at the eruption site due to initially constricted subglacial drainage from the caldera. Heat transfer rates from magma to ice during early stages of cauldron formation were about 1 MW m-2 in the radial direction and about 4 MW m-2 vertically. Meltwater release was characterized by accumulation and drainage with most of the volcanic material in the ice cauldrons being drained in hyperconcentrated floods. After the third day of the eruption, meltwater generation at the eruption site diminished due to an insulating lag of tephra.

  3. Feasibility of inter-comparing airborne and spaceborne obsevations of radar backscattering coefficients

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission will provide global soil moisture products that will facilitate new science and application areas. The SMAP mission, scheduled for launch in November 2014, will offer synthetic aperture radar (SAR) measurements of backscattering coefficients for the re...

  4. Impacts of 4D-VAR Assimilation of Airborne Doppler Radar Observations on Numerical Simulations of the Genesis of Typhoon Nuri (2008)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pu, Z.; Li, Z.

    2014-12-01

    The Weather Research and Forecasting model and its four-dimensional variational data assimilation system are employed to examine the impact of airborne Doppler radar observations on predicting the genesis of Typhoon Nuri (2008). The ELDORA airborne radar data, collected during the Office of Naval Research-sponsored Tropical Cyclone Structure 2008 field experiment, are used for data assimilation experiments. Two assimilation methods are evaluated and compared, namely, the direct assimilation of radar-measured radial velocity and the assimilation of three-dimensional wind analysis derived from the radar radial velocity. Results show that direct assimilation of radar radial velocity leads to better intensity forecasts, as it enhances the development of convective systems and improves the inner core structure of Nuri, whereas assimilation of the radar-retrieved wind analysis is more beneficial for tracking forecasts, as it results in improved environmental flows. The assimilation of both the radar-retrieved wind and the radial velocity can lead to better forecasts in both intensity and tracking, if the radial velocity observations are assimilated first and the retrieved winds are then assimilated in the same data assimilation window. In addition, experiments with and without radar data assimilation lead to developing and nondeveloping disturbances for Nuri's genesis in the numerical simulations. The improved initial conditions and forecasts from the data assimilation imply that the enhanced midlevel vortex and moisture conditions are favorable for the development of deep convection in the center of the pouch and eventually contribute to Nuri's genesis. The improved simulations of the convection and associated environmental conditions produce enhanced upper-level warming in the core region and lead to the drop in sea-level pressure.

  5. A Methodology for Determining Statistical Performance Compliance for Airborne Doppler Radar with Forward-Looking Turbulence Detection Capability. Second Corrected Copy Issued May 23, 2011

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowles, Roland L.; Buck, Bill K.

    2009-01-01

    The objective of the research developed and presented in this document was to statistically assess turbulence hazard detection performance employing airborne pulse Doppler radar systems. The FAA certification methodology for forward looking airborne turbulence radars will require estimating the probabilities of missed and false hazard indications under operational conditions. Analytical approaches must be used due to the near impossibility of obtaining sufficient statistics experimentally. This report describes an end-to-end analytical technique for estimating these probabilities for Enhanced Turbulence (E-Turb) Radar systems under noise-limited conditions, for a variety of aircraft types, as defined in FAA TSO-C134. This technique provides for one means, but not the only means, by which an applicant can demonstrate compliance to the FAA directed ATDS Working Group performance requirements. Turbulence hazard algorithms were developed that derived predictive estimates of aircraft hazards from basic radar observables. These algorithms were designed to prevent false turbulence indications while accurately predicting areas of elevated turbulence risks to aircraft, passengers, and crew; and were successfully flight tested on a NASA B757-200 and a Delta Air Lines B737-800. Application of this defined methodology for calculating the probability of missed and false hazard indications taking into account the effect of the various algorithms used, is demonstrated for representative transport aircraft and radar performance characteristics.

  6. NASA's Operation IceBridge: using instrumented aircraft to bridge the observational gap between ICESat and ICESat-2 laser altimeter measurements (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studinger, M.; Koenig, L.; Martin, S.; Sonntag, J. G.

    2010-12-01

    In 2009, the NASA satellite laser altimeter mission ICESat (Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite), which was launched in 2003, ceased to operate. To bridge the gap in polar laser observations between ICESat and its replacement ICESat-2, which is not scheduled for launch until 2015, Operation IceBridge, a six-year NASA airborne mission, was initiated in 2009. From a series of yearly polar flights, Operation IceBridge uses airborne instruments to map rapidly changing areas in the Arctic and Antarctic, building on two decades of repeat airborne and satellite measurements. Combined with previous aircraft observations, as well as ICESat, CryoSat-2 and the forthcoming ICESat-2 observations, Operation IceBridge will produce a cross-calibrated 17-year time series of ice sheet and sea-ice elevation data over Antarctica, as well as a 27-year time series over Greenland. These time series will be a critical resource for predictive models of sea ice and ice sheet behavior. In addition to laser altimetry, Operation IceBridge is using a comprehensive suite of instruments to produce a three-dimensional view of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and the sea ice. The suite includes two NASA laser altimeters, the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS); four radar systems from the University of Kansas’ Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), a Ku-band radar altimeter, accumulation radar, snow radar and the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS); a Sander Geophysics airborne gravimeter (AIRGrav) and a high resolution stereographic camera (DMS). The first Operation IceBridge flights were conducted between March and May 2009 over the Arctic and between October and November 2009 over Antarctica. Since its start in 2009, Operation IceBridge has flown 69 science missions, 580 flight hours and collected more than 350,000 km of data. All Operation IceBridge data are available at NSDIC: http

  7. Improving crop classification through attention to the timing of airborne radar acquisitions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brisco, B.; Ulaby, F. T.; Protz, R.

    1984-01-01

    Radar remote sensors may provide valuable input to crop classification procedures because of (1) their independence of weather conditions and solar illumination, and (2) their ability to respond to differences in crop type. Manual classification of multidate synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery resulted in an overall accuracy of 83 percent for corn, forest, grain, and 'other' cover types. Forests and corn fields were identified with accuracies approaching or exceeding 90 percent. Grain fields and 'other' fields were often confused with each other, resulting in classification accuracies of 51 and 66 percent, respectively. The 83 percent correct classification represents a 10 percent improvement when compared to similar SAR data for the same area collected at alternate time periods in 1978. These results demonstrate that improvements in crop classification accuracy can be achieved with SAR data by synchronizing data collection times with crop growth stages in order to maximize differences in the geometric and dielectric properties of the cover types of interest.

  8. Airborne radar imaging of subaqueous channel evolution in Wax Lake Delta, Louisiana, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, John B.; Ayoub, Francois; Jones, Cathleen E.; Lamb, Michael P.; Holt, Benjamin; Wagner, R. Wayne; Coffey, Thomas S.; Chadwick, J. Austin; Mohrig, David

    2016-05-01

    Shallow coastal regions are among the fastest evolving landscapes but are notoriously difficult to measure with high spatiotemporal resolution. Using Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) data, we demonstrate that high signal-to-noise L band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can reveal subaqueous channel networks at the distal ends of river deltas. Using 27 UAVSAR images collected between 2009 and 2015 from the Wax Lake Delta in coastal Louisiana, USA, we show that under normal tidal conditions, planform geometry of the distributary channel network is frequently resolved in the UAVSAR images, including ~700 m of seaward network extension over 5 years for one channel. UAVSAR also reveals regions of subaerial and subaqueous vegetation, streaklines of biogenic surfactants, and what appear to be small distributary channels aliased by the survey grid, all illustrating the value of fine resolution, low noise, L band SAR for mapping the nearshore subaqueous delta channel network.

  9. Airborne Ku-Band Polarimetric Radar Remote Sensing of Terrestrial Snow Cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yueh, Simon; Cline, Donald; Elder, Kelly

    2008-01-01

    Preliminary analyses of the POLSCAT data acquired from the CLPX-II in winter 2006-2007 are described in this paper. The data showed the response of the Ku-band radarechoes to snowpack changes for various types of background vegetation. We observed about 0.2 to 0.4 dB increases in backscatter for every 1 cm SWE accumulation for sage brush and agricultural fields. The co-polarized VV and HH radar resposnes are similar, while the corss-polarized (VH or HV) echoes showedgreater resposne to the change of SWE. The data also showed the impact of surface hoar growth and freeze/thaw cycles, whichcreated large snow grain sizes and ice lenses, respectively, and consequently increased the radar signals by a few dBs.

  10. Wave observation at sea with the Dutch Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, H. C.

    1984-03-01

    Theoretical limits for sea wave observation with SLAR systems were investigated by modeling the interaction between microwave radiation and the sea surface. A description of the SLAR, in which three-dimensional spatial wave extension, two-dimensional antenna variations, pulse modulation, and platform movements are assimilated is given. A two-dimensional collection of equidistant point objects for microwave scattering at the rough sea surface is given. Resolution characteristics and speckle behavior were analyzed. Spatial resolution in range and azimuth is limited by pulse width and azimuth aperture angle of the antenna. As the modulation transfer function amplitude has a low value, small variations are lost in noise and speckle. Image error as a result of the observation of moving wave patterns with a flying radar are discussed. Recommendations to improve the radar characteristics are given.

  11. The structure of a microburst - As observed by ground-based and airborne Doppler radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mueller, C. K.; Hildebrand, P. H.

    1983-01-01

    Attention is given to the microburst observed near Denver, CO, on June 29, 1982, in the course of the Joint Airport Weather Study (JAWS). The JAWS ground radar network was specifically established to furnish high spatial and temporal resolution multiple Doppler data for microburst observations. The data, which were collected from directly above the microburst, permitted direct measurements of vertical velocities to be made. P-3 surveillance aircraft Doppler data was also available for this microburst, whose considerable complexity is noted.

  12. Multi-temporal airborne synthetic aperture radar data for crop classification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foody, G. M.; Curran, P. J.; Groom, G. B.; Munro, D. C.

    1989-01-01

    This paper presents an approach to the classification of crop type using multitemporal airborne SAR data. Following radiometric correction of the data, the accuracy of a per-field crop classification reached 90 percent for three classes using data acquired on four dates. A comparable accuracy of 88 percent could be obtained for a classification of the same classes using data acquired on only two dates. Increasing the number of classes from three to seven reduced the classification accuracies to 55 percent and 69 percent when using data from two and four dates respectively.

  13. Altimeter measurements for the determination of the Earth's gravity field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tapley, B. D.; Schutz, B. E.; Shum, C. K.

    1987-01-01

    The ability of satellite-borne radar altimeter data to measure the global ocean surface with high precision and dense spatial coverage provides a unique tool for the mapping of the Earth's gravity field and its geoid. The altimeter crossover measurements, created by differencing direct altimeter measurements at the subsatellite points where the orbit ground tracks intersect, have the distinct advantage of eliminating geoid error and other nontemporal or long period oceanographic features. In the 1990's, the joint U.S./French TOPEX/POSEIDON mission and the European Space Agency's ERS-1 mission will carry radar altimeter instruments capable of global ocean mapping with high precision. This investigation aims at the development and application of dynamically consistent direct altimeter and altimeter crossover measurement models to the simultaneous mapping of the Earth's gravity field and its geoid, the ocean tides and the quasi-stationary component of the dynamic sea surface topography. Altimeter data collected by SEASAT, GEOS-3, and GEOSAT are used for the investigation.

  14. Echo Source Discrimination in Airborne Radar Sounding Data for Mars Analog Studies, Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, J. W.; Blankenship, D. D.; Peters, M. E.; Kempf, S. D.; Morse, D. L.; Williams, B. J.

    2003-01-01

    The recent identification of features on Mars exhibiting morphologies consistent with ice/rock mixtures, near-surface ice bodies and near-surface liquid water [1,2], and the importance of such features to the search for water on Mars, highlights the need for appropriate terrestrial analogs in order to prepare for upcoming radar missions targeting these and other water-related features. Climatic, hydrological, and geological conditions in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are analogous in many ways to those on Mars, and a number of ice-related features in the Dry Valleys may have direct morphologic and compositional counterparts on Mars.

  15. ESA Cryovex 2011 Airborne Campaign for CRYOSAT-2 Calibration and Validation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skourup, H.; Einarsson, I.; Sandberg, L.; Forsberg, R.; Stenseng, L.; Hendricks, S.; Helm, V.; Davidson, M.

    2011-12-01

    After the successful launch of CryoSat-2 in April 2010, the first direct validation campaign of the satellite was carried out in the April-May 2011. DTU Space has been involved in ESA's CryoSat Validation Experiment (CryoVEx) with airborne activities since 2003. To validate the performance of the CryoSat-2 radar altimeter (SIRAL), the aircraft is equipped with an airborne version of the SIRAL altimeter (ASIRAS) together with a laser scanner. Of particular interest is to study the penetration depth of SIRAL into both land- and sea ice. This can be done by comparing the radar and laser measurements, as the laser reflects on the surface, and by overflight of laser reflectors. In the spring of 2011 the DTU Space airborne team visited five main validation sites: Devon ice cap (Canada), Austfonna ice cap (Svalbard), the EGIG line crossing the Greenland Ice Sheet, as well as the sea ice north of Alert and sea ice around Svalbard in the Fram Strait. Selected tracks were planned to match CryoSat-2 passes and a few of them were flown in formation flight with the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) Polar-5 carrying an EM-bird. We present an overview of the 2011 airborne campaign together with first results of the CryoSat-2 underflights.

  16. Research and technology developments in aeronautics, atmospheric and oceanographic measurements, radar applications, and remote sensing of insects using radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oberholtzer, J. D. (Editor)

    1980-01-01

    Highlights of the year's activities and accomplishments are reported in the areas of aircraft safety, scientific ballooning, mid-air payload retrieval, and the design of a microwave power reception and conversion system for on use on a high altitude powered platform. The development and application of an agro-environmental system to provide crop management advisory information to Virginia farmers, and the radar tracking of insects are described. Aircraft systems, developed for measuring atmospheric ozone and nitric acid were used to sample emissions from Mount St. Helens. Investigations of the reliability and precision of the U.S. standard meteorological rocketsonde, applications of the microwave altimeter and airborne lidar system in oceanography, and the development of a multibeam altimeter concept are also summarized.

  17. A data assimilation experiment of RASTA airborne cloud radar data during HyMeX IOP16

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saussereau, Gaël; Caumont, Olivier; Delanoë, Julien

    2015-04-01

    The main goal of HyMeX first special observing period (SOP1), which took place from 5 September to 5 November 2012, was to document the heavy precipitation events and flash floods that regularly affect the north-western Mediterranean coastal areas. In the two-month campaign, around twenty rainfall events were documented in France, Italy, and Spain. Among the instrumental platforms that were deployed during SOP1, the Falcon 20 of the Safire unit (http://www.safire.fr/) made numerous flights in storm systems so as to document their thermodynamic, microphysical, and dynamical properties. In particular, the RASTA cloud radar (http://rali.projet.latmos.ipsl.fr/) was aboard this aircraft. This radar measures vertical profiles of reflectivity and Doppler velocity above and below the aircraft. This unique instrument thus allows us to document the microphysical properties and the speed of wind and hydrometeors in the clouds, quasi-continuously in time and at a 60-m vertical resolution. For this field campaign, a special version of the numerical weather prediction (NWP) Arome system was developed to cover the whole north-western Mediterranean basin. This version, called Arome-WMed, ran in real time during the SOP in order to, notably, schedule the airborne operations, especially in storm systems. Like the operational version, Arome-WMed delivers forecasts at a horizontal resolution of 2.5 km with a one-moment microphysical scheme that predicts the evolution of six water species: water vapour, cloud liquid water, rainwater, pristine ice, snow, and graupel. Its three-dimensional variational (3DVar) data assimilation (DA) system ingests every three hours (at 00 UTC, 03 UTC, etc.) numerous observations (radiosoundings, ground automatic weather stations, radar, satellite, GPS, etc.). In order to provide improved initial conditions to Arome-WMed, especially for heavy precipitation events, RASTA data were assimilated in Arome-WMed 3DVar DA system for IOP16 (26 October 2012), to

  18. Radar altimetry systems cost analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Escoe, D.; Heuring, F. T.; Denman, W. F.

    1976-01-01

    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.

  19. On siphons and sediments: A new model for draining active subglacial lakes in Antarctica informed with satellite radar and laser altimeter observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, S. P.; Fricker, H. A.; Siegfried, M. R.

    2014-12-01

    With the advent of repeat-pass satellite-based surface altimetry over much of Antarctica, approximately 130 new subglacial lakes have been discovered entirely from observations of surface uplift and subsidence; these are commonly referred to as "active lakes". In contrast to the ~160 lakes detected by radar sounding ("RES" lakes), which are typically in mountains bedrock terrain near the ice divide and static with residence times spanning millenia, active lakes are typically located in fast flowing ice streams far from the divides, and have short residence times. To understand how water transfers through active lake systems we have developed a new model based on earlier theoretical work and informed by lake-volume estimates inferred from of ice surface displacements detected by satellite radar and laser altimetry. We find that although the overall pattern of filling and drainage is similar to that for ice dammed lakes in alpine regions via channels thermally eroded into the ice that then creeps shut as water pressure declines, Antarctic lake drainage is better simulated by invoking a channel mechanically eroded into the underlying sediment. The necessity of an erodable deformable substrate to explain lake drainage suggests that the distribution of active lakes is an indicator for the presence of sediment. Furthermore the process of lake drainage appears quite sensitive to the composion and strength of the underlying till. We explore these possibilities by testing the model on subglacial lakes in both East and West Antarctica, including Recovery Glacier and MacAyeal Ice stream.

  20. LASER ALTIMETER CANOPY HEIGHT PROFILES: METHODS AND VALIDATION FOR CLOSED-CANOPY, BROADLEAF FORESTS. (R828309)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    Waveform-recording laser altimeter observations of vegetated landscapes provide a time-resolved measure of laser pulse backscatter energy from canopy surfaces and the underlying ground. Airborne laser altimeter waveform data was acquired using the Scanning Lid...

  1. Altimeter height measurement error introduced by the presence of variable cloud and rain attenuation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Monaldo, F. M.; Goldhirsh, J.; Walsh, E. J.

    1986-01-01

    It has recently been recognized that spatially inhomogeneous clouds and rain can substantially affect the height precision obtainable from a spaceborne radar altimeter system. Through computer simulation, it has been found that typical levels of cloud and rain intensities and associated spatial variabilities may degrade altimeter precision at 13.5 GHz and, in particular, cause severe degradation at 35 GHz. This degradation in precision is a result of radar signature distortion caused by variable attenuation over the beam limited altimeter footprint. Because attenuation effects increase with frequency, imprecision caused by them will significantly impact on the frequency selection of future altimeters. In this paper the degradation of altimeter precision introduced by idealized cloud and rain configurations as well as for a realistic rain configuration as measured with a ground based radar is examined.

  2. Altimeter height measurement errors introduced by the presence of variable cloud and rain attenuation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Monaldo, F. M.; Goldhirsh, J.; Walsh, E. J.

    1984-01-01

    It has recently been recognized that spatially inhomogeneous clouds and rain can substantially affect the height precision obtainable from a spaceborne radar altimeter system. Through computer simulation, it has been found that typical levels of cloud and rain intensities and associated spatial variabilities may degrade altimeter precision at 13.5 GHz and, in particular, cause severe degradation at 35 GHz. This degradation in precision is a result of radar signature distortion caused by variable attenuation over the beam limited altimeter footprint. Because attenuation effects increase with frequency, imprecision caused by them will significantly impact on the frequency selection of future altimeters. In this paper the degradation of altimeter precision introduced by idealized cloud and rain configurations as well as for a realistic rain configuration as measured with a ground based radar is examined.

  3. Quantification of Shear-Relative Asymmetries in Eyewall Slope Using Airborne Doppler Radar Composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hazelton, A.; Rogers, R.; Hart, R. E.

    2013-12-01

    Recently, it has become apparent that typical methods for analyzing tropical cyclones (TCs), such as track and intensity, are insufficient for evaluating TC structural evolution and numerical model forecasts of that evolution. Many studies have analyzed different metrics related to TC inner-core structure in an attempt to better understand the processes that drive changes in core structure. One important metric related to vertical TC structure is the slope of the eyewall. Hazelton and Hart (2013) discussed azimuthal mean eyewall slope based on radar reflectivity data, and its relationship with TC intensity and core structure. That study also noted significant azimuthal variation in slopes, but did not significantly explore reasons for this variation. Accordingly, in this study, we attempt to quantify the role of vertical wind shear in causing azimuthal variance of slope, using research quality Doppler radar composites from the NOAA Hurricane Research Division (HRD). We analyze the slope of the 20 dBZ surface as in Hazelton and Hart (2013), and also look at azimuthal variation in other measures of eyewall slope, such as the slope of the radius of maximum winds (RMW), which has been analyzed in an azimuthal mean sense by Stern and Nolan (2009), and an angular momentum surface. The shear-relative slopes are quantified by separating the radar data into four quadrants relative to the vertical shear vector: Downshear Left (DSL), Upshear Left (USL), Upshear Right (USR), and Downshear Right (DSR). This follows the method employed in shear-relative analyses of other aspects of TC core structure, such as Rogers et al. (2013) and Reasor et al. (2013). The data suitable for use in this study consist of 36 flights into 15 different TCs (14 Atlantic, 1 Eastern Pacific) between 1997 and 2010. Preliminary results show apparent shear-induced asymmetries in eyewall slope. The slope of the RMW shows an asymmetry due to the tilt of the vortex approximately along the shear vector, with

  4. Quantifying monthly to decadal subsidence and assessing collapse potential near the Wink sinkholes, west Texas, using airborne lidar, radar interferometry, and microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paine, J. G.; Collins, E.; Yang, D.; Andrews, J. R.; Averett, A.; Caudle, T.; Saylam, K.

    2014-12-01

    We are using airborne lidar and satellite-based radar interferometry (InSAR) to quantify short-term (months to years) and longer-term (decades) subsidence in the area surrounding two large (100- to 200-m diameter) sinkholes that formed above Permian bedded salt in 1980 and 2002 in the Wink area, west Texas. Radar interferograms constructed from synthetic aperture radar data acquired between 2008 and 2011 with the ALOS PALSAR L-band satellite-borne instrument reveal local areas that are subsiding at rates that reach a few cm per month. Subsiding areas identified on radar interferograms enable labor-intensive ground investigations (such as microgravity surveys) to focus on areas where subsidence is occurring and shallow-source mass deficits might exist that could be sites of future subsidence or collapse. Longer-term elevation changes are being quantified by comparing digital elevation models (DEMs) constructed from high-resolution airborne lidar data acquired over a 32-km2 area in 2013 with older, lower-resolution DEMs constructed from data acquired during the NASA- and NGA-sponsored Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission in February 2000 and from USGS aerial photogrammetry-derived topographic data from the 1960s. Total subsidence reaches more than 10 m over 45 years in some areas. Maximum rates of subsidence measured on annual (from InSAR) and decadal (from lidar) time scales are about 0.25 m/yr. In addition to showing the extent and magnitude of subsidence at the 1980 and 2002 sinkholes, comparison of the 2013 lidar-derived DEM with the 1960s photogrammetry-derived DEM revealed other locations that have undergone significant (more than 1 m) elevation change since the 1960s, but show no evidence of recent (2008 to 2011) ground motion from satellite radar interferograms. Regional coverage obtained by radar interferometry and local coverage obtained with airborne lidar show that areas of measurable subsidence are all within a few km of the 1980 and 2002 sinkholes.

  5. Airborne synthetic aperture radar observations and simulations for waves in ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vachon, Paris W.; Olsen, Richard B.; Krogstad, Harald E.; Liu, Antony K.

    1993-01-01

    The Canada Centre for Remote Sensing CV-580 aircraft collected C-band SAR data over the marginal ice zone off the east coast of Newfoundland during the Labrador Ice Margin Experiment (LIMEX) in March 1989. One component of the LIMEX '89 program was the study of ocean waves penetrating the marginal ice zone. We consider nearly coincidental observations of waves in ice by airborne SAR and wave-induced ice motion measurements. We explain the wave patterns observed in the SAR imagery, and the corresponding SAR image spectra, in terms of SAR wave imaging models. These include the well-known tilt cross-section modulation, linear, quasi-linear, and nonlinear velocity bunching forward mapping models (FMMs), and the assertion that the concept of coherence time limitation applies differently to the cases of waves in ice and open water. We modify the concept of the scene coherence time to include two parts: first, a decorrelation time deduced from the inherent azimuth cutoff in the nonlinear velocity bunching FMM; and second, the intrinsic scene coherence time which is a measure of the time scale over which an open water Bragg scattering patch retains its phase structure. Either of these coherence time scales could dominate the SAR image formation process, depending upon the environmental conditions (the wave spectrum and the wind speed, for example). Observed SAR image spectra and forward mapped ice motion package spectra are favorably compared.

  6. Antarctic Firn Compaction Rates from Repeat-Track Airborne Radar Data: I. Methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Medley, B.; Ligtenberg, S. R. M.; Joughin, I.; Van Den Broeke, M. R.; Gogineni, S.; Nowicki, S.

    2015-01-01

    While measurements of ice-sheet surface elevation change are increasingly used to assess mass change, the processes that control the elevation fluctuations not related to ice-flow dynamics (e.g. firn compaction and accumulation) remain difficult to measure. Here we use radar data from the Thwaites Glacier (West Antarctica) catchment to measure the rate of thickness change between horizons of constant age over different time intervals: 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2009-11. The average compaction rate to approximately 25m depth is 0.33ma(exp -1), with largest compaction rates near the surface. Our measurements indicate that the accumulation rate controls much of the spatio-temporal variations in the compaction rate while the role of temperature is unclear due to a lack of measurements. Based on a semi-empirical, steady-state densification model, we find that surveying older firn horizons minimizes the potential bias resulting from the variable depth of the constant age horizon. Our results suggest that the spatiotemporal variations in the firn compaction rate are an important consideration when converting surface elevation change to ice mass change. Compaction rates varied by up to 0.12ma(exp -1) over distances less than 6km and were on average greater than 20% larger during the 2010-11 interval than during 2009-10.

  7. NASA's Operation IceBridge: using instrumented aircraft to bridge the observational gap between ICESat and ICESat-2 laser altimeter measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studinger, M.

    2012-12-01

    NASA's Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the polar regions with the global climate system. Operation IceBridge utilizes a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled to characterize annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. In addition, Operation IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of Earth's polar ice to climate change and resulting sea-level rise. IceBridge also helps bridge the gap in polar observations betweenNASA's ICESat satellite missions. Combined with previous aircraft observations, as well as ICESat, CryoSat-2 and the forthcoming ICESat-2 observations, Operation IceBridge will produce a cross-calibrated 17-year time series of ice sheet and sea-ice elevation data over Antarctica, as well as a 27-year time series over Greenland. These time series will be a critical resource for predictive models of sea ice and ice sheet behavior. In addition to laser altimetry, Operation IceBridge is using a comprehensive suite of instruments to produce a three-dimensional view of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and the sea ice. The suite includes two NASA laser altimeters, the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS); four radar systems from the University of Kansas' Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), a Ku-band radar altimeter, accumulation radar, snow radar and the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS); a Sander Geophysics airborne gravimeter (AIRGrav), a magnetometer and a high-resolution stereographic camera (DMS). Since its start in 2009, Operation IceBridge has deployed 7 geophysical survey aircraft, 18 science instruments. All IceBridge data is freely available from NSIDC (http://nsidc.org/data/icebridge) 6 months after completion of a campaign.

  8. NASA's Operation IceBridge: using instrumented aircraft to bridge the observational gap between ICESat and ICESat-2 laser altimeter measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studinger, M.

    2013-12-01

    NASA's Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the polar regions with the global climate system. Operation IceBridge utilizes a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled to characterize annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. In addition, Operation IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of Earth's polar ice to climate change and resulting sea-level rise. IceBridge also helps bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA's ICESat satellite missions. Combined with previous aircraft observations, as well as ICESat, CryoSat-2 and the forthcoming ICESat-2 observations, Operation IceBridge will produce a cross-calibrated 17-year time series of ice sheet and sea-ice elevation data over Antarctica, as well as a 27-year time series over Greenland. These time series will be a critical resource for predictive models of sea ice and ice sheet behavior. In addition to laser altimetry, Operation IceBridge is using a comprehensive suite of instruments to produce a three-dimensional view of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and the sea ice. The suite includes two NASA laser altimeters, the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS); four radar systems from the University of Kansas' Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), a Ku-band radar altimeter, accumulation radar, snow radar and the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS); a Sander Geophysics airborne gravimeter (AIRGrav), a magnetometer and a high-resolution stereographic camera (DMS). Since its start in 2009, Operation IceBridge has deployed 8 geophysical survey aircraft and 19 science instruments. All IceBridge data is freely available from NSIDC (http://nsidc.org/data/icebridge) 6 months after completion of a campaign.

  9. Marsh dieback, loss, and recovery mapped with satellite optical, airborne polarimetric radar, and field data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramsey, Elijah W., III; Rangoonwala, Amina; Chi, Zhaohui; Jones, Cathleen E.; Bannister, Terri

    2014-01-01

    Landsat Thematic Mapper and Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) satellite based optical sensors, NASA Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle synthetic aperture radar (UAVSAR) polarimetric SAR (PolSAR), and field data captured the occurrence and the recovery of an undetected dieback that occurred between the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012 in the Spartina alterniflora marshes of coastal Louisiana. Field measurements recorded the dramatic biomass decrease from 2010 to 2011 and a biomass recovery in 2012 dominated by a decrease of live biomass, and the loss of marsh as part of the dieback event. Based on an established relationship, the near-infrared/red vegetation index (VI) and site-specific measurements delineated a contiguous expanse of marsh dieback encompassing 6649.9 ha of 18,292.3 ha of S. alterniflora marshes within the study region. PolSAR data were transformed to variables used in biophysical mapping, and of this variable suite, the cross-polarization HV (horizontal send and vertical receive) backscatter was the best single indicator of marsh dieback and recovery. HV backscatter exhibited substantial and significant changes over the dieback and recovery period, tracked measured biomass changes, and significantly correlated with the live/dead biomass ratio. Within the context of regional trends, both HV and VI indicators started higher in pre-dieback marshes and exhibited substantially and statistically higher variability from year to year than that exhibited in the non-dieback marshes. That distinct difference allowed the capturing of the S. alterniflora marsh dieback and recovery; however, these changes were incorporated in a regional trend exhibiting similar but more subtle biomass composition changes.

  10. MESSENGER Laser Altimeter

    NASA Video Gallery

    MESSENGER's Mercury Laser Altimeter sends out laser pulses that hit the ground and return to the instrument. The amount of light that returns for each pulse gives the reflectance at that point on t...

  11. Title: Satellite radar altimetry in the Arctic: An analysis of Envisat/RA-2 and CryoSat-2 measurements over sea ice.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connor, L. N.; McAdoo, D. C.; Laxon, S.; Ridout, A.

    2012-12-01

    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.

  12. Further development of an improved altimeter wind speed algorithm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chelton, Dudley B.; Wentz, Frank J.

    1986-01-01

    A previous altimeter wind speed retrieval algorithm was developed on the basis of wind speeds in the limited range from about 4 to 14 m/s. In this paper, a new approach which gives a wind speed model function applicable over the range 0 to 21 m/s is used. The method is based on comparing 50 km along-track averages of the altimeter normalized radar cross section measurements with neighboring off-nadir scatterometer wind speed measurements. The scatterometer winds are constructed from 100 km binned measurements of radar cross section and are located approximately 200 km from the satellite subtrack. The new model function agrees very well with earlier versions up to wind speeds of 14 m/s, but differs significantly at higher wind speeds. The relevance of these results to the Geosat altimeter launched in March 1985 is discussed.

  13. Assessment of radar-derived snow depth over Arctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, Thomas; Farrell, Sinead L.; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline; Connor, Laurence N.; Kurtz, Nathan T.; Elder, Bruce C.; McAdoo, David

    2014-12-01

    Knowledge of contemporaneous snow depth on Arctic sea ice is important both to constrain the regional climatology and to improve the accuracy of satellite altimeter estimates of sea ice thickness. We assess new data available from the NASA Operation IceBridge snow radar instrument and derive snow depth estimates across the western Arctic ice pack using a novel methodology based on wavelet techniques that define the primary reflecting surfaces within the snow pack. We assign uncertainty to the snow depth estimates based upon both the radar system parameters and sea ice topographic variability. The accuracy of the airborne snow depth estimates are examined via comparison with coincident measurements gathered in situ across a range of ice types in the Beaufort Sea. We discuss the effect of surface morphology on the derivation, and consequently the accuracy, of airborne snow depth estimates. We find that snow depths derived from the airborne snow radar using the wavelet-based technique are accurate to 1 cm over level ice. Over rougher surfaces including multiyear and ridged ice, the radar system is impacted by ice surface morphology. Across basin scales, we find the snow-radar-derived snow depth on first-year ice is at least ˜60% of the value reported in the snow climatology for the Beaufort Sea, Canada Basin, and parts of the central Arctic, since these regions were previously dominated by multiyear ice during the measurement period of the climatology. Snow on multiyear ice is more consistent with the climatology.

  14. An analysis of the multibeam altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bush, G. B.; Dobson, E. B.; Matyskiela, R.; Kilgus, C. C.; Walsh, E. J.

    The design concept and computer simulations of a multibeam altimeter (MA) to provide satellite-based oceanographic-feature data for map construction within relatively short times are presented. The limitations of the pulse-limited radar altimeter used on GEOS-3 and SEASAT-A, in particular the narrow swath of each measurement pass, are characterized. The MA uses interferometry with two 1.2-m dish antennas separated by an 11-m boom to cover a total swath width of 100 km at satellite altitude 800 km, nominal repetition rate 6 kp/sec, and nominal integration time 2.5 sec. Simulation analysis of antenna element pattern, echo shape, tracking algorithms, tracking noise, and measurement accuracy was performed, and the general feasibility of ocean-current mapping with a one-week time delay, using two MA-equipped satellites, was demonstrated.

  15. NASA Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder Project. Report 1; Data Processing Handbook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koblinsky, C. J.; Beckley, Brian D.; Ray, Richard D.; Wang, Yan-Ming; Tsaoussi, Lucia; Brenner, Anita; Williamson, Ron

    1998-01-01

    The NOAA/NASA Pathfinder program was created by the Earth Observing System (EOS) Program Office to determine how satellite-based data sets can be processed and used to study global change. The data sets are designed to be long time-sedes data processed with stable calibration and community consensus algorithms to better assist the research community. The Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder Project involves the reprocessing of all altimeter observations with a consistent set of improved algorithms, based on the results from TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P), into easy-to-use data sets for the oceanographic community for climate research. This report describes the processing schemes used to produce a consistent data set and two of the products derived f rom these data. Other reports have been produced that: a) describe the validation of these data sets against tide gauge measurements and b) evaluate the statistical properties of the data that are relevant to climate change. The use of satellite altimetry for earth observations was proposed in the early 1960s. The first successful space based radar altimeter experiment was flown on SkyLab in 1974. The first successful satellite radar altimeter was flown aboard the Geos-3 spacecraft between 1975 and 1978. While a useful data set was collected from this mission for geophysical studies, the noise in the radar measured and incomplete global coverage precluded ft from inclusion in the Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder program. This program initiated its analysis with the Seasat mission, which was the first satellite radar altimeter flown for oceanography.

  16. Application of airborne laser scanner measurements of ocean roughness to the calibration and validation of a satellite bistatic radar experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parrin, J.; Garrison, J. L.

    2006-12-01

    A high-resolution airborne laser scanner, from the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) was used to profile the ocean surface in an attempt to experimentally measure the ocean height spectrum down to wavelengths as small as a few centimetres. In October of 2005, three data collections were scheduled, during overpasses of the UK-DMC satellite, off the coast of Virginia. UK-DMC carries an experimental bistatic radar receiver, which uses Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals as illumination sources. Most models for reflected GNSS signals relate the shape of the signal correlation waveforms to the ocean roughness, parameterized as a probability distribution (PDF) of surface slopes. This statistical description of the ocean surface must first be filtered to wavelengths greater than some fraction of the GNSS wavelength of 19 cm. Past experimental campaigns have used more common in-situ measurements, such as wind speed, for comparison with GNSS waveforms. These types of measurements will require the assumption of some empirical model for the ocean height spectrum, allowing the computation of the filtered slope statistics. Proposed applications of reflected GNSS signals include the correction of ocean roughness effects in passive microwave radiometry. To evaluate the feasibility of GNSS reflections for this measurement, it is important to make a more direct measurement of the ocean surface slope statistics, without the assumption of a spectrum model. In these experiments, a direct measurement of this spectrum was attempted, using the NCALM system. The laser scanner was operated on a low altitude (500 m) aircraft, at the highest sample rate (33KHz), generating ocean height measurements with an along-track separation of a few millimetres. The laser illuminates a spot on the ocean surface that is smaller than 10 cm, however, limiting the smallest resolvable wavelength to something on that order. Laser data were collected along multiple flight lines

  17. Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, Maria T.

    1997-01-01

    The objective of this study was to support the rebuild and implementation of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) investigation and to perform scientific analysis of current Mars data relevant to the investigation. The instrument is part of the payload of the NASA Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission. The instrument is a rebuild of the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter that was originally flown on the ill-fated Mars Observer mission. The instrument is currently in orbit around Mars and has so far returned remarkable data.

  18. Polarimetric Measurements Over the Sea-Surface with the Airborne STORM Radar in the Context of the Geophysical Validation of the ENVISAT ASAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podvin, D. Hauser. T.; Dechambre, M.; Valentin, R.; Caudal, G.; Daloze, J.-F.; Mouche, A.

    2003-04-01

    Among the new specificities of the ENVISAT/ASAR particular polarization diversity make the instrument very promising, but require complementary studies in addition to those already completed with the ERS data. Moreover, in the context of the preparation of other missions which will embark polarimetric SAR (e.g. RADARSAT2) it is important to better assess the benefit of multi-polarization or polarimetric SAR systems. In particular, over the ocean the question remains open regarding the estimate of wind speed, directional spectra of surface ocean waves and maybe other parameters related to wave breaking. CETP has designed and developed a new airborne radar called STORM], which has a full polarimetric capability. STORM is a new-version of the RESSAC airborne radar already used in previous experiments (Hauser et al, JGR 1992). STORM is a real-aperture, C-Band system with a FM/CW transmission and with a rotating antenna to explore in azimuth. In addition to RESSAC (which was mono-polarized) it offers a polarization diversity (receiving simultaneously in H and V polarizations) which enables us to analyze the radar cross- section in HH, VV, HV, and other cross-polarized terms related to the scattering matrix. In the context of the validation of the ASAR wave mode of ENVISAT, a field experiment will be carried out in October and November 2002 over the ocean (offshore the coasts of Brittany, France), with STORM] embarked on the MERLIN-IV aircraft of Meteo-France. We intend to perform about 20 flights under the ENVISAT SAR swath during a one-month experiment, with overpasses over a directional wave buoy also equipped with wind measurements. The ASAR image mode (in HH or VV) or alternating polarization mode will be requested during these flights. STORM will be used in a mode which will permit to measure the full complex scattering matrix over the sea surface at incidence angles ranging from 10 to 35°. In addition to conventional analysis of the radar cross-sections in HH

  19. NASA IceBridge: Scientific Insights from Airborne Surveys of the Polar Sea Ice Covers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter-Menge, J.; Farrell, S. L.

    2015-12-01

    The NASA Operation IceBridge (OIB) airborne sea ice surveys are designed to continue a valuable series of sea ice thickness measurements by bridging the gap between NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), which operated from 2003 to 2009, and ICESat-2, which is scheduled for launch in 2017. Initiated in 2009, OIB has conducted campaigns over the western Arctic Ocean (March/April) and Southern Oceans (October/November) on an annual basis when the thickness of sea ice cover is nearing its maximum. More recently, a series of Arctic surveys have also collected observations in the late summer, at the end of the melt season. The Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) laser altimeter is one of OIB's primary sensors, in combination with the Digital Mapping System digital camera, a Ku-band radar altimeter, a frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) snow radar, and a KT-19 infrared radiation pyrometer. Data from the campaigns are available to the research community at: http://nsidc.org/data/icebridge/. This presentation will summarize the spatial and temporal extent of the OIB campaigns and their complementary role in linking in situ and satellite measurements, advancing observations of sea ice processes across all length scales. Key scientific insights gained on the state of the sea ice cover will be highlighted, including snow depth, ice thickness, surface roughness and morphology, and melt pond evolution.

  20. A comparison of airborne GEMS/SAR with satellite-borne Seasat/SAR radar imagery - The value of archived multiple data sets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanson, Bradford C.; Dellwig, Louis F.

    1988-01-01

    In a study concerning the value of using radar imagery from systems with diverse parameters, X-band images of the Northern Louisiana Salt dome area generated by the airborne Goodyear electronic mapping system (GEMS) are analyzed in conjunction with imagery generated by the satelliteborne Seasat/SAR. The GEMS operated with an incidence angle of 75 to 85 deg and a resolution of 12 m, whereas the Seasat/SAR operated with an incidence angle of 23 deg and a resolution of 25 m. It is found that otherwise unattainable data on land management activities, improved delineation of the drainage net, better definition of surface roughness in cleared areas, and swamp identification, became accessible when adjustments for the time lapse between the two missions were made and supporting ground data concerning the physical and vegetative characteristics of the terrain were acquired.

  1. Flight evaluation of a radar cursor technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez, J.

    1980-03-01

    Preliminary results are presented of a flight test evaluation of a radar cursor technique to be used as an aid in acquiring and tracking the desired ground track during airborne radar approaches. The test was performed using a Sikorsky CH-53A helicopter. The airborne radar system used was a BENDIX RDR-1400A modified to electronically produce a radar cursor display of course error. Airborne radar approaches were made to an offshore and an airport test environment. The specific purpose of the test was to evaluate the practical utility of the radar cursor as an aid to performing airborne radar approaches. The preliminary conclusion of this test is that the use of the radar cursor improved course acquisition and ground tracking significantly with pilotage errors and total system cross-track errors reduced by one-half or better. The radar cursor technique shows potential in reducing airspace requirements for airborne radar approaches.

  2. Fusing enhanced radar precipitation, in-situ hydrometeorological measurements and airborne LIDAR snowpack estimates in a hyper-resolution hydrologic model to improve seasonal water supply forecasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gochis, D. J.; Busto, J.; Howard, K.; Mickey, J.; Deems, J. S.; Painter, T. H.; Richardson, M.; Dugger, A. L.; Karsten, L. R.; Tang, L.

    2015-12-01

    Scarcity of spatially- and temporally-continuous observations of precipitation and snowpack conditions in remote mountain watersheds results in fundamental limitations in water supply forecasting. These limitationsin observational capabilities can result in strong biases in total snowmelt-driven runoff amount, the elevational distribution of runoff, river basin tributary contributions to total basin runoff and, equally important for water management, the timing of runoff. The Upper Rio Grande River basin in Colorado and New Mexico is one basin where observational deficiencies are hypothesized to have significant adverse impacts on estimates of snowpack melt-out rates and on water supply forecasts. We present findings from a coordinated observational-modeling study within Upper Rio Grande River basin whose aim was to quanitfy the impact enhanced precipitation, meteorological and snowpack measurements on the simulation and prediction of snowmelt driven streamflow. The Rio Grande SNOwpack and streamFLOW (RIO-SNO-FLOW) Prediction Project conducted enhanced observing activities during the 2014-2015 water year. Measurements from a gap-filling, polarimetric radar (NOXP) and in-situ meteorological and snowpack measurement stations were assimilated into the WRF-Hydro modeling framework to provide continuous analyses of snowpack and streamflow conditions. Airborne lidar estimates of snowpack conditions from the NASA Airborne Snow Observatory during mid-April and mid-May were used as additional independent validations against the various model simulations and forecasts of snowpack conditions during the melt-out season. Uncalibrated WRF-Hydro model performance from simulations and forecasts driven by enhanced observational analyses were compared against results driven by currently operational data inputs. Precipitation estimates from the NOXP research radar validate significantly better against independent in situ observations of precipitation and snow-pack increases

  3. Combining multiple altimeter missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobs, G. A.; Mitchell, J. L.

    1997-10-01

    Viewing altimeter data only at the points where separate altimeter missions' ground tracks cross provides a method to observe long time period sea surface height (SSH) variations and avoids many of the problems inherent in combining separate altimeter data sets through an independently determined geoid. TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) data over the time period from January 1, 1993, to December 31, 1995, form a mean SSH that is used as a reference by other altimeter data sets. A least squares analysis of the mean T/P SSH determines the portion of the Geographically Correlated Orbit Error (GCOE) that may be observed through crossover differences and removes this portion of the GCOE. The analysis removes errors of 0.86 cm RMS at 1 cycle per orbit revolution (cpr) and indicates negligible errors at higher frequencies. After the GCOE removal, the accuracy of the T/P reference mean is better than 1 cm RMS as measured by crossover differences. The GCOE contained in the Geosat-Exact Repeat Mission (ERM) and ERS 1 data with orbit solutions using the Joint Gravity Model (JGM) 3 is evaluated through an adjustment to the T/P reference mean surface. The Geosat-ERM data indicate a bias of about 28 cm averaged over the globe, and the ERS 1 bias is 44 cm. The T/P data used here is not corrected for the oscillator drift correction error so that the actual bias is less by about 13 cm. Both the Geosat-ERM and ERS 1 GCOE are mainly 1 cpr. GCOE estimates at frequencies above 1 cpr indicate little actual orbit error but are more correlated to instrument correction errors (particularly water vapor). Simultaneous T/P and ERS 1 SSH anomalies to the T/P mean indicate good correlation.

  4. Mars Observer Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, Maria T.

    1997-01-01

    The objective of this study was to support the rebuild and implementation of the Mars Orbiter Laser Aftimeter (MOLA) investigation and to perform scientific analysis of current Mars data relevant to the future investigation. The instrument is part of the payload of the NASA Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission. The instrument is a rebuild of the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter that was originally flown on the ill-fated Mars Observer mission.

  5. The NRL 2011 Airborne Sea-Ice Thickness Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brozena, J. M.; Gardner, J. M.; Liang, R.; Ball, D.; Richter-Menge, J.

    2011-12-01

    In March of 2011, the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) performed a study focused on the estimation of sea-ice thickness from airborne radar, laser and photogrammetric sensors. The study was funded by ONR to take advantage of the Navy's ICEX2011 ice-camp /submarine exercise, and to serve as a lead-in year for NRL's five year basic research program on the measurement and modeling of sea-ice scheduled to take place from 2012-2017. Researchers from the Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) and NRL worked with the Navy Arctic Submarine Lab (ASL) to emplace a 9 km-long ground-truth line near the ice-camp (see Richter-Menge et al., this session) along which ice and snow thickness were directly measured. Additionally, US Navy submarines collected ice draft measurements under the groundtruth line. Repeat passes directly over the ground-truth line were flown and a grid surrounding the line was also flown to collect altimeter, LiDAR and Photogrammetry data. Five CRYOSAT-2 satellite tracks were underflown, as well, coincident with satellite passage. Estimates of sea ice thickness are calculated assuming local hydrostatic balance, and require the densities of water, ice and snow, snow depth, and freeboard (defined as the elevation of sea ice, plus accumulated snow, above local sea level). Snow thickness is estimated from the difference between LiDAR and radar altimeter profiles, the latter of which is assumed to penetrate any snow cover. The concepts we used to estimate ice thickness are similar to those employed in NASA ICEBRIDGE sea-ice thickness estimation. Airborne sensors used for our experiment were a Reigl Q-560 scanning topographic LiDAR, a pulse-limited (2 nS), 10 GHz radar altimeter and an Applanix DSS-439 digital photogrammetric camera (for lead identification). Flights were conducted on a Twin Otter aircraft from Pt. Barrow, AK, and averaged ~ 5 hours in duration. It is challenging to directly compare results from the swath LiDAR with the

  6. Evolution of a highly dilatant fault zone in the grabens of Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA - integrating fieldwork, ground-penetrating radar and airborne imagery analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kettermann, M.; Grützner, C.; van Gent, H. W.; Urai, J. L.; Reicherter, K.; Mertens, J.

    2015-07-01

    The grabens of Canyonlands National Park are a young and active system of sub-parallel, arcuate grabens, whose evolution is the result of salt movement in the subsurface and a slight regional tilt of the faulted strata. We present results of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys in combination with field observations and analysis of high-resolution airborne imagery. GPR data show intense faulting of the Quaternary sediments at the flat graben floors, implying a more complex fault structure than visible at the surface. Direct measurements of heave and throw at several locations to infer fault dips at depth, combined with observations of primary joint surfaces in the upper 100 m, suggest a highly dilatant fault geometry. Sinkholes observed in the field as well as in airborne imagery give insights in local dilatancy and show where water and sediments are transported underground. Based on correlations of paleosols observed in outcrops and GPR profiles, we argue that either the grabens in Canyonlands National Park are older than previously assumed or that sedimentation rates were much higher in the Pleistocene.

  7. A review of satellite altimeter measurement of sea surface wind speed - With a proposed new algorithm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chelton, D. B.; Mccabe, P. J.

    1985-01-01

    The scheduled February 1985 launch of a radar altimeter aboard the U.S. Navy satellite Geosat has motivated an in-depth investigation of wind speed retrieval from satellite altimeters. The accuracy of sea surface wind speed estimated by the Seasat altimeter is examined by comparison with wind speed estimated by the Seasat scatterometer. The intercomparison is based on globally distributed spatial and temporal averages of the estimated wind speed. It is shown that there are systematic differences between altimeter and scatterometer wind speed estimates. These differences are traced to errors in the Seasat altimeter geophysical data record wind speed algorithm. A new algorithm is proposed which yields consistent estimates from the two satellite sensors. Using this new algorithm, the rms difference between spatial and temporal averages of the two wind speed estimates is less than 1 m/s, and their correlation is greater than 0.9.

  8. Estimating lava volume by precision combination of multiple baseline spaceborne and airborne interferometric synthetic aperture radar: The 1997 eruption of Okmok Volcano, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lu, Zhiming; Fielding, E.; Patrick, M.R.; Trautwein, C.M.

    2003-01-01

    Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) techniques are used to calculate the volume of extrusion at Okmok volcano, Alaska by constructing precise digital elevation models (DEMs) that represent volcano topography before and after the 1997 eruption. The posteruption DEM is generated using airborne topographic synthetic aperture radar (TOPSAR) data where a three-dimensional affine transformation is used to account for the misalignments between different DEM patches. The preeruption DEM is produced using repeat-pass European Remote Sensing satellite data; multiple interferograms are combined to reduce errors due to atmospheric variations, and deformation rates are estimated independently and removed from the interferograms used for DEM generation. The extrusive flow volume associated with the 1997 eruption of Okmok volcano is 0.154 ?? 0.025 km3. The thickest portion is approximately 50 m, although field measurements of the flow margin's height do not exceed 20 m. The in situ measurements at lava edges are not representative of the total thickness, and precise DEM data are absolutely essential to calculate eruption volume based on lava thickness estimations. This study is an example that demonstrates how InSAR will play a significant role in studying volcanoes in remote areas.

  9. Integration of airborne altimetry and in situ radar measurements to estimate marine ice thickness beneath the Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGrath, D.; Steffen, K.; Rodriguez Lagos, J.

    2010-12-01

    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

  10. Calibration of the TOPEX altimeter using a GPS buoy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Born, G. H.; Parke, Michael E.; Axelrad, P.; Gold, K. L.; Johnson, James; Key, K.; Kubitschek, Daniel G.; Christensen, Edward J.

    1994-01-01

    The use of a spar buoy equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) antenna to calibrate the height measurement of the TOPEX radar altimeter is described. In order to determine the height of the GPS antenna phase center above the ocean surface, the buoy was also equipped with instrumentation to measure the instantaneous location of the waterline, and tilt of the bouy from vertical. The experiment was conducted off the California coast near the Texaco offshore oil platform, Harvest, during cycle 34 of the TOPEX/POSEIDON observational period. GPS solutions were computed for the bouy position using two different software packages, K&RS and GIPSY-OASIS II. These solutions were combined with estimates of the waterline location on the bouy to yield the height of the ocean surface. The ocean surface height in an absolute coordinate system combined with knowledge of the spacecraft height from tracking data provides a computed altimeter range measurement. By comparing this computed value to the actual altimeter measurement, the altimeter bias can be calibrated. The altimeter height bias obtained with the buoy using K&RS was -14.6 +/- 4 cm, while with GIPSY-OASIS II it was -13.1 +/- 4 cm. These are 0.1 cm and 1.6 cm different from the -14.7 +/- 4 cm result obtained for this flight overflight with the tide gauge instruments located on Platform Harvest.

  11. The use of airborne radar reflectometry to characterize near-surface snow/firn stratigraphy on Devon Ice Cap, Canadian Arctic: A path to identifying refrozen melt layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutishauser, A.; Grima, C.; Sharp, M. J.; Blankenship, D. D.; Young, D. A.; Dowdeswell, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    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 [1] 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

  12. The use of airborne radar reflectometry to establish snow/firn density distribution on Devon Ice Cap, Canadian Arctic: A path to understanding complex heterogeneous internal layering patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutishauser, A.; Grima, C.; Sharp, M. J.; Blankenship, D. D.; Young, D. A.; Dowdeswell, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    The internal layer stratigraphy of polar ice sheets revealed by airborne radio-echo sounding (RES) contains valuable information about past ice sheet mass balance and dynamics. Internal layers in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are considered to be isochrones and are continuous over several hundreds of kilometres. In contrast, internal layers in Canadian Arctic ice caps appear to be very heterogeneous and fragmentary, consisting of highly discontinuous layers that can be traced over only a few to several tens of kilometres. Internal layers most likely relate to former ice surfaces (the upper few meters of snow/firn), the properties which are directly influenced by atmospheric conditions including the air temperature, precipitation rate, and prevailing wind pattern. We hypothesize that the heterogeneous and complex nature of layers in the Canadian Arctic results from highly variable snow and firn conditions at the surface. Characterizing surface properties such as variations in the snow/firn density from dry to wet snow/firn, as well as high-density shallow ice layers and lenses of refrozen water can help to elucidate the complex internal layer pattern in the Canadian Arctic ice caps. Estimates of the snow/firn surface density and roughness can be derived from reflectance and scattering information using the surface radar returns from RES measurements. Here we present estimates of the surface snow/firn density distribution over Devon Ice Cap in the Canadian Arctic derived by the Radar Statistical Reconnaissance (RSR) methodology (Grima et al., 2014, Planetary & Space Sciences) using data collected by recent airborne radar sounding programs. The RSR generates estimates of the statistical distribution of surface echo amplitudes over defined areas along a survey transect. The derived distributions are best-fitted with a theoretical stochastic envelope, parameterized with the signal reflectance and scattering, in order to separate those two components. Finally

  13. News and Views: Airborne radar reveals fault rupture detail; Rhapsody in blue, not red; Ammunition for dark skies activists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-08-01

    Satellite synthetic aperture radar is a valuable tool for understanding the deformation of the surface of the Earth at earthquake faults; now NASA scientists have used SAR on planes to get an altogether closer look at quake effects. A campaign in Texas to raise awareness of light pollution has produced resources including a video, highlighting causes, effect and solutions, available online.

  14. NASA airborne radar wind shear detection algorithm and the detection of wet microbursts in the vicinity of Orlando, Florida

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Britt, Charles L.; Bracalente, Emedio M.

    1992-01-01

    The algorithms used in the NASA experimental wind shear radar system for detection, characterization, and determination of windshear hazard are discussed. The performance of the algorithms in the detection of wet microbursts near Orlando is presented. Various suggested algorithms that are currently being evaluated using the flight test results from Denver and Orlando are reviewed.

  15. The satellite altimeter as a platform for observation of the oceanic mesoscale

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitchell, J. L.

    1984-01-01

    The use of the satellite radar altimeter as a platform to provide synoptic monitoring of the oceanic mesoscale is faced with two critical issues: removal of geoid error or contamination and election of optimum space/time sampling strategies. Long wavelength orbit determination errors are not critical problems for altimeter measurements of the basin scale circulation. Both issues are addressed within the constraints provided by orbital mechanics which dictates the laydown pattern of the satellite's groundtracks in space/time. Other issues which must be assessed are: adequate mission duration scales and the problems of geophysical noise sources and instrumental noise which degrade the effective alongtrack spatial resolution of the altimeter.

  16. Doppler radar results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bracalente, Emedio M.

    1992-01-01

    The topics are covered in viewgraph form and include the following: (1) a summary of radar flight data collected; (2) a video of combined aft cockpit, nose camera, and radar hazard displays; (3) a comparison of airborne radar F-factor measurements with in situ and Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) F-factors for some sample events; and (4) a summary of wind shear detection performance.

  17. Alternative analysis of airborne laser data collected within conventional multi-parameter airborne geophysical surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahl, Andreas; Supper, R.; Motschka, K.; Schattauer, I.

    2010-05-01

    For the interpretation of airborne gamma-ray spectrometry as well as airborne electromagnetics it is of great importance to determine the distance between the geophysical sensor and the ground surface. Since radar altimeters do not penetrate vegetation, laser altimeters became popular in airborne geophysics over the past years. Currently the airborne geophysical platform of the Geological Survey of Austria (GBA) is equipped with a Riegl LD90-3800VHS-FLP high resolution laser altimeter, measuring the distances according to the first and the last reflected pulse. The goal of the presented study was to explore the possibilities of deriving additional information about the survey area from the laser data and to determine the accuracy of such results. On one hand the difference between the arrival time of the first and the last reflected pulse can be used to determine the height of the vegetation. This parameter is for example important for the correction of damping effects on airborne gamma-ray measurements caused by vegetation. Moreover especially for groundwater studies at catchment scale, this parameter can also be applied to support the spatial assessment of evapotranspiration. In combination with the altitude above geoid, determined by a GPS receiver, a rough digital elevation model of the survey area can be derived from the laser altimetry. Based on a data set from a survey area in the northern part of Austria, close to the border with the Czech Republic, the reliability of such a digital elevation model and the calculated vegetation height was tested. In this study a mean deviation of -1.4m, with a standard deviation of ±3.4m, between the digital elevation model from Upper Austria (25m spatial resolution) and the determined elevation model was determined. We also found an obvious correlation between the calculated vegetation heights greater 15m and the mapped forest published by the ‘Department of Forest Inventory' of the ‘Federal Forest Office' of Austria

  18. Investigation of image enhancement techniques for the development of a self-contained airborne radar navigation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phatak, A. V.; Karmali, M. S.

    1983-01-01

    This study was devoted to an investigation of the feasibility of applying advanced image processing techniques to enhance radar image characteristics that are pertinent to the pilot's navigation and guidance task. Millimeter (95 GHz) wave radar images for the overwater (i.e., offshore oil rigs) and overland (Heliport) scenario were used as a data base. The purpose of the study was to determine the applicability of image enhancement and scene analysis algorithms to detect and improve target characteristics (i.e., manmade objects such as buildings, parking lots, cars, roads, helicopters, towers, landing pads, etc.) that would be helpful to the pilot in determining his own position/orientation with respect to the outside world and assist him in the navigation task. Results of this study show that significant improvements in the raw radar image may be obtained using two dimensional image processing algorithms. In the overwater case, it is possible to remove the ocean clutter by thresholding the image data, and furthermore to extract the target boundary as well as the tower and catwalk locations using noise cleaning (e.g., median filter) and edge detection (e.g., Sobel operator) algorithms.

  19. Mars meter-scale roughness: Goldstone Solar System Radar delay-doppler database

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haldemann, A. F. C.; Jurgens, R. F.; Slade, M. A.

    2002-01-01

    The entire fourteen-year database of Goldstone Solar System Radar Mars near-nadir radar scattering model fits is being revised using the latest topography from the Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter instrument.

  20. Processor architecture for airborne SAR systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glass, C. M.

    1983-01-01

    Digital processors for spaceborne imaging radars and application of the technology developed for airborne SAR systems are considered. Transferring algorithms and implementation techniques from airborne to spaceborne SAR processors offers obvious advantages. The following topics are discussed: (1) a quantification of the differences in processing algorithms for airborne and spaceborne SARs; and (2) an overview of three processors for airborne SAR systems.

  1. Impact of accounting for coloured noise in radar altimetry data on a regional quasi-geoid model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farahani, H. H.; Slobbe, D. C.; Klees, R.; Seitz, Kurt

    2016-07-01

    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.

  2. Joint Variability of Airborne Passive Microwave and Ground-based Radar Observations Obtained in the TRMM Kwajalein Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuter, S. E.; Kingsmill, D. E.

    2007-12-01

    The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Kwajalein Experiment (KWAJEX) held July-September 1999 in the west Pacific was designed to obtain an empirical physical characterization of precipitating convective clouds over the tropical ocean. The majority of the precipitation was from mixed-phase clouds. Coordinated data sets were obtained from aircraft and ground-based sensors including passive microwave measurements by the Advanced Microwave Precipitation Radiometer (AMPR) instrument on the NASA DC-8 aircraft and S-band volumetric radar data by the KPOL radar. The AMPR and KPOL data sets were processed to yield a set of 25,049 matching observations at ~ 2 km x 2 km horizontal spatial resolution and within 6 min. The TRMM satellite Microwave Imager (TMI) has a similar set of channels to AMPR but coarser spatial resolution (19 GHz: 35 km, 85 GHz: 7.7 km). During KWAJEX, the 0 deg C level height was nearly constant at ~ 4800 m. Hence, two potential sources of uncertainty in relating passive microwave brightness temperatures (Tbs) to surface precipitation, inhomogeneous beam filling and variations in depth of the rain layer are much smaller sources of error in the KWAJEX data set than for TMI. TRMM was originally designed to yield monthly rainfall estimates over 5 deg x 5 deg grid boxes. The use of these data to yield instantaneous rainrate products at smaller spatial scales is more sensitive to the detailed characteristics of the joint distributions of passive microwave Tbs versus rain rate. KWAJEX data sets reveal poor correlations, very wide scatter, and weak modes in these distributions. The spread of emission Tb values for a given rain-layer reflectivity (e.g., 75 K at 30 dBZ for 19 GHz) is similar or larger within convective compared to stratiform precipitation regions. This result implies that the enhancement in emission Tbs associated with partially melted ice particles can occur whether the particles are concentrated within a thin layer in stratiform

  3. Maximum-likelihood spectral estimation and adaptive filtering techniques with application to airborne Doppler weather radar. Thesis Technical Report No. 20

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lai, Jonathan Y.

    1994-01-01

    This dissertation focuses on the signal processing problems associated with the detection of hazardous windshears using airborne Doppler radar when weak weather returns are in the presence of strong clutter returns. In light of the frequent inadequacy of spectral-processing oriented clutter suppression methods, we model a clutter signal as multiple sinusoids plus Gaussian noise, and propose adaptive filtering approaches that better capture the temporal characteristics of the signal process. This idea leads to two research topics in signal processing: (1) signal modeling and parameter estimation, and (2) adaptive filtering in this particular signal environment. A high-resolution, low SNR threshold maximum likelihood (ML) frequency estimation and signal modeling algorithm is devised and proves capable of delineating both the spectral and temporal nature of the clutter return. Furthermore, the Least Mean Square (LMS) -based adaptive filter's performance for the proposed signal model is investigated, and promising simulation results have testified to its potential for clutter rejection leading to more accurate estimation of windspeed thus obtaining a better assessment of the windshear hazard.

  4. An Integrated Navigation System using GPS Carrier Phase for Real-Time Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

    SciTech Connect

    Fellerhoff, J. Rick; Kim, Theodore J.; Kohler, Stewart M.

    1999-06-24

    A Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) requires accu- rate measurement of the motion of the imaging plat- form to produce well-focused images with minimal absolute position error. The motion measurement (MoMeas) system consists of a inertial measurement unit (IMU) and a P-code GPS receiver that outputs corrected ephemeris, L1 & L2 pseudoranges, and L1 & L2 carrier phase measurements. The unknown initial carrier phase biases to the GPS satellites are modeled as states in an extended Kalman filter and the resulting integrated navigation solution has po- sition errors that change slowly with time. Position error drifts less than 1- cm/sec have been measured from the SAR imagery for various length apertures.

  5. Comment on satellite altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowin, C.

    1974-01-01

    SKYLAB mission SEASAT-B altimeter observations in combination with surface gravity measurements provide useful data on the marine geoid and expected ocean perturbations from analyses of seamount structures.

  6. The Sonic Altimeter for Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Draper, C S

    1937-01-01

    Discussed here are results already achieved with sonic altimeters in light of the theoretical possibilities of such instruments. From the information gained in this investigation, a procedure is outlined to determine whether or not a further development program is justified by the value of the sonic altimeter as an aircraft instrument. The information available in the literature is reviewed and condensed into a summary of sonic altimeter developments. Various methods of receiving the echo and timing the interval between the signal and the echo are considered. A theoretical discussion is given of sonic altimeter errors due to uncertainties in timing, variations in sound velocity, aircraft speed, location of the sending and receiving units, and inclinations of the flight path with respect to the ground surface. Plots are included which summarize the results in each case. An analysis is given of the effect of an inclined flight path on the frequency of the echo. A brief study of the acoustical phases of the sonic altimeter problem is carried through. The results of this analysis are used to predict approximately the maximum operating altitudes of a reasonably designed sonic altimeter under very good and very bad conditions. A final comparison is made between the estimated and experimental maximum operating altitudes which shows good agreement where quantitative information is available.

  7. CGPS Implementation and Lidar/Laser Altimeter Experiences at l'Estartit, Ibiza and Barcelona Harbours for Sea Level Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Benjamin, J.; Schutz, B.; Urban, T.; Ortiz Castellon, M.; Martinez-Garcia, M.; Ruiz, A.; Perez, B.; Rodriguez-Velasco, G.

    2008-12-01

    In the framework of a Spanish Space Project, the instrumentation of sea level measurements has been improved by providing the Barcelona site with a radar tide gauge and with a continuous GPS station nearby. The radar tide gauge is a Datamar 3000C device and a Thales Navigation Internet-Enabled GPS Continuous Geodetic Reference Station (iCGRS) with a choke ring antenna. It is intended that the overall system will constitute a CGPS Station of the ESEAS (European Sea Level) and TIGA (GPS Tide Gauge Benchmark Monitoring) networks. Puertos del Estado (Spanish Harbours) installed the tide gauge station at Ibiza harbour in January 2003. The station belongs to the REDMAR network, composed at this moment by 21 stations distributed along the whole Spanish waters, including also the Canary islands. The tide gauge also belongs to the ESEAS (European Sea Level) network. At the Barcelona harbour they have installed a radar tide gauge near a GPS station belonging to Puerto de Barcelona. L'Estartit floating tide gauge was set up in 1990. Data are taken in graphics registers from each two hours the mean value is recorded in an electronic support. L'Estartit tide gauge series provides good quality information about the changes in the sea heights at centimeter level, that is the magnitude of the common tides in the Mediterranean. Two airborne calibration campaigns carrying an Optech Lidar ALTM-3025 (ICC) were made on June 16, 2007 with a Partenavia P-68 and October 12, 2007, with a Cessna Caravan 208B flying along two ICESat target tracks including crossover near l'Estartit. The validation of this new technology LIDAR may be useful to fill coastal areas where satellite radar altimeters are not measuring due to the large footprint and the resulting gaps of about 15-30 km within the coastline. Measurements with a GPS Buoy at l'Estartit harbour were made during the June experience and a GPS reference station was installed in Aiguablava. On October 12, 2007, another LIDAR campaign was

  8. Airborne radar evidence for tributary flow switching in Institute Ice Stream, West Antarctica: Implications for ice sheet configuration and dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winter, Kate; Woodward, John; Ross, Neil; Dunning, Stuart A.; Bingham, Robert G.; Corr, Hugh F. J.; Siegert, Martin J.

    2015-09-01

    Despite the importance of ice streaming to the evaluation of West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) stability we know little about mid- to long-term dynamic changes within the Institute Ice Stream (IIS) catchment. Here we use airborne radio echo sounding to investigate the subglacial topography, internal stratigraphy, and Holocene flow regime of the upper IIS catchment near the Ellsworth Mountains. Internal layer buckling within three discrete, topographically confined tributaries, through Ellsworth, Independence, and Horseshoe Valley Troughs, provides evidence for former enhanced ice sheet flow. We suggest that enhanced ice flow through Independence and Ellsworth Troughs, during the mid-Holocene to late Holocene, was the source of ice streaming over the region now occupied by the slow-flowing Bungenstock Ice Rise. Although buckled layers also exist within the slow-flowing ice of Horseshoe Valley Trough, a thicker sequence of surface-conformable layers in the upper ice column suggests slowdown more than ~4000 years ago, so we do not attribute enhanced flow switch-off here, to the late Holocene ice-flow reorganization. Intensely buckled englacial layers within Horseshoe Valley and Independence Troughs cannot be accounted for under present-day flow speeds. The dynamic nature of ice flow in IIS and its tributaries suggests that recent ice stream switching and mass changes in the Siple Coast and Amundsen Sea sectors are not unique to these sectors, that they may have been regular during the Holocene and may characterize the decline of the WAIS.

  9. Airborne Interferometry using GNSS Reflections for Surface Level Estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semmling, Maximilian; Beyerle, Georg; Schön, Steffen; Stosius, Ralf; Gerber, Thomas; Beckheinrich, Jamila; Markgraf, Markus; Ge, Maorong; Wickert, Jens

    2013-04-01

    The interferometric use of GNSS reflections for ocean altimetry can fill the gap in coverage of ocean observations. Today radar altimeters are used for large scale ocean observations to monitor e.g. global sea level change or circulation processes like El Niño. Spacial and temporal resolution of a single radar altimeter, however, is insufficient to observe mesoscale ocean phenomena like large oceanic eddies that are important indicators of climate change. The high coverage expected for a spaceborne altimeter based on GNSS reflections stimulated investigations on according interferometric methods. Several airborne experiments have been conducted using code observations. Carrier observations have a better precision but are severely affected by noise and have mostly been used in ground-based experiments. A new interferometric approach is presented using carrier observations for airborne application. Implementing a spectral retrieval noise reduction is achieved. A flight experiment was conducted with a Zeppelin airship on 2010/10/12 over Lake Constance at the border between Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The lake surface with an area of 536km2 is suitable for altimetric study as its decimeter range Geoid undulations are well-known. Three GNSS receiver were installed on the airship. A Javad Delta receiver recording direct signals for navigation. The DLR G-REX receiver recording reflected signals for scatterometry and the GORS (GNSS Occultation Reflectometry Scatterometry) receiver recording direct and reflected signals for interferometry. The airship's trajectory is determined from navigation data with a precision better than 10cm using regional augmentation. This presentation focuses on the interferometric analysis of GORS observations. Ray tracing calculations are used to model the difference of direct and reflected signals' path. Spectral retrieval is applied to determine Doppler residuals of modelled path difference and interferometric observations. Lake level

  10. Radar applications overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenspan, Marshall

    1996-06-01

    During the fifty years since its initial development as a means of providing early warning of airborne attacks against allied countries during World War II, radar systems have developed to the point of being highly mobile and versatile systems capable of supporting a wide variety of remote sensing applications. Instead of being tied to stationary land-based sites, radar systems have found their way into highly mobile land vehicles as well as into aircraft, missiles, and ships of all sizes. Of all these applications, however, the most exciting revolution has occurred in the airborne platform arena where advanced technology radars can be found in all shapes and sizes...ranging from the large AWACS and Joint STARS long range surveillance and targeting systems to small millimeter wave multi-spectral sensors on smart weapons that can detect and identify their targets through the use of highly sophisticated digital signal processing hardware and software. This paper presents an overview of these radar applications with the emphasis on modern airborne sensors that span the RF spectrum. It will identify and describe the factors that influence the parameters of low frequency and ultra wide band radars designed to penetrate ground and dense foliage environments and locate within them buried mines, enemy armor, and other concealed or camouflaged weapons of war. It will similarly examine the factors that lead to the development of airborne radar systems that support long range extended endurance airborne surveillance platforms designed to detect and precision-located both small high speed airborne threats as well as highly mobile time critical moving and stationary surface vehicles. The mission needs and associated radar design impacts will be contrasted with those of radar systems designed for high maneuverability rapid acquisition tactical strike warfare platforms, and shorter range cued air-to-surface weapons with integral smart radar sensors.

  11. Land subsidence measured by satellite radar altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krabill, W. B.; Brooks, R. L.

    1981-01-01

    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.

  12. Airborne laser scan measurements of winter snow accumulation in high alpine catchments - hydrological implications and verification by ground penetrating radar at glacier surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfricht, K.; Keuschnig, M.; Heilig, A.; Mayer, C.; Kuhn, M.

    2012-04-01

    The snow cover as storage of winter precipitation is a substantial source for runoff generation in high mountain catchments. Redistribution of solid precipitation, caused by wind and gravity, leads to a characteristic spatial distribution of snow accumulation which differs from simple model assumption of a homogenous snowpack increasing with altitude. Both, the distinct distribution of snow accumulation and the total amount of SWE stored in the snow cover, affect the magnitude and seasonality of melt water runoff. Complex relations exist between the spatial pattern of snow accumulation and the presence of glaciers and vice versa. For proper hydrological modeling in high mountain catchments, knowledge about snow cover distribution is an important requirement. To date, to evaluate modeling results, spatially insufficient point data on snow depths and SWE are usually available. On catchment scale, optical space-borne remote sensing techniques deliver areal extent of snow cover, but no snow depths and hence no volume of snow cover. Multi-temporal airborne laser scanning (ALS) is an active remote sensing method to obtain elevation changes extensively even in inaccessible alpine terrain. Before the start and at the end of accumulation season of winter 2010/2011, two airborne laser scan acquisitions were performed in the Ötztal Alps (Tirol, Austria). Differences of the respective digital elevation models were interpreted as snow depths and converted into SWE using a simple regression method between snow depths and snow density. Preferred snow accumulation areas were determined, e.g. wind sheltered depressions, the base of steep mountain walls and flat glacier surfaces. At catchment scale, solid precipitation is obviously redistributed from wind exposed mountain ridges to lower elevations, inducing characteristic elevations of maximum snow accumulation. Overall, catchment precipitation derived from snow accumulation is a valuable reference for precipitation approaches in

  13. Radar altimetry and global climatic change

    SciTech Connect

    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 )

    1992-09-01

    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.

  14. The Geologic Remote Sensing Field Experiment (GRSFE): The first geology multisensor airborne campaign

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, Diane L.; Arvidson, Raymond E.

    1991-01-01

    The primary objective of the Geologic Remote Sensing Field Experiment (GRSFE) is to acquire relevant data for geological sites that can be used to test models for extraction of surface property information from remote sensing data for earth, Mars and Venus in support of the Earth Observing System (EOS), Mars Observer, and Magellan, respectively. Over forty scientists from eight universities and three NASA centers are participating in GRSFE which is co-sponsored by the NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program and the NASA Geology Program. Highlights of the airborne campaign included the first simultaneous acquisition of Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVRIS) and Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) data on September 29, 1989, and acquisition of Advanced Solid-State Array Spectroradiometer (ASAS), Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR), and Airborne Terrain Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) data all within three months of each other. The sites covered were Lunar Crater Volcanic Field and Fish Lake Valley in Nevada; and Cima Volcanic Field, Death Valley, and Ubehebe Crater in California. Coincident field measurements included meteorological and atmospheric measurements, visible/near-infrared and thermal spectra, and characterization of geology and vegetation cover. The GRSFE airborne and field data will be reduced to a suite of standard products and submitted, along with appropriate documentation, to the Planetary Data System (PDS) and the Pilot Land Data System (PLDS). These data will be used for a variety of investigations including paleoclimatic studies in the arid southwestern United States, and analysis of Magellan data. GRSFE data will also be used to support Mars Observer Laser Altimeter (MOLA) and Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) simulation studies.

  15. Determining sea-ice boundaries and ice roughness using GEOS-3 altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwyer, R. E.; Godin, R. H.

    1980-01-01

    The GEOS-3 satellite and radar altimeter instrumentation are described, detailing the ice boundary discrimination technique utilized and presenting an analyses of the GEOS-3 data with respect to satellite visual and IR imagery. A brief description of the GEOS-3 real time data system is also given.

  16. Gulf of Mexico satellite radar altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parra, C. G.; Forsythe, R. G.; Parsons, C. L.

    1981-01-01

    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.

  17. Prediction and uncertainty of Hurricane Sandy (2012) explored through a real-time cloud-permitting ensemble analysis and forecast system assimilating airborne Doppler radar observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munsell, Erin B.; Zhang, Fuqing

    2014-03-01

    the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) real-time convection-permitting hurricane analysis and forecasting system (WRF-EnKF) that assimilates airborne Doppler radar observations, the sensitivity and uncertainty of forecasts initialized several days prior to landfall of Hurricane Sandy (2012) are assessed. The performance of the track and intensity forecasts of both the deterministic and ensemble forecasts by the PSU WRF-EnKF system show significant skill and are comparable to or better than forecasts produced by operational dynamical models, even at lead times of 4-5 days prior to landfall. Many of the ensemble members correctly capture the interaction of Sandy with an approaching midlatitude trough, which precedes Sandy's forecasted landfall in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. However, the ensemble reveals considerable forecast uncertainties in the prediction of Sandy. For example, in the ensemble forecast initialized at 0000 UTC 26 October 2012, 10 of the 60 members do not predict a United States landfall. Using ensemble composite and sensitivity analyses, the essential dynamics and initial condition uncertainties that lead to forecast divergence among the members in tracks and precipitation are examined. It is observed that uncertainties in the environmental steering flow are the most impactful factor on the divergence of Sandy's track forecasts, and its subsequent interaction with the approaching midlatitude trough. Though the midlatitude system does not strongly influence the final position of Sandy, differences in the timing and location of its interactions with Sandy lead to considerable differences in rainfall forecasts, especially with respect to heavy precipitation over land.

  18. ICESat laser altimeter measurement time validation system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magruder, L. A.; Suleman, M. A.; Schutz, B. E.

    2003-11-01

    NASA launched its Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) in January 2003. The primary goal of this laser altimeter mission is to provide determination of volumetric changes in the ice sheets, specifically in Antarctica and Greenland. The instrument performance requirements are driven by the scientific goal of determining a change in elevation on the centimetre level over the course of a year's time. One important aspect of the altimeter data is the time of measurement, or bounce time, associated with each laser shot, as it is an important factor that assists in revealing the temporal changes in the surface (land/ice/sea) characteristics. In order to provide verification that the laser bounce time is accurately being determined, a ground-based detector system has been developed. The ground-based system methodology time-tags the arrival of the transmitted photons on the surface of the Earth with an accuracy of 0.1 ms. The timing software and hardware that will be used in the ground-based system has been developed and extensively tested. One particular test utilized an airborne laser equipped to produce a similar signal to that of ICESat. The overflight of the detectors by the aircraft was successful in that the signals were detected by the electro-optical devices and appropriately time-tagged with the timing hardware/software. There are many calibration and validation activities planned with the intention to help resolve the validity of the ICESat data, but pre-launch analysis suggests the ground-based system will provide the most accurate recovery of timing bias.

  19. Air-sea interaction with SSM/I and altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    A number of important developments in satellite remote sensing techniques have occurred recently which offer the possibility of studying over vast areas of the ocean the temporally evolving energy exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere. Commencing in spring of 1985, passive and active microwave sensors that can provide valuable data for scientific utilization will start to become operational on Department of Defense (DOD) missions. The passive microwave radiometer can be used to estimate surface wind speed, total air column humidity, and rain rate. The active radar, or altimeter, senses surface gravity wave height and surface wind speed.

  20. Ka-and Reflectarray for Interferometric SAR Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hodges, Richard; Zawadzki, Mark

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes a large dual-beam, dual polarized Ka-Band reflectarray antenna prototype which was developed to demonstrate that key requirements of a space borne interferometric radar altimeter are achievable. The antenna consists of a 2.5 x 0.26 m aperture comprised of a rectangular grid of square patch printed circuit elements. The 2.6 m focal length offset-fed reflector is illuminated by a waveguide slot array feed focused in the nearfield. Measured results show good agreement with gain and radiation pattern predictions and demonstrates >50% aperture efficiency.

  1. Return Echoes from Medium-Large Footprint Laser Altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair, J. Bryan; Hofton, Michelle A.; Rabine, David L.

    1999-01-01

    For just over 10 years, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has been at the forefront of developing return echo laser altimeters and analysis techniques for a variety of both space and airborne applications. In 1991, the Laser Remote Sensing Branch began investigating the use of medium-large diameter footprint return waveforms for measuring vegetation height and structure and sub-canopy topography. Over the last 8 years, using a variety of profiling and scanning laser altimeters (i.e. ATLAS, SLICER, SLA, and LVIS), we have collected return waveforms over a variety of terrestrial surface types. We describe the effects of instrument characteristics and within-footprint surface structure on the shape of the return waveform and suggest several techniques for extracting this information. Specifically for vegetation returns, we describe the effects of canopy parameters such as architecture and closure on the shape of the return waveform. Density profiles, statistics, and examples from a variety of vegetation types will be presented, as well as comparisons with small-footprint laser altimeter data.

  2. Multi-beam laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bufton, Jack L.; Harding, David J.; Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis

    1993-01-01

    Laser altimetry provides a high-resolution, high-accuracy method for measurement of the elevation and horizontal variability of Earth-surface topography. The basis of the measurement is the timing of the round-trip propagation of short-duration pulses of laser radiation between a spacecraft and the Earth's surface. Vertical resolution of the altimetry measurement is determined primarily by laser pulsewidth, surface-induced spreading in time of the reflected pulse, and the timing precision of the altimeter electronics. With conventional gain-switched pulses from solid-state lasers and sub-nsec resolution electronics, sub-meter vertical range resolution is possible from orbital attitudes of several hundred kilometers. Horizontal resolution is a function of laser beam footprint size at the surface and the spacing between successive laser pulses. Laser divergence angle and altimeter platform height above the surface determine the laser footprint size at the surface, while laser pulse repetition-rate, laser transmitter beam configuration, and altimeter platform velocity determine the space between successive laser pulses. Multiple laser transitters in a singlaltimeter instrument provide across-track and along-track coverage that can be used to construct a range image of the Earth's surface. Other aspects of the multi-beam laser altimeter are discussed.

  3. Simulation of Full-Waveform Laser Altimeter Echowaveform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lv, Y.; Tong, X. H.; Liu, S. J.; Xie, H.; Luan, K. F.; Liu, J.

    2016-06-01

    Change of globe surface height is an important factor to study human living environment. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on ICESat is the first laser-ranging instrument for continuous global observations of the Earth. In order to have a comprehensive understanding of full-waveform laser altimeter, this study simulated the operating mode of ICESat and modeled different terrains' (platform terrain, slope terrain, and artificial terrain) echo waveforms based on the radar equation. By changing the characteristics of the system and the targets, numerical echo waveforms can be achieved. Hereafter, we mainly discussed the factors affecting the amplitude and size (width) of the echoes. The experimental results implied that the slope of the terrain, backscattering coefficient and reflectivity, target height, target position in the footprint and area reacted with the pulse all can affect the energy distribution of the echo waveform and the receiving time. Finally, Gaussian decomposition is utilized to decompose the echo waveform. From the experiment, it can be noted that the factors which can affect the echo waveform and by this way we can know more about large footprint full-waveform satellite laser altimeter.

  4. Validating Cryosat-2 elevation estimates with airborne laser scanner data for the Greenland ice sheet, Austfonna and Devon ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonsen, Sebastian B.; Sandberg Sørensen, Louise; Nilsson, Johan; Helm, Veit; Langley, Kirsty A.; Forsberg, Rene; Hvidegaard, Sine M.; Skourup, Henriette

    2015-04-01

    The ESA CryoSat-2 satellite, launched in late 2010, carries a new type of radar altimeter especially designed for monitoring changes of sea and land ice. The radar signal might penetrate into the snow pack and the depth of the radar reflecting surface depends on the ratio between the surface and the volume backscatter, which is a function of several different properties such as snow density, crystal structure and surface roughness. In case of large volume scatter, the radar waveforms become broad and the determination of the range (surface elevation) becomes more difficult. Different algorithms (retrackers) are used for the range determination, and estimated surface penetration is highly dependent on the applied retracker. As part of the ESA-CryoVEx/CryoVal-Land Ice projects, DTU Space has gathered accurate airborne laser scanner elevation measurements. Sites on the Greenland ice sheet, Austfonna and Devon ice caps, has been surveyed repeatedly, aligned with Cryosat-2 ground tracks and surface experiments. Here, we utilize elevation estimates from available Cryosat-2 retrackers (ESA level-2 retracker, DTU retracker, etc.) and validate the elevation measurements against ESA-CryoVEx campaigns. A difference between laser and radar elevations is expected due to radar penetration issues, however an inter-comparison between retrackers will shed light on individual performances and biases. Additionally, the geo-location of the radar return will also be a determining factor for the precision. Ultimately, the use of multiple retrackers can provide information about subsurface conditions and utilize more of the waveform information than presently used in radar altimetry.

  5. Range ambiguity clutter suppression for bistatic STAP radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Wenchong; Zhang, Baihua; Wang, Yongliang; Zhu, Yong; Duan, Keqing; Li, Rongfeng

    2013-12-01

    Bistatic pulse-Doppler airborne radar has desirable properties such as the low probability of detection by other radars relative to its monostatic counterpart. However, the clutter characteristics of bistatic airborne radar are more complex than those of monostatic airborne radar. The clutter spectra not only vary severely with range, but also vary with bistatic configuration. In this article, the geometry model of bistatic airborne radar is given, and the approximate estimation expressions for clutter degrees of freedom (DOFs) are presented. Then a novel clutter suppression method for bistatic airborne radar with range ambiguity is presented. The method completes registration-based range ambiguity clutter compensation based on non-uniform sampling and the estimated clutter DOFs. The simulation results illustrate the performance improvement achieved for bistatic airborne radar.

  6. Gaussian Decomposition of Laser Altimeter Waveforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hofton, Michelle A.; Minster, J. Bernard; Blair, J. Bryan

    1999-01-01

    We develop a method to decompose a laser altimeter return waveform into its Gaussian components assuming that the position of each Gaussian within the waveform can be used to calculate the mean elevation of a specific reflecting surface within the laser footprint. We estimate the number of Gaussian components from the number of inflection points of a smoothed copy of the laser waveform, and obtain initial estimates of the Gaussian half-widths and positions from the positions of its consecutive inflection points. Initial amplitude estimates are obtained using a non-negative least-squares method. To reduce the likelihood of fitting the background noise within the waveform and to minimize the number of Gaussians needed in the approximation, we rank the "importance" of each Gaussian in the decomposition using its initial half-width and amplitude estimates. The initial parameter estimates of all Gaussians ranked "important" are optimized using the Levenburg-Marquardt method. If the sum of the Gaussians does not approximate the return waveform to a prescribed accuracy, then additional Gaussians are included in the optimization procedure. The Gaussian decomposition method is demonstrated on data collected by the airborne Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) in October 1997 over the Sequoia National Forest, California.

  7. ALT space shuttle barometric altimeter altitude analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Killen, R.

    1978-01-01

    The accuracy was analyzed of the barometric altimeters onboard the space shuttle orbiter. Altitude estimates from the air data systems including the operational instrumentation and the developmental flight instrumentation were obtained for each of the approach and landing test flights. By comparing the barometric altitude estimates to altitudes derived from radar tracking data filtered through a Kalman filter and fully corrected for atmospheric refraction, the errors in the barometric altitudes were shown to be 4 to 5 percent of the Kalman altitudes. By comparing the altitude determined from the true atmosphere derived from weather balloon data to the altitude determined from the U.S. Standard Atmosphere of 1962, it was determined that the assumption of the Standard Atmosphere equations contributes roughly 75 percent of the total error in the baro estimates. After correcting the barometric altitude estimates using an average summer model atmosphere computed for the average latitude of the space shuttle landing sites, the residual error in the altitude estimates was reduced to less than 373 feet. This corresponds to an error of less than 1.5 percent for altitudes above 4000 feet for all flights.

  8. Near-Nadir Radar Backscatter From Ocean Waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glazman, Roman E.

    1992-01-01

    Paper discusses aspects of theory of near-nadir radar backscatter from well-developed sea. Study contributed to development of new technique for determination of sea-state bias in satellite altimeter measurements. Paper questions assumptions, bringing accepted interpretation of nadir and near-nadir radar backscattering into doubt.

  9. GFO Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockwood, Dennis W.; Hancock, David W., III; Hayne, George S.; Brooks, Ronald L.

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. Navy's Geosat Follow-On (GFO) Mission, launched on February 20, 1998, is one of a series of altimetric satellites which include Seasat, Geosat, ERS-1, and TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P). The purpose of this report is to document the GFO altimeter performance determined from the analyses and results performed by NASA's GSFC and Wallops altimeter, calibration team. It is the second of an anticipated series of NASA's GSFC and Wallops GFO performance documents, each of which will update assessment results. This report covers the performance from instrument acceptance by the Navy on November 29, 2000, to the end of Cycle 20 on November 21, 2001. Data derived from GFO will lead to improvements in the knowledge of ocean circulation, ice sheet topography, and climate change. In order to capture the maximum amount of information from the GFO data, accurate altimeter calibrations are required for the civilian data set which NOAA will produce. Wallops Flight Facility has provided similar products for the Geosat and T/P missions and is doing the same for GFO.

  10. Recent Advances in Satellite and Airborne Altimetry over Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrell, S. L.; Newman, T.; Richter-Menge, J.; Haas, C.; Petty, A.; McAdoo, D. C.; Connor, L. N.

    2014-12-01

    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.

  11. Short arc orbit determination for altimeter calibration and validation on TOPEX/POSEIDON

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, B. G.; Christensen, E. J.; Yuan, D. N.; Mccoll, K. C.; Sunseri, R. F.

    1993-01-01

    TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) is a joint mission of United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and French Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) design launched August 10, 1992. It carries two radar altimeters which alternately share a common antenna. There are two project designated verification sites, a NASA site off the coast at Pt. Conception, CA and a CNES site near Lampedusa Island in the Mediterranean Sea. Altimeter calibration and validation for T/P is performed over these highly instrumented sites by comparing the spacecraft's altimeter radar range to computed range based on in situ measurements which include the estimated orbit position. This paper presents selected results of orbit determination over each of these sites to support altimeter verification. A short arc orbit determination technique is used to estimate a locally accurate position determination of T/P from less than one revolution of satellite laser ranging (SLR) data. This technique is relatively insensitive to gravitational and non-gravitational force modeling errors and is demonstrated by covariance analysis and by comparison to orbits determined from longer arcs of data and other tracking data types, such as Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) and Global Positioning System Demonstration Receiver (GPSDR) data.

  12. Ka-Band Radar Terminal Descent Sensor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pollard, Brian; Berkun, Andrew; Tope, Michael; Andricos, Constantine; Okonek, Joseph; Lou, Yunling

    2007-01-01

    The terminal descent sensor (TDS) is a radar altimeter/velocimeter that improves the accuracy of velocity sensing by more than an order of magnitude when compared to existing sensors. The TDS is designed for the safe planetary landing of payloads, and may be used in helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft requiring high-accuracy velocity sensing

  13. Satellite radar altimetry over ice. Volume 1: Processing and corrections of Seasat data over Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Major, Judith A.; Martin, Thomas V.; Bindschadler, Robert A.

    1990-01-01

    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.

  14. Antarctic elevation changes and variability from Envisat and ICESat altimeters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flament, T.; Berthier, E.; Rémy, F.

    2012-04-01

    From 2002 to 2010, Envisat provided continuous radar altimetry measurements every 35 days. ICESat provided laser altimetry measurement from 2003 to 2009 with a lower temporal sampling but a smaller footprint (~70 m), better suited for ice surfaces. We developed an along-track processing to extract elevation time series every kilometre along track for both altimeters. The processing is a classical least square fit, compensating for the local slope and computing an average height trend over the period (dh/dt). Concerning Envisat, we implement some supplementary corrections to take into account changes in snow-pack characteristics that affect the radar echo. Even if small biases can cause large errors for the continental mass balance (1 cm of ice over 12.106 km2 correspond to 110 Gt), significant elevation changes of ±15 cm/yr can still be observed. Comparison with previous results from ERS-2 reveals large scale variations due to the variability in meteorological forcing, especially in East Antarctica. Some coastal areas are experiencing rapid changes with thinning rates reaching several meters per year. Comparison between ICESat and Envisat over the common 2003-2009 period reveals that ICESat is likely overestimating dh/dt in the inner continent while Envisat encounters problems that become apparent north from 70°S and where surface slope exceeds 1°. Both radar and laser altimeter technologies have advantages and drawbacks and combining both allows to go further in the study of many different phenomena from overall continental mass balance to small scale and rapid events such as subglacial lakes drainage. We will focus on the Pine Island Glacier for mass balance as this basin alone lost about 30km3/yr in the last decade, where both sensors agree. A smaller scale analysis is conducted on the Cook ice shelf (East Antarctica) for a singular lake drainage event.

  15. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIR TRAFFIC AND GENERAL OPERATING RULES GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Flight Rules General § 91.121 Altimeter settings. (a) Each person operating...

  16. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121... settings. (a) Each person operating an aircraft shall maintain the cruising altitude or flight level of that aircraft, as the case may be, by reference to an altimeter that is set, when operating— (1)...

  17. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIR TRAFFIC AND GENERAL OPERATING RULES GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Flight Rules General § 91.121 Altimeter settings. (a) Each person operating...

  18. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIR TRAFFIC AND GENERAL OPERATING RULES GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Flight Rules General § 91.121 Altimeter settings. (a) Each person operating...

  19. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System Laser Transmitter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Afzal, R. S.; Dallas, J. L.; Yu, A. W.; Mamakos, W. A.; Lukemire, A.; Schroeder, B.; Malak, A.

    2000-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), scheduled to launch in 2001, is a laser altimeter and lidar for tile Earth Observing System's (EOS) ICESat mission. The laser transmitter requirements, design and qualification test results for this space- based remote sensing instrument are presented.

  20. Multishot laser altimeter: design and performance.

    PubMed

    Sun, X; Abshire, J B; Davidson, F M

    1993-08-20

    The maximum measurement range of a laser altimeter can be extended by averaging the measurements from multiple laser shots at the same target. We present the principles of operation and design of such a multishot laser altimeter, which uses a Si avalanche photodiode detector. As an example, the performance of a spaceborne multishot altimeter containing components similar to those of the single-shot Mars Observer Laser Altimeter are given under operating conditions that would be encountered near Saturn. With 100-shot averages, we show that the multishot laser altimeter is capable of accurate ranging at fly-by distances of 10,000 km from an icy satellite. With 100-shot averages, the minimum optical signal level at a 90% correct-measurement probability under nighttime background is 9.8 detected signal photons per pulse as compared with 76 photons per pulse with a single shot. PMID:20830120

  1. Summaries of the Sixth Annual JPL Airborne Earth Science Workshop. Volume 2; AIRSAR Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Yun-Jin (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    The Sixth Annual JPL Airborne Earth Science Workshop, held in Pasadena, California, on March 4-8, 1996, was divided into two smaller workshops:(1) The Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) workshop, and The Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) workshop. This current paper, Volume 2 of the Summaries of the Sixth Annual JPL Airborne Earth Science Workshop, presents the summaries for The Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) workshop.

  2. RADAR Reveals Titan Topography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirk, R. L.; Callahan, P.; Seu, R.; Lorenz, R. D.; Paganelli, F.; Lopes, R.; Elachi, C.

    2005-01-01

    The Cassini Titan RADAR Mapper is a K(sub u)-band (13.78 GHz, lambda = 2.17 cm) linear polarized RADAR instrument capable of operating in synthetic aperture (SAR), scatterometer, altimeter and radiometer modes. During the first targeted flyby of Titan on 26 October, 2004 (referred to as Ta) observations were made in all modes. Evidence for topographic relief based on the Ta altimetry and SAR data are presented here. Additional SAR and altimetry observations are planned for the T3 encounter on 15 February, 2005, but have not been carried out at this writing. Results from the T3 encounter relevant to topography will be included in our presentation. Data obtained in the Ta encounter include a SAR image swath

  3. Dynamic test of radio altimeter based on IQ modulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Hongfei; Tian, Yu; Li, Miao

    2010-08-01

    This paper based on the analysis and research of radio altimeter and its basic principles, it introduces a design for I/Q modulator's radio altimeter testing system. Further, data got from the test had been analyzed. Combined with the testing data of the altimeter, a construction of the I/Q modulator's radio altimeter testing system is built.

  4. Validation of satellite altimeter range measurements over salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fricker, H. A.; Roca, M.; Laxon, S. W.; Carabajal, C. C.; Quinn, K.; Borsa, A. A.; Minster, J. B.

    2003-12-01

    The salar de Uyuni in the Bolivian altiplano covers approximately 9600 km2, and is the largest dry salt lake in the world. This vast, flat stable surface is ideal for estimation of the range bias on altimeter instruments such as GLAS on board ICESat (launched 12th January 2003), RA-2 on board ENVISAT (launched March 1st 2002) and the ERS-2 radar altimeter (RA, launched 1995), and to compare the measurements from these altimeters. Here we describe a kinematic GPS survey of the salar de Uyuni that was carried out in August/September 2002 and was designed to calibrate GLAS and RA-2. The eastern part of the salar was surveyed with 8 grids 22.5 km x 13.5 km at 2.25 km spacing, and with 2 grids which straddled one ascending and one descending ERS-2/ENVISAT orbit across this part of the salar, one 44.5 x 9 km, the other 18 x 13.5 km. Comparison of GPS heights from one GPS grid to the next and crossover analysis at intersections suggests that RMS accuracy of the GPS measurement is around 2 cm. We retracked the altimeter waveforms by fitting the system point target response to retrieve the altimeter surface elevation. We fitted a gaussian-smoothed surface to the GPS heights collected around the ERS-2/ENVISAT grids and interpolated these surfaces to the locations of altimeter footprints to obtain an estimate of the range bias for each instruments (GLAS, RA-2 and the ERS-2 RA). We also compare our results with data from one cycle of TOPEX data, which was collected during an orbit manoeuvre phase in September 2002. Ground tracks from this cycle serendipitously crossed our survey area at the same time we were on the ground.

  5. ESA airborne campaigns in support of Earth Explorers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casal, Tania; Davidson, Malcolm; Schuettemeyer, Dirk; Perrera, Andrea; Bianchi, Remo

    2013-04-01

    In the framework of its Earth Observation Programmes the European Space Agency (ESA) carries out ground based and airborne campaigns to support geophysical algorithm development, calibration/validation, simulation of future spaceborne earth observation missions, and applications development related to land, oceans and atmosphere. ESA has been conducting airborne and ground measurements campaigns since 1981 by deploying a broad range of active and passive instrumentation in both the optical and microwave regions of the electromagnetic spectrum such as lidars, limb/nadir sounding interferometers/spectrometers, high-resolution spectral imagers, advanced synthetic aperture radars, altimeters and radiometers. These campaigns take place inside and outside Europe in collaboration with national research organisations in the ESA member states as well as with international organisations harmonising European campaign activities. ESA campaigns address all phases of a spaceborne missions, from the very beginning of the design phase during which exploratory or proof-of-concept campaigns are carried out to the post-launch exploitation phase for calibration and validation. We present four recent campaigns illustrating the objectives and implementation of such campaigns. Wavemill Proof Of Concept, an exploratory campaign to demonstrate feasibility of a future Earth Explorer (EE) mission, took place in October 2011 in the Liverpool Bay area in the UK. The main objectives, successfully achieved, were to test Astrium UKs new airborne X-band SAR instrument capability to obtain high resolution ocean current and topology retrievals. Results showed that new airborne instrument is able to retrieve ocean currents to an accuracy of ± 10 cms-1. The IceSAR2012 campaign was set up to support of ESA's EE Candidate 7,BIOMASS. Its main objective was to document P-band radiometric signatures over ice-sheets, by upgrading ESA's airborne POLARIS P-band radar ice sounder with SAR capability. Campaign

  6. Robust Control for the Mercury Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberg, Jacob S.

    2006-01-01

    Mercury Laser Altimeter Science Algorithms is a software system for controlling the laser altimeter aboard the Messenger spacecraft, which is to enter into orbit about Mercury in 2011. The software will control the altimeter by dynamically modifying hardware inputs for gain, threshold, channel-disable flags, range-window start location, and range-window width, by using ranging information provided by the spacecraft and noise counts from instrument hardware. In addition, because of severe bandwidth restrictions, the software also selects returns for downlink.

  7. Cassini RADAR's First Look at Titan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elachi, C.; Wall, S. D.; Allison, M. D.; Anderson, Y.; Boehmer, R.; Callahan, P.; Encrenaz, P.; Flamini, E.; Francescetti, G.; Gim, Y.

    2005-01-01

    The Cassini Titan RADAR Mapper [1] is a Ku-band (13.78 GHz,lambda = 2.17 cm) linear polarized RADAR instrument capable of operating in synthetic aperture (SAR), scatterometer, altimeter and radiometer modes. Radar observations on Titan passes Ta and T3 included rastered scatterometry, SAR, altimetry and rastered radiometry images of a full hemisphere in orthogonal linear polarizations. At this writing only the Ta data have been acquired, but data from both passes will be discussed in the presentation.

  8. Lunar altimetric datasets: Global comparisons with the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter elevation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumann, G. A.; Duxbury, T. C.; Lemoine, F. G.; Mazarico, E.; Oberst, J.; Robinson, M. S.; Smith, D. E.; Torrence, M. H.; Zuber, M. T.

    2010-12-01

    Starting with the Apollo program, increasingly precise orbital and Earth-based measurements of the topography of the Moon have been performed with radar and laser altimeters. Orbital measurements are the most accurate, being relative to the center of mass, while Earth-based radar must generally be adjusted to match controls. Recent data from high-resolution laser altimeters reveal substantial errors in earlier datasets. We present the results of over 2.4 billion measurements (as of Sept. 1, 2010) from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), with near-global coverage, 10-cm vertical precision, and meter-level radial accuracy, to which datasets from the Arecibo and Goldstone radar, the photogrammetric Unified Lunar Control Network 2005, and from the Clementine (DOD), LALT (JAXA), LAM (CSA) and LLRI (ISA) laser altimeters may be compared. The geodetic network being generated by LOLA will be applied to images and stereophotogrammetric solutions being generated by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to create a reference dataset suitable for exploration and science. The LOLA data, either as 5-point multibeam swaths or as digital elevation models, may also be used to assess the orbital, attitude, and timing accuracy of other mapping instruments. Examples will be shown using the densely-sampled, polar 20-m digital elevation models being provided to the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and Planetary Data System of NASA as part of the LRO Project. With other altimetric datasets and mapping camera solutions filling in the gaps between LOLA swaths, a consistent, accurate, and international altimetric dataset will emerge.

  9. Airborne Visible Laser Optical Communications Program (AVLOC)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ward, J. H.

    1975-01-01

    The design, development, and operation of airborne and ground-based laser communications and laser radar hardware is described in support of the Airborne Visible Laser Optical Communication program. The major emphasis is placed on the development of a highly flexible test bed for the evaluation of laser communications systems techniques and components in an operational environment.

  10. Skylab S-193 radar altimeter experiment analyses and results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, G. S. (Editor)

    1977-01-01

    The design of optimum filtering procedures for geoid recovery is discussed. Statistical error bounds are obtained for pointing angle estimates using average waveform data. A correlation of tracking loop bandwidth with magnitude of pointing error is established. The impact of ocean currents and precipitation on the received power are shown to be measurable effects. For large sea state conditions, measurements of sigma 0 deg indicate a distinct saturation level of about 8 dB. Near-nadir less than 15 deg values of sigma 0 deg are also presented and compared with theoretical models. Examination of Great Salt Lake Desert scattering data leads to rejection of a previously hypothesized specularly reflecting surface. Pulse-to-pulse correlation results are in agreement with quasi-monochromatic optics theoretical predictions and indicate a means for estimating direction of pointing error. Pulse compression techniques for and results of estimating significant waveheight from waveform data are presented and are also shown to be in good agreement with surface truth data. A number of results pertaining to system performance are presented.

  11. Future Applications Using Return-Pulse Correlation from Imaging Laser Altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair, J. Bryan; Hofton, Michelle A.; Rabine, David L.

    2000-01-01

    The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) is an airborne, wide-swath, digitization-only laser altimeter capable of collecting full return waveforms (i.e. echoes) from laser footprints ranging in diameter from 1 to 80 m across up to a 1 km wide data swath. The return waveform can be used to enhance the accuracy of laser ranging and to provide information about the vertical structure of vegetation and topography within each laser footprint. Although extremely small laser footprints (< 1 0 cm diameter) generally return simple, impulse responses to their target surface, larger footprints typically exhibit complex returns representing the diverse vertical distributions of surfaces contained in each footprint. Only a handful of airborne and spaceborne laser altimeters record the return echo or return pulse that is reflected from the Earth's surface (i.e. NASA's LVIS, SLA, VCL, and GLAS laser altimeters). Waveforms are currently interpreted to extract a timing or ranging point or points to represent the mean ground elevation or the vertical height of vegetation. But, recent progress using pulse shape correlation techniques shows promise for a variety of science applications involving change detection of surface topography and vegetation as well as potential for improving data processing by correlating images or crossovers to solve systematic biases. We show example correlation images from LVIS and discuss instrument design implications and potential science applications.

  12. Joint UK/US Radar Program progress reports for period December 1--31, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Twogood, R.E.; Brase, J.M.; Mantrom, D.D.; Rino, C.; Chambers, D.H.; Robey, H.F.; Belyea, J.

    1995-01-23

    Topics discussed in this report are current accomplishments in many functions to include: airborne RAR/SAR, radar data processor, ground based SAR signal processing workstation, static airborne radar, multi-aperture space-time array radar, radar field experiments, data analysis and detection theory, management, radar data analysis, modeling and analysis, current meter array, UCSB wave tank, stratified flow facility, Russian Institute of Applied Physics, and budget status.

  13. Contour-Mapping Synthetic-Aperture Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldstein, R. M.; Caro, E. R.; Wu, C.

    1985-01-01

    Airborne two-antenna synthetic-aperture-radar (SAR) interferometric system provides data processed to yield terrain elevation as well as reflectedintensity information. Relative altitudes of terrain points measured to within error of approximately 25 m.

  14. Knowledge Based Systems and Metacognition in Radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capraro, Gerard T.; Wicks, Michael C.

    An airborne ground looking radar sensor's performance may be enhanced by selecting algorithms adaptively as the environment changes. A short description of an airborne intelligent radar system (AIRS) is presented with a description of the knowledge based filter and detection portions. A second level of artificial intelligence (AI) processing is presented that monitors, tests, and learns how to improve and control the first level. This approach is based upon metacognition, a way forward for developing knowledge based systems.

  15. Remote sensing of atmospheric pressure and sea state using laser altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, C. S.

    1985-01-01

    Short-pulse multicolor laser ranging systems are currently being developed for satellite ranging applications. These systems use Q-switched pulsed lasers and streak-tube cameras to provide timing accuracies approaching a few picoseconds. Satellite laser ranging systems have been used to evaluate many important geophysical phenomena such as fault motion, polar motion and solid earth tides, by measuring the orbital perturbations of retroreflector equipped satellites. Some existing operational systems provide range resolution approaching a few millimeters. There is currently considerable interest in adapting these highly accurate systems for use as airborne and satellite based altimeters. Potential applications include the measurement of sea state, ground topography and atmospheric pressure. This paper reviews recent progress in the development of multicolor laser altimeters for use in monitoring sea state and atmospheric pressure.

  16. Theoretical and experimental analysis of laser altimeters for barometric measurements over the ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsai, B. M.; Gardner, C. S.

    1984-01-01

    The statistical characteristics and the waveforms of ocean-reflected laser pulses are studied. The received signal is found to be corrupted by shot noise and time-resolved speckle. The statistics of time-resolved speckle and its effects on the timing accuracy of the receiver are studied in the general context of laser altimetry. For estimating the differential propagation time, various receiver timing algorithms are proposed and their performances evaluated. The results indicate that, with the parameters of a realistic altimeter, a pressure measurement accuracy of a few millibars is feasible. The data obtained from the first airborne two-color laser altimeter experiment are processed and analyzed. The results are used to verify the pressure measurement concept.

  17. Ionospheric calibration for single frequency altimeter measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiner, William S.; Born, George H.

    1993-01-01

    This report investigates the potential of using Global Positioning System (GPS) data and a model of the ionosphere to supply a measure of the sub-satellite Total Electron Current (TEC) of the required accuracy (10 TECU rms) for the purpose of calibrating single frequency radar altimeter measurements. Since climatological (monthly mean) models are known to be in error by as much as 50 percent, this work focused on the Parameterized Real-Time Ionospheric Specification Model (PRISM) which has the capability to improve model accuracy by ingesting (adjusting to) in situ ionospheric measurements. A set of globally distributed TEC measurements were generated using GPS data and were used as input to improve the accuracy of the PRISM model. The adjusted PRISM TEC values were compared to TOPEX dual frequency TEC measurements (which are considered truth) for a number of TOPEX sub-satellite tracks. The adjusted PRISM values generally compared to the TOPEX measurements within the 10 TECU accuracy requirements when the sub-satellite track passed within 300 to 400 km of the GPS TEC data or when the track passed through a night time ionosphere. However, when the sub-satellite points were greater than 300 to 400 km away from the GPS TEC data or when a local noon ionosphere was sampled, the adjusted PRISM values generally differed by greater than 10 TECU rms with data excursions from the TOPEX TEC measurements of as much as 40 TECU (an 8 cm path delay error at K band). Therefore, it can be concluded from this analysis that an unrealistically large number of GPS stations would be needed to predict sub-satellite TEC at the 10 TECU level in the day time ionosphere using a model such as PRISM. However, a technique currently being studied at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) may provide a means of supplying adequate TEC data to meet the 10 TECU ionospheric correction accuracy when using a realistic number of ionospheric stations. This method involves using global GPS TEC data to

  18. Identification of central Kenyan Rift Valley Fever virus vector habitats with Landsat TM and evaluation of their flooding status with airborne imaging radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pope, K. O.; Sheffner, E. J.; Linthicum, K. J.; Bailey, C. L.; Logan, T. M.; Kasischke, E. S.; Birney, K.; Njogu, A. R.; Roberts, C. R.

    1992-01-01

    Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne virus that affects livestock and humans in Africa. Landsat TM data are shown to be effective in identifying dambos, intermittently flooded areas that are potential mosquite breeding sites, in an area north of Nairobi, Kenya. Positive results were obtained from a limited test of flood detection in dambos with airborne high resolution L, C, and X band multipolarization SAR imagery. L and C bands were effective in detecting flooded dambos, but LHH was by far the best channel for discrimination between flooded and nonflooded sites in both sedge and short-grass environments. This study demonstrates the feasibility of a combined passive and active remote sensing program for monitoring the location and condition of RVF vector habitats, thus making future control of the disease more promising.

  19. Verification and Improvement of ERS-1/2 Altimeter Geophysical Data Records for Global Change Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shum, C. K.

    2000-01-01

    This Final Technical Report summarizes the research work conducted under NASA's Physical Oceanography Program entitled, Verification And Improvement Of ERS-112 Altimeter Geophysical Data Recorders For Global Change Studies, for the time period from January 1, 2000 through June 30, 2000. This report also provides a summary of the investigation from July 1, 1997 - June 30, 2000. The primary objectives of this investigation include verification and improvement of the ERS-1 and ERS-2 radar altimeter geophysical data records for distribution of the data to the ESA-approved U.S. ERS-1/-2 investigators for global climate change studies. Specifically, the investigation is to verify and improve the ERS geophysical data record products by calibrating the instrument and assessing accuracy for the ERS-1/-2 orbital, geophysical, media, and instrument corrections. The purpose is to ensure that the consistency of constants, standards and algorithms with TOPEX/POSEIDON radar altimeter for global climate change studies such as the monitoring and interpretation of long-term sea level change. This investigation has provided the current best precise orbits, with the radial orbit accuracy for ERS-1 (Phases C-G) and ERS-2 estimated at the 3-5 cm rms level, an 30-fold improvement compared to the 1993 accuracy. We have finalized the production and verification of the value-added ERS-1 mission (Phases A, B, C, D, E, F, and G), in collaboration with JPL PODAAC and the University of Texas. Orbit and data verification and improvement of algorithms led to the best data product available to-date. ERS-2 altimeter data have been improved and we have been active on Envisat (2001 launch) GDR algorithm review and improvement. The data improvement of ERS-1 and ERS-2 led to improvement in the global mean sea surface, marine gravity anomaly and bathymetry models, and a study of Antarctica mass balance, which was published in Science in 1998.

  20. Design and Performance Measurement of the Mercury Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiao-Li; Cavanaugh, John F.; Smith, James C.; Bartels, Arlin E.

    2004-01-01

    We report the design and test results of the Mercury Laser Altimeter on MESSENGER mission to be launched in May 2004. The altimeter will provide planet surface topography measurements via laser pulse time of flight.

  1. Synthetic aperture radar capabilities in development

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, M.

    1994-11-15

    The Imaging and Detection Program (IDP) within the Laser Program is currently developing an X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to support the Joint US/UK Radar Ocean Imaging Program. The radar system will be mounted in the program`s Airborne Experimental Test-Bed (AETB), where the initial mission is to image ocean surfaces and better understand the physics of low grazing angle backscatter. The Synthetic Aperture Radar presentation will discuss its overall functionality and a brief discussion on the AETB`s capabilities. Vital subsystems including radar, computer, navigation, antenna stabilization, and SAR focusing algorithms will be examined in more detail.

  2. Ranging performance of satellite laser altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, Chester S.

    1992-01-01

    Topographic mapping of the earth, moon and planets can be accomplished with high resolution and accuracy using satellite laser altimeters. These systems employ nanosecond laser pulses and microradian beam divergences to achieve submeter vertical range resolution from orbital altitudes of several hundred kilometers. Here, we develop detailed expressions for the range and pulse width measurement accuracies and use the results to evaluate the ranging performances of several satellite laser altimeters currently under development by NASA for launch during the next decade. Our analysis includes the effects of the target surface characteristics, spacecraft pointing jitter and waveform digitizer characteristics. The results show that ranging accuracy is critically dependent on the pointing accuracy and stability of the altimeter especially over high relief terrain where surface slopes are large. At typical orbital altitudes of several hundred kilometers, single-shot accuracies of a few centimeters can be achieved only when the pointing jitter is on the order of 10 mu rad or less.

  3. Calibration results for the GEOS-3 altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, C. F.; Butler, M. L.

    1977-01-01

    Data from the GEOS-3 altimeter were analyzed, for both the intensive and global modes, to determine the altitude bias levels for each mode and to verify the accuracy of the time tags which have been applied to the data. The best estimates of the biases are -5.30 + or - .2 m (intensive mode) and -3.55 m + or - .4 m (global mode). These values include the approximately 1.6 m offset of the altimeter antenna focal point from the GEOS-3 spacecraft center-of-mass. The negative signs indicate that the measured altitudes are too short. The data is corrected by subtracting the above bias numbers for the respective modes. Timing corrections which should be applied to the altimeter data were calculated theoretically, and subsequently confirmed through crossover analysis for passes 6-8 revolutions apart. The time tag correction that should be applied consists of -20.8 msec + 1 interpulse period (10.240512 msec).

  4. Lunar Observer Laser Altimeter observations for lunar base site selection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, James B.; Bufton, Jack L.

    1992-01-01

    One of the critical datasets for optimal selection of future lunar landing sites is local- to regional-scale topography. Lunar base site selection will require such data for both engineering and scientific operations purposes. The Lunar Geoscience Orbiter or Lunar Observer is the ideal precursory science mission from which to obtain this required information. We suggest that a simple laser altimeter instrument could be employed to measure local-scale slopes, heights, and depths of lunar surface features important to lunar base planning and design. For this reason, we have designed and are currently constructing a breadboard of a Lunar Observer Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument capable of acquiring contiguous-footprint topographic profiles with both 30-m and 300-m along-track resolution. This instrument meets all the severe weight, power, size, and data rate limitations imposed by Observer-class spacecraft. In addition, LOLA would be capable of measuring the within-footprint vertical roughness of the lunar surface, and the 1.06-micron relative surface reflectivity at normal incidence. We have used airborne laser altimeter data for a few representative lunar analog landforms to simulate and analyze LOLA performance in a 100-km lunar orbit. We demonstrate that this system in its highest resolution mode (30-m diameter footprints) would quantify the topography of all but the very smallest lunar landforms. At its global mapping resolution (300-m diameter footprints), LOLA would establish the topographic context for lunar landing site selection by providing the basis for constructing a 1-2 km spatial resolution global, geodetic topographic grid that would contain a high density of observations (e.g., approximately 1000 observations per each 1 deg by 1 deg cell at the lunar equator). The high spatial and vertical resolution measurements made with a LOLA-class instrument on a precursory Lunar Observer would be highly synergistic with high-resolution imaging datasets, and

  5. 78 FR 19063 - Airworthiness Approval for Aircraft Forward-Looking Windshear and Turbulence Radar Systems

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-28

    ..., Airborne Weather Radar Equipment. The objective is to leverage the installation specific guidance from the... previously addressed as additional functionality added to TSO-C63c, Airborne Weather and Ground...

  6. Ranging performance of satellite laser altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, Chester S.

    1992-01-01

    Detailed expressions for the range and pulse width measurement accuracies are developed and used to evaluate the ranging performances of several satellite laser altimeters currently under development by NASA for launch during the next decade. The analysis includes the effects of the target surface characteristics, spacecraft pointing jitter, and waveform digitizer characteristics. The results show that ranging accuracy is critically dependent on the pointing accuracy and stability of the altimeter especially over high relief terrain where surface slopes are large. At typical orbital altitudes of several hundred kilometers, single-shot accuracies of a few centimeters can be achieved only when the pointing jitter is on the order of 10 microrad or less.

  7. Airborne full tensor magnetic gradiometry surveys in the Thuringian basin, Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Queitsch, M.; Schiffler, M.; Goepel, A.; Stolz, R.; Meyer, M.; Meyer, H.; Kukowski, N.

    2013-12-01

    In this contribution we introduce a newly developed fully operational full tensor magnetic gradiometer (FTMG) instrument based on Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs) and show example data acquired in 2012 within the framework of the INFLUINS (Integrated Fluid Dynamics in Sedimentary basins) project. This multidisciplinary project aims for a better understanding of movements and interaction between shallow and deep fluids in the Thuringian Basin in the center of Germany. In contrast to mapping total magnetic field intensity (TMI) in conventional airborne magnetic surveys for industrial exploration of mineral deposits and sedimentary basins, our instrument measures all components of the magnetic field gradient tensor using highly sensitive SQUID gradiometers. This significantly constrains the solutions of the inverse problem. Furthermore, information on the ratio between induced and remanent magnetization is obtained. Special care has been taken to reduce motion noise while acquiring data in airborne operation. Therefore, the sensors are mounted in a nonmagnetic and aerodynamically shaped bird made of fiberglas with a high drag tail which stabilizes the bird even at low velocities. The system is towed by a helicopter and kept at 30m above ground during data acquisition. Additionally, the system in the bird incorporates an inertial unit for geo-referencing and enhanced motion noise compensation, a radar altimeter for topographic correction and a GPS system for high precision positioning. Advanced data processing techniques using reference magnetometer and inertial unit data result in a very low system noise of less than 60 pT/m peak to peak in airborne operation. To show the performance of the system we present example results from survey areas within the Thuringian basin and along its bordering highlands. The mapped gradient tensor components show a high correlation to existing geologic maps. Furthermore, the measured gradient components indicate

  8. A novel digital receiver concept for ISRO's future remote sensing radars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desai, Nilesh; Vachhani, J. G.; Soin, Sumit; Agrawal, Rinku; Rao, C. V. N.; Gujraty, Virendra; Rana, Surindersingh

    2006-12-01

    Technology development related to digital, antenna and RF subsystems for Microwave Radar Sensors like Synthetic Aperture Radar, Scatterometer, Altimeter and Radiometer is one of the major activities under ISRO's microwave remote sensing programme, since 1980s. These technologies are now being gainfully utilized for building ISRO's operational Earth Observation missions involving microwave sensors like Radar Imaging Satellite, RISAT SAR, Oceansat-2 Scatterometer, Megha-Tropiques, MADRAS and Airborne SAR for Disaster Management, DMSAR. Concurrently, advanced technology developments in these fields are underway to meet the major technological challenges of building ISRO's proposed advanced microwave missions like ultra-high resolution SAR's, Synthetic Aperture Radiometer (SARAD), Milli-meter and sub-millimeter wave sounders and SAR Constellations for Disaster management as well as Interferometric, Polarmetric and polarmetric interferometry applications. Also, these hardware are being designed with core radar electronics concept, in which the same RF and digital hardware sub-units / modules will be utilized to build different microwave radar sensors. One of the major and common requirements for all these active and passive microwave sensors is the moderate to highspeed data acquisition and signal processing system. Traditionally, the Data acquisition units for all these radar sensors are implemented as stand-alone units, following the radar receivers. For ISRO's C-band airborne SAR (ASAR) and RISAT high resolution SAR, we have designed and developed High Speed 8-bit ADC based I/Q Digitisers, operating at 30.814 MHz and 250 MHz sampling rates, respectively. With the increasing demand of wide bandwidth and ultra-high resolution in imaging and non-imaging radar systems, the technology trend worldwide is towards a digital receiver, involving bandpass or IF sampling, thus eliminating the need for RF down converters and analog IQ demodulators. In order to evolve a generic

  9. CloudSat as a Global Radar Calibrator

    SciTech Connect

    Protat, Alain; Bouniol, Dominique; O'Connor, E. J.; Baltink, Henk K.; Verlinde, J.; Widener, Kevin B.

    2011-03-01

    The calibration of the CloudSat spaceborne cloud radar has been thoroughly assessed using very accurate internal link budgets before launch, comparisons with predicted ocean surface backscatter at 94 GHz, direct comparisons with airborne cloud radars, and statistical comparisons with ground-based cloud radars at different locations of the world. It is believed that the calibration of CloudSat is accurate to within 0.5 to 1 dB. In the present paper it is shown that an approach similar to that used for the statistical comparisons with ground-based radars can now be adopted the other way around to calibrate other ground-based or airborne radars against CloudSat and / or detect anomalies in long time series of ground-based radar measurements, provided that the calibration of CloudSat is followed up closely (which is the case). The power of using CloudSat as a Global Radar Calibrator is demonstrated using the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement cloud radar data taken at Barrow, Alaska, the cloud radar data from the Cabauw site, The Netherlands, and airborne Doppler cloud radar measurements taken along the CloudSat track in the Arctic by the RASTA (Radar SysTem Airborne) cloud radar installed in the French ATR-42 aircraft for the first time. It is found that the Barrow radar data in 2008 are calibrated too high by 9.8 dB, while the Cabauw radar data in 2008 are calibrated too low by 8.0 dB. The calibration of the RASTA airborne cloud radar using direct comparisons with CloudSat agrees well with the expected gains and losses due to the change in configuration which required verification of the RASTA calibration.

  10. Calibration validation for the GEOS-3 altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, C. F.; Kolenkiewicz, R.

    1980-01-01

    The absolute bias calibration for the GEOS-3 intensive mode altimeter was measured using two satellite passes whose groundtracks were within 1 km of the Bermuda laser station. The Bermuda laser tracked on the two passes, and was supported by two other NASA lasers on one pass and by the NASA Spacecraft Tracking and Data Network on the other pass. For each pass, the altimeter data around Bermuda was smoothed and extrapolated to the point closest to overhead at the laser site. After correcting for tide heights and sea state effects, the two passes give calibration biases which are in agreement to within 26 cm and have a weighted mean of -5.69 + or - 0.16m for correcting altimeter measurements to the center-of-mass of the spacecraft (i.e., including the antenna tracking point correction). It was found impossible to reconcile the two calibration passes, as well as a set of altimeter crossovers in the middle of the GEOS-3 calibration area, without allowing for a data time tag error. On the bias of a selected set of four crossovers, and an assessment of probable sources of timing error, it was concluded that one interpulse period (10.24 msec) should be added to the data time tags.

  11. Reconfigurable L-Band Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rincon, Rafael F.

    2008-01-01

    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.

  12. Multibeam Laser Altimeter for Planetary Topographic Mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Bufton, J. L.; Harding, D. J.

    1993-01-01

    Laser altimetry provides an active, high-resolution, high-accuracy method for measurement of planetary and asteroid surface topography. The basis of the measurement is the timing of the roundtrip propagation of short-duration pulses of laser radiation between a spacecraft and the surface. Vertical, or elevation, resolution of the altimetry measurement is determined primarily by laser pulse width, surface-induced spreading in time of the reflected pulse, and the timing precision of the altimeter electronics. With conventional gain-switched pulses from solid-state lasers and nanosecond resolution timing electronics, submeter vertical range resolution is possible anywhere from orbital altitudes of approximately 1 km to altitudes of several hundred kilometers. Horizontal resolution is a function of laser beam footprint size at the surface and the spacing between successive laser pulses. Laser divergence angle and altimeter platform height above the surface determine the laser footprint size at the surface, while laser pulse repetition rate, laser transmitter beam configuration, and altimeter platform velocity determine the spacing between successive laser pulses. Multiple laser transmitters in a single laser altimeter instrument that is orbiting above a planetary or asteroid surface could provide across-track as well as along-track coverage that can be used to construct a range image (i.e., topographic map) of the surface. We are developing a pushbroom laser altimeter instrument concept that utilizes a linear array of laser transmitters to provide contiguous across-track and along-track data. The laser technology is based on the emerging monolithic combination of individual, 1-sq cm diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser pulse emitters. Details of the multi-emitter laser transmitter technology, the instrument configuration, and performance calculations for a realistic Discovery-class mission will be presented.

  13. Tests and comparisons of satellite-derived geoids with Skylab altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marsh, J. G.; Douglas, B. C.; Vincent, S.; Walls, D. M.

    1976-01-01

    During the Skylab 4 mission, the S-193 radar altimeter was operated nearly continuously for a revolution around the world on Jan. 31, 1974. This direct measurement to the sea surface has provided an independent basis for the evaluation of the precision of global geoids computed from satellite-derived earth gravity models. This paper presents comparisons between the Skylab data and several recent gravity models published by Goddard Space Flight Center, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The differences between the altimeter geoid and the satellite geoids were as large as 20 m, rms values ranging from 8 to 10 m. These differences also indicated a systematic long-wavelength variation (about 100 deg) not related to error in the Skylab orbits. Truncation of the models to degree and order 8 did not eliminate the long-wavelength variation, but in every case the rms agreement between the satellite geoids and the altimeter geoid was slightly improved. Orbits computed with the truncated models were found to be inferior to those computed with the complete models.

  14. A new approach for determining fully empirical altimeter wind speed model functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freilich, Michael H.; Challenor, Peter G.

    1994-12-01

    A statistical technique is developed for determining fully empirical model functions relating altimeter radar backscatter (σ0) measurements to near-surface neutral stability wind speed. By assuming that σ0 varies monotonically and uniquely with wind speed, the method requires knowledge only of the separate, rather than joint, distribution functions of σ0 and wind speed. Analytic simplifications result from using a Weibull distribution to approximate the global ocean wind speed distribution; several different wind data sets are used to demonstrate the validity of the Weibull approximation. The technique has been applied to 1 year of Geosat data. Validation of the new and historical model functions using an independent buoy data set demonstrates that the present model function not only has small overall bias and RMS errors, but yields smaller systematic error trends with wind speed and pseudowave age than previously published models. The present analysis suggests that generally accurate altimeter model functions can be derived without the use of collocated measurements, nor is additional significant wave height information measured by the altimeter necessary.

  15. Experimental measurement and theoretical modeling of microwave scattering and the structure of the sea surface influencing radar observations from space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnold, David; Kong, J. A.

    1992-01-01

    The electromagnetic bias is an error present in radar altimetry of the ocean due to the non-uniform reflection from wave troughs and crests. A study of the electromagnetic bias became necessary to permit error reduction in mean sea level measurements of satellite radar altimeters. Satellite radar altimeters have been used to find the upper and lower bounds for the electromagnetic bias. This report will present a theory using physical optics scattering and an empirical model of the short wave modulation to predict the electromagnetic bias. The predicted electromagnetic bias will be compared to measurements at C and Ku bands.

  16. A barrier radar concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, J.; Ball, C.; Weissman, I.

    A description is given of a low power, light-weight radar that can be quickly set up and operated on batteries for extended periods of time to detect airborne intruders. With low equipment and operating costs, it becomes practical to employ a multiplicity of such radars to provide an unbroken intrusion fence over the desired perimeter. Each radar establishes a single transmitted fan beam extending vertically from horizon to horizon. The beam is generated by a two-face array antenna built in an A-frame configuration and is shaped, through phasing of the array elements, to concentrate the transmitter power in a manner consistent with the expected operating altitude ceiling of the targets of interest. The angular width of this beam in the dimension transverse to the fan depends on the radar transmission frequency and the antenna aperture dimension, but is typically wide enough so that a target at the maximum altitude or range will require tens of seconds to pass through the beam. A large number of independent samples of radar data will thus be available to provide many opportunities for target detection.

  17. 20,000 Photons Under the Snow: Subsurface Scattering of Visible Laser Light and the Implications for Laser Altimeters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greeley, A.; Kurtz, N. T.; Shappirio, M.; Neumann, T.; Cook, W. B.; Markus, T.

    2014-12-01

    Existing visible light laser altimeters such as ATM (Airborne Topographical Mapper) with NASA's Operation IceBridge and NASA's MABEL (Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar; a simulator for NASA's ICESat-2 mission) are providing scientists with a view of Earth's ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice with unprecedented detail. Measuring how these surfaces evolve in the face of a rapidly changing climate requires the utmost attention to detail in the design and calibration of these instruments, as well as understanding the changing optical properties of these surfaces. As single photon counting lidars, MABEL and NASA's ATLAS (Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System) on the upcoming ICESat-2 mission provide fundamentally different information compared with waveform lidars such as ATM, or GLAS (Geoscience Laser Altimeter System) on NASA's previous ICESat-1 mission. By recording the travel times of individual photons, more detailed information about the surface, and potentially the subsurface, are available and must be considered in elevation retrievals from the observed photon cloud. Here, we investigate possible sources of uncertainty associated with monochromatic visible light scattering in subsurface snow, which may affect the precision and accuracy of elevation estimates. We also explore the capacity to estimate snow grain size in near surface snow using experimental visible light laser data obtained in laboratory experiments.

  18. Photon-Counting Microlaser Rangers, Transponders, and Altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degnan, John J.; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Unlike current manned systems, NASA's next generation SLR2000 Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) station is fully autonomous. eye-safe, relatively compact and inexpensive. and, during daytime tracking operates at signal-to-noise ratios several orders of magnitude below unity. Tiny, passively Q-switched microlasers generate ultra-short pulses with output energies on the order of 100 micron-J at few kHz rates to achieve mm-level ranging precision to satellite altitudes of 20,000 km. Special ranging receivers, combined with Poisson statistical analysis of the received photon distribution, enable the system to rapidly and reliably identify and extract the single photon laser echoes from the solar background. The enhanced rate of return, combined with a uniform signal strength, can actually drive down both systematic and random range errors. The new SLR2000 technology has already spawned exciting new applications. Compact microlaser altimeters, capable of mapping the surface of a planet or other celestial body at multikilohertz rates, is one such application, and a high altitude, airborne version is currently being developed under NASA's Instrument Incubator Program. Interplanetary microlaser transponders would be capable of performing decimeter ranging or subnanosecond time transfer to spacecraft throughout the inner Solar System. resulting in improved knowledge of planetary motions and liberations and enhanced General Relativity experiments.

  19. Estimating terrestrial snow depth with the Topex-Poseidon altimeter and radiometer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Papa, F.; Legresy, B.; Mognard, N.M.; Josberger, E.G.; Remy, F.

    2002-01-01

    Active and passive microwave measurements obtained by the dual-frequency Topex-Poseidon radar altimeter from the Northern Great Plains of the United States are used to develop a snow pack radar backscatter model. The model results are compared with daily time series of surface snow observations made by the U.S. National Weather Service. The model results show that Ku-band provides more accurate snow depth determinations than does C-band. Comparing the snow depth determinations derived from the Topex-Poseidon nadir-looking passive microwave radiometers with the oblique-looking Satellite Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) passive microwave observations and surface observations shows that both instruments accurately portray the temporal characteristics of the snow depth time series. While both retrievals consistently underestimate the actual snow depths, the Topex-Poseidon results are more accurate.

  20. GPS-Based Precision Orbit Determination for a New Era of Altimeter Satellites: Jason-1 and ICESat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luthcke, Scott B.; Rowlands, David D.; Lemoine, Frank G.; Zelensky, Nikita P.; Williams, Teresa A.

    2003-01-01

    Accurate positioning of the satellite center of mass is necessary in meeting an altimeter mission's science goals. The fundamental science observation is an altimetric derived topographic height. Errors in positioning the satellite's center of mass directly impact this fundamental observation. Therefore, orbit error is a critical Component in the error budget of altimeter satellites. With the launch of the Jason-1 radar altimeter (Dec. 2001) and the ICESat laser altimeter (Jan. 2003) a new era of satellite altimetry has begun. Both missions pose several challenges for precision orbit determination (POD). The Jason-1 radial orbit accuracy goal is 1 cm, while ICESat (600 km) at a much lower altitude than Jason-1 (1300 km), has a radial orbit accuracy requirement of less than 5 cm. Fortunately, Jason-1 and ICESat POD can rely on near continuous tracking data from the dual frequency codeless BlackJack GPS receiver and Satellite Laser Ranging. Analysis of current GPS-based solution performance indicates the l-cm radial orbit accuracy goal is being met for Jason-1, while radial orbit accuracy for ICESat is well below the 54x1 mission requirement. A brief overview of the GPS precision orbit determination methodology and results for both Jason-1 and ICESat are presented.

  1. Precise Orbit Determination for GEOSAT Follow-On Using Satellite Laser Ranging Data and Intermission Altimeter Crossovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemoine, Frank G.; Rowlands, David D.; Luthcke, Scott B.; Zelensky, Nikita P.; Chinn, Douglas S.; Pavlis, Despina E.; Marr, Gregory

    2001-01-01

    The US Navy's GEOSAT Follow-On Spacecraft was launched on February 10, 1998 with the primary objective of the mission to map the oceans using a radar altimeter. Following an extensive set of calibration campaigns in 1999 and 2000, the US Navy formally accepted delivery of the satellite on November 29, 2000. Satellite laser ranging (SLR) and Doppler (Tranet-style) beacons track the spacecraft. Although limited amounts of GPS data were obtained, the primary mode of tracking remains satellite laser ranging. The GFO altimeter measurements are highly precise, with orbit error the largest component in the error budget. We have tuned the non-conservative force model for GFO and the gravity model using SLR, Doppler and altimeter crossover data sampled over one year. Gravity covariance projections to 70x70 show the radial orbit error on GEOSAT was reduced from 2.6 cm in EGM96 to 1.3 cm with the addition of SLR, GFO/GFO and TOPEX/GFO crossover data. Evaluation of the gravity fields using SLR and crossover data support the covariance projections and also show a dramatic reduction in geographically-correlated error for the tuned fields. In this paper, we report on progress in orbit determination for GFO using GFO/GFO and TOPEX/GFO altimeter crossovers. We will discuss improvements in satellite force modeling and orbit determination strategy, which allows reduction in GFO radial orbit error from 10-15 cm to better than 5 cm.

  2. Radar activities of the DFVLR Institute for Radio Frequency Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keydel, W.

    1983-01-01

    Aerospace research and the respective applications microwave tasks with respect to remote sensing, position finding and communication are discussed. The radar activities are directed at point targets, area targets and volume targets; they center around signature research for earth and ocean remote sensing, target recognition, reconnaissance and camouflage and imaging and area observation radar techniques (SAR and SLAR). The radar activities cover a frequency range from 1 GHz up to 94 GHz. The radar program is oriented to four possible application levels: ground, air, shuttle orbits and satellite orbits. Ground based studies and measurements, airborne scatterometers and imaging radars, a space shuttle radar, the MRSE, and follow on experiments are considered.

  3. Tracking the attenuation and nonbreaking dissipation of swells using altimeters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Haoyu; Stopa, Justin E.; Wang, He; Husson, Romain; Mouche, Alexis; Chapron, Bertrand; Chen, Ge

    2016-02-01

    A method for systematically tracking swells across oceanic basins is developed by taking advantage of high-quality data from space-borne altimeters and wave model output. The evolution of swells is observed over large distances based on 202 swell events with periods ranging from 12 to 18 s. An empirical attenuation rate of swell energy of about 4 × 10-7 m-1 is estimated using these observations, and the nonbreaking energy dissipation rates of swells far away from their generating areas are also estimated using a point source model. The resulting acceptance range of nonbreaking dissipation rates is -2.5 to 5.0 × 10-7 m-1, which corresponds to a dissipation e-folding scales of at least 2000 km for steep swells, to almost infinite for small-amplitude swells. These resulting rates are consistent with previous studies using in-situ and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) observations. The frequency dispersion and angular spreading effects during swell propagation are discussed by comparing the results with other studies, demonstrating that they are the two dominant processes for swell height attenuation, especially in the near field. The resulting dissipation rates from these observations can be used as a reference for ocean engineering and wave modeling, and for related studies such as air-sea and wind-wave-turbulence interactions.

  4. A next generation altimeter for mapping the sea surface height variability: opportunities and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Lee-Lueng; Morrow, Rosemary

    2016-07-01

    The global observations of the sea surface height (SSH) have revolutionized oceanography since the beginning of precision radar altimetry in the early 1990s. For the first time we have continuous records of SSH with spatial and temporal sampling for detecting the global mean sea level rise, the waxing and waning of El Niño, and the ocean circulation from gyres to ocean eddies. The limit of spatial resolution of the present constellation of radar altimeters in mapping SSH variability is approaching 100 km (in wavelength) with 3 or more simultaneous altimetric satellites in orbit. At scales shorter than 100 km, the circulation contains substantial amount of kinetic energy in currents, eddies and fronts that are responsible for the stirring and mixing of the ocean, especially from the vertical exchange of the upper ocean with the deep. A mission currently in development will use the technique of radar interferometry for making high-resolution measurement of the height of water over the ocean as well as on land. It is called Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT), which is a joint mission of US NASA and French CNES, with contributions from Canada and UK. SWOT promises the detection of SSH at scales approaching 15 km, depending on the sea state. SWOT will make SSH measurement over a swath of 120 km with a nadir gap of 20 km in a 21-day repeat orbit. A conventional radar altimeter will provide measurement along the nadir. This is an exploratory mission with applications in oceanography and hydrology. The increased spatial resolution offers an opportunity to study ocean surface processes to address important questions about the ocean circulation. However, the limited temporal sampling poses challenges to map the evolution of the ocean variability that changes rapidly at the small scales. The measurement technique and the development of the mission will be presented with emphasis on its science program with outlook on the opportunities and challenges.

  5. Analysis of satellite and airborne wind measurements during the SEMAPHORE experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Tournadre, J.; Hauser, D.

    1994-12-31

    During the SEMAPHORE experiment Intensive Observation Period (IOP), held in October and November 1993 in the Azores-Madeira region, two airplanes, instrumented for atmospheric research, and two oceanographic research vessels have conducted in situ measurements in a 500km x 500km domain. Within the framework of SEMAPHORE, the SOFIA program is dedicated to the study of the air-sea fluxes and interactions from local scale up to mesoscale. The analysis of the structure of the wind and wave fields and their relations to the surface fluxes (especially near oceanic fronts) and the validation of the satellite data are two of the main goals of the SOFIA program. During the IOP, the experiment domain was regularly overflown by the ERS-1 and Topex-Poseidon (TP) satellites. This study presents a preliminary analysis of the ERS-1 and TP altimeter wind and wave measurement and ERS-1 scatterometer wind fields. The data from the airborne RESSAC (a radar ocean wave spectrometer) are also presented.

  6. Sidelooking laser altimeter for a flight simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Webster, L. D. (Inventor)

    1983-01-01

    An improved laser altimeter for a flight simulator which allows measurement of the height of the simulator probe above the terrain directly below the probe tip is described. A laser beam is directed from the probe at an angle theta to the horizontal to produce a beam spot on the terrain. The angle theta that the laser beam makes with the horizontal is varied so as to bring the beam spot into coincidence with a plumb line coaxial with the longitudinal axis of the probe. A television altimeter camera observes the beam spot and has a raster line aligned with the plumb line. Spot detector circuit coupled to the output of the TV camera monitors the position of the beam spot relative to the plumb line.

  7. Three ocean state indicators from altimeter products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rio, M.-H.; Bessières, L.; Boone, C.; Dufau, C.; Pujol, M.-I.

    2012-04-01

    The Sea Level Thematic Assembly Centre from the MyOcean project provides observations of the ocean dynamic topography from altimeter measurements. In order to validate and best make use of the SLTAC products, the ocean state is being monitored through the analysis of ocean indicators based on altimeter data only. Three specific indicators have been developed using the decomposition into principal components (EOF)analysis. The first ocean indicator follows the positive and negative phases of the ENSO events in the Tropical Pacific, the El Niño/La Niña events since 1992. The second ocean indicator allows monitoring the state of the Kuroshio current (contracted or extended). The third ocean indicator, dedicated to the Ionian basin in the Mediterranean Sea, allows to discriminate between the two main circulation patterns of the basin, either anticyclonic (for instance before 1997 or after 2006) or zonal (after 1997 or before 2006).

  8. Analysis of GEOS-3 altimeter data and extraction of ocean wave height and dominant wavelength

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, E. J.

    1979-01-01

    When the amplitude and timing biases are removed from the GEOS-3 Sample and Hold (S&H) gates, the mean return waveforms can be excellently fitted with a theoretical template which represents the convolution of: (1) the radar point target response; (2) the range noise (jitter) in the altimeter tracking loop; (3) the sea surface height distribution; and (4) the antenna pattern as a function of the range to mean sea level. Several techniques of varying complexity to remove the effect of the tracking loop jitter in computing the wave height are considered. They include: (1) realigning the S&H gates to their actual positions with respect to mean sea level before averaging; (2) using the observed standard deviation on the altitude measurement to remove the integrated effect of the tracking loop jitter, and (3) using a look-up table to correct for the expected value of range noise. Analysis of skewness in the GEOS return waveform demonstrates the potential of a satellite radar altimeter to determine the dominant wavelength of ocean waves.

  9. Geoscience Applications of Airborne and Spaceborne Lidar Altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding David J.

    1999-01-01

    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.

  10. Large icebergs characteristics from altimeter waveforms analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tournadre, J.; Bouhier, N.; Girard-Ardhuin, F.; Rémy, F.

    2015-03-01

    Large uncertainties exist on the volume of ice transported by the Southern Ocean large icebergs, a key parameter for climate studies, because of the paucity of information, especially on iceberg thickness. Using icebergs tracks from the National Ice Center (NIC) and Brigham Young University (BYU) databases to select altimeter data over icebergs and a method of analysis of altimeter waveforms, a database of 5366 icebergs freeboard elevation, length, and backscatter covering the 2002-2012 period has been created. The database is analyzed in terms of distributions of freeboard, length, and backscatter showing differences as a function of the iceberg's quadrant of origin. The database allows to analyze the temporal evolution of icebergs and to estimate a melt rate of 35-39 m·yr-1 (neglecting the firn compaction). The total daily volume of ice, estimated by combining the NIC and altimeter sizes and the altimeter freeboards, regularly decreases from 2.2 104km3 in 2002 to 0.9 104km3 in 2012. During this decade, the total loss of ice (˜1800 km3·yr-1) is twice as large as than the input (˜960 km3·yr-1) showing that the system is out of equilibrium after a very large input of ice between 1997 and 2002. Breaking into small icebergs represents 80% (˜1500 km3·yr-1) of the total ice loss while basal melting is only 18% (˜320 km3·yr-1). Small icebergs are thus the major vector of freshwater input in the Southern Ocean.

  11. Accuracy Assessment of Altimeter Derived Geostrophic Velocities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leben, R. R.; Powell, B. S.; Born, G. H.; Guinasso, N. L.

    2002-12-01

    Along track sea surface height anomaly gradients are proportional to cross track geostrophic velocity anomalies allowing satellite altimetry to provide much needed satellite observations of changes in the geostrophic component of surface ocean currents. Often, surface height gradients are computed from altimeter data archives that have been corrected to give the most accurate absolute sea level, a practice that may unnecessarily increase the error in the cross track velocity anomalies and thereby require excessive smoothing to mitigate noise. Because differentiation along track acts as a high-pass filter, many of the path length corrections applied to altimeter data for absolute height accuracy are unnecessary for the corresponding gradient calculations. We report on a study to investigate appropriate altimetric corrections and processing techniques for improving geostrophic velocity accuracy. Accuracy is assessed by comparing cross track current measurements from two moorings placed along the descending TOPEX/POSEIDON ground track number 52 in the Gulf of Mexico to the corresponding altimeter velocity estimates. The buoys are deployed and maintained by the Texas Automated Buoy System (TABS) under Interagency Contracts with Texas A&M University. The buoys telemeter observations in near real-time via satellite to the TABS station located at the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG) at Texas A&M. Buoy M is located in shelf waters of 57 m depth with a second, Buoy N, 38 km away on the shelf break at 105 m depth. Buoy N has been operational since the beginning of 2002 and has a current meter at 2m depth providing in situ measurements of surface velocities coincident with Jason and TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter over flights. This allows one of the first detailed comparisons of shallow water near surface current meter time series to coincident altimetry.

  12. UAVSAR: An Airborne Window on Earth Surface Deformation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hensley, Scott

    2011-01-01

    This study demonstrates that UAVSAR's precision autopilot and electronic steering have allowed for the reliable collection of airborne repeat pass radar interferometric data for deformation mapping. Deformation maps from temporal scales ranging from hours to months over a variety of signals of geophysical interest illustrate the utility of UAVSAR airborne repeat pass interferometry to these studies.

  13. Remote sensing of atmospheric pressure and sea state from satellites using short-pulse multicolor laser altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, C. S.; Tsai, B. M.; Abshire, J. B.

    1983-01-01

    Short pulse multicolor laser ranging systems are currently being developed for satellite ranging applications. These systems use Q-switched pulsed lasers and streak tube cameras to provide timing accuracies approaching a few picoseconds. Satellite laser ranging systems was used to evaluate many important geophysical phenomena such as fault motion, polar motion and solid earth tides, by measuring the orbital perturbations of retroreflector equipped satellites. Some existing operational systems provide range resolution approaching a few millimeters. There is currently considerable interest in adapting these highly accurate systems for use as airborne and satellite based altimeters. Potential applications include the measurement of sea state, ground topography and atmospheric pressure. This paper reviews recent progress in the development of multicolor laser altimeters for use in monitoring sea state and atmospheric pressure.

  14. ASPIS, A Flexible Multispectral System for Airborne Remote Sensing Environmental Applications

    PubMed Central

    Papale, Dario; Belli, Claudio; Gioli, Beniamino; Miglietta, Franco; Ronchi, Cesare; Vaccari, Francesco Primo; Valentini, Riccardo

    2008-01-01

    Airborne multispectral and hyperspectral remote sensing is a powerful tool for environmental monitoring applications. In this paper we describe a new system (ASPIS) composed by a 4-CCD spectral sensor, a thermal IR camera and a laser altimeter that is mounted on a flexible Sky-Arrow airplane. A test application of the multispectral sensor to estimate durum wheat quality is also presented.

  15. Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) project. VII - Techniques for radar data processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meneghini, Robert; Atlas, David; Fujita, Masaharu; Nakamura, Kenji

    1990-01-01

    The paper describes algorithms for rain-rate profiling with an airborne or space-borne radar. Some problems involved in the radar measurements from an airborne or space-borne platform are discussed. An outline of a dual-frequency algorithm is described and its performance is confirmed by a computer simulation and an airborne experiment. A single-frequency algorithm is developed by introducing a path-integrated rain rate estimated from an attenuation of surface echoes or from microwave brightness temperature. The computer simulation shows good performance for an airborne or space-borne radar.

  16. Large phased-array radars

    SciTech Connect

    Brookner, D.E.

    1988-12-15

    Large phased-array radars can play a very important part in arms control. They can be used to determine the number of RVs being deployed, the type of targeting of the RVs (the same or different targets), the shape of the deployed objects, and possibly the weight and yields of the deployed RVs. They can provide this information at night as well as during the day and during rain and cloud covered conditions. The radar can be on the ground, on a ship, in an airplane, or space-borne. Airborne and space-borne radars can provide high resolution map images of the ground for reconnaissance, of anti-ballistic missile (ABM) ground radar installations, missile launch sites, and tactical targets such as trucks and tanks. The large ground based radars can have microwave carrier frequencies or be at HF (high frequency). For a ground-based HF radar the signal is reflected off the ionosphere so as to provide over-the-horizon (OTH) viewing of targets. OTH radars can potentially be used to monitor stealth targets and missile traffic.

  17. Precise Orbit Determination for GEOSAT Follow-On Using Satellite Laser Ranging Data and Intermission Altimeter Crossovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemoine, F. G.; Rowlands, D. D.; Luthcke, S. B.; Zelensky, N. P.; Chinn, D. S.; Pavlis, D. E.; Marr, G. C.

    2001-01-01

    The U.S. Navy's GEOSAT Follow-On Spacecraft was launched on February 10, 1998 and the primary objective of the mission was to map the oceans using a radar altimeter. Following an extensive set of calibration campaigns in 1999 and 2000, the US Navy formally accepted delivery of the satellite on November 29, 2000. The spacecraft is tracked by satellite laser ranging (SLR) and Doppler (Tranet-style) beacons. Although a limited amount of GPS data were obtained, the primary mode of tracking remains satellite laser ranging. In this paper, we report on progress in orbit determination for GFO using GFO/GFO and TOPEX/GFO altimeter crossovers. We have tuned the nonconservative force model for GFO and the gravity model using SLR, Doppler and altimeter crossover data spanning over one year. Preliminary results show that the predicted radial orbit error from the gravity field covariance to 70x70 on GEOSAT was reduced from 2.6 cm in EGM96 to 1.9 cm with the addition of only five months of the GFO SLR and GFO/GFO crossover data. Further progress is possible with the addition of more data, particularly the TOPEX/GFO crossovers. We will evaluate the tuned GFO gravity model (a derivative of EGM96) using altimeter data from the GEOSAT mission. In January 2000, a limited quantity of GPS data were obtained. We will use these GPS data in conjunction with the SLR and altimeter crossover data obtained over the same time span to compute quasi-reduced dynamic orbits which will also aid in the evaluation of the tuned GFO geopotential model.

  18. Quality assessment of altimeter data through tide gauge comparisons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prandi, Pierre; Valladeau, Guillaume; Ablain, Michael; Picot, Nicolas; Desjonquères, Jean-Damien

    2015-04-01

    Since the first altimeter missions and the improvements performed in the accuracy of sea surface height measurements from 1992 onwards, the importance of global quality assessment of altimeter data has been increasing. Global CalVal studies usually assess this performance by the analysis of internal consistency and cross-comparison between all missions. The overall quality assessment of altimeter data can be performed by analyzing their internal consistency and the cross-comparison between all missions. As a complementary approach, tide gauge measurements are used as an external and independent reference to enable further quality assessment of the altimeter sea level and provide a better estimate of the multiple altimeter performances. In this way, both altimeter and tide gauge observations, dedicated to climate applications, require a rigorous quality control. The tide gauge time series considered in this study derive from several networks (GLOSS/CLIVAR, PSMSL, REFMAR) and provide sea-level heights with a physical content comparable with altimetry sea level estimates. Concerning altimeter data, the long-term drift assessment can be evaluated thanks to a widespread network of tide gauges. Thus, in-situ measurements are compared with altimeter sea level for the main altimeter missions. If altimeter time series are long enough, tide gauge data provide a relevant estimation of the global Mean Sea Level (MSL) drift calculated for all the missions. Moreover, comparisons with sea level products merging all the altimeter missions together have also been performed using several datasets, among which the AVISO delayed-time Sea Level Anomaly grids.

  19. Gulf stream ground truth project - Results of the NRL airborne sensors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcclain, C. R.; Chen, D. T.; Hammond, D. L.

    1980-01-01

    Results of an airborne study of the waves in the Gulf Stream are presented. These results show that the active microwave sensors (high-flight radar and wind-wave radar) provide consistent and accurate estimates of significant wave height and surface wind speed, respectively. The correlation between the wave height measurements of the high-flight radar and a laser profilometer is excellent.

  20. Enhanced Weather Radar (EWxR) System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kronfeld, Kevin M. (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    An airborne weather radar system, the Enhanced Weather Radar (EWxR), with enhanced on-board weather radar data processing was developed and tested. The system features additional weather data that is uplinked from ground-based sources, specialized data processing, and limited automatic radar control to search for hazardous weather. National Weather Service (NWS) ground-based Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD) information is used by the EWxR system to augment the on-board weather radar information. The system will simultaneously display NEXRAD and on-board weather radar information in a split-view format. The on-board weather radar includes an automated or hands-free storm-finding feature that optimizes the radar returns by automatically adjusting the tilt and range settings for the current altitude above the terrain and searches for storm cells near the atmospheric 0-degree isotherm. A rule-based decision aid was developed to automatically characterize cells as hazardous, possibly-hazardous, or non-hazardous based upon attributes of that cell. Cell attributes are determined based on data from the on-board radar and from ground-based radars. A flight path impact prediction algorithm was developed to help pilots to avoid hazardous weather along their flight plan and their mission. During development the system was tested on the NASA B757 aircraft and final tests were conducted on the Rockwell Collins Sabreliner.

  1. Developments in Airborne Oceanography and Air-Sea Interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melville, W. K.

    2014-12-01

    One of the earliest ocean-related flights was that of Amundsen to be first across the North Pole and Arctic from Svalbard to Alaska in the airship Norge in 1926. Twenty five years later Cox & Munk flew a B-17G "Flying Fortress" bomber over Hawaiian waters measuring sea surface slope statistics from photographs of sun glitter and wind speed from a yacht. The value of Cox & Munk's "airborne oceanography" became apparent another twenty five years later with the short-lived Seasat microwave remote-sensing mission, since interpretation of the Seasat data in geophysical variables required scattering theories that relied on their data. The universal acceptance of remote sensing in oceanography began in 1992 with the launch of, and successful analysis of sea surface height data from, the Topex/Poseidon radar altimeter. With that and the development of more realistic coupled atmosphere-ocean models it became apparent that our understanding of weather and climate variability in both the atmosphere and the ocean depends crucially on our ability to measure processes in boundary layers spanning the interface. Ten years ago UNOLS formed the Scientific Committee for Oceanographic Aircraft Research (SCOAR) "...to improve access to research aircraft facilities for ocean sciences"; an attempt to make access to aircraft as easy as access to research vessels. SCOAR emphasized then that "Aircraft are ideal for both fast-response investigations and routine, long-term measurements, and they naturally combine atmospheric measurements with oceanographic measurements on similar temporal and spatial scales." Since then developments in GPS positioning and miniaturization have made scientific measurements possible from smaller and smaller platforms, including the transition from manned to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Furthermore, ship-launched and recovered UAVs have demonstrated how they can enhance the capabilities and reach of the research vessels, "projecting" research and science

  2. Strategies for estimating the marine geoid from altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Argentiero, P.; Kahn, W. D.; Garza-Robles, R.

    1976-01-01

    Altimeter data from a spacecraft borne altimeter was processed to estimate the fine structure of the marine geoid. Simulation studies show that, among several competing parameterizations, the mean free air gravity anomaly model exhibited promising geoid recovery characteristics. Using covariance analysis techniques, quantitative measures of the orthogonality properties are investigated.

  3. Ground truth data requirements for altimeter performance verification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, E. J.

    1972-01-01

    The amount and type of ground truth required for an altimeter experiment is a function of the uncertainty in the satellite orbit, the altimeter error budget and the type of operation being performed. Ground truth requirements will be discussed with reference to three areas of operation: the global mode, the high intensity mode and calibration.

  4. Mars Observer Laser Altimeter: laser transmitter.

    PubMed

    Afzal, R S

    1994-05-20

    The Mars Observer Laser Altimeter utilizes a space-qualified diode-laser-pumped Q-switched Nd:YAG laser transmitter. A simple numerical model of the laser energetics is presented, which predicts the pulse energy and pulse width. Comparisons with the measured data available are made. The temperature dependence of the laser transmitter is also predicted. This dependence prediction is particularly important in determining the operational temperature range of the transmitter. Knowing the operational temperature range is especially important for a passive, thermally controlled laser operating in space. PMID:20885685

  5. Optically coupled digital altitude encoder for general aviation altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bryant, F. R.

    1975-01-01

    An optically coupled pressure altitude encoder which can be incorporated into commercially available inexpensive general aviation altimeters was successfully developed. The encoding of pressure altitude is accomplished in 100-ft (30.48-m) increments from -1000 to 20,000ft (-304.8 to 6096 m). The prototype encoders were retrofitted into two different internal altimeter configurations. A prototype encoder was checked for accuracy of transition points and environmental effects. Each altimeter configuration, with the encoder incorporated, was laboratory tested for performance and was subsequently flight-tested over the specified altitude range. With few exceptions, the assembled altimeter-encoder met aeronautical standards for altimeters and encoders. Design changes are suggested to improve performance to meet required standards consistently.

  6. Airborne laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamberson, Steven E.

    2002-06-01

    The US Air Force Airborne Laser (ABL) is an airborne, megawatt-class laser system with a state-of-the-art atmospheric compensation system to destroy enemy ballistic missiles at long ranges. This system will provide both deterrence and defense against the use of such weapons during conflicts. This paper provides an overview of the ABL weapon system including: the notional operational concept, the development approach and schedule, the overall aircraft configuration, the technologies being incorporated in the ABL, and the risk reduction approach being utilized to ensure program success.

  7. Fly eye radar or micro-radar sensor technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molchanov, Pavlo; Asmolova, Olga

    2014-05-01

    To compensate for its eye's inability to point its eye at a target, the fly's eye consists of multiple angularly spaced sensors giving the fly the wide-area visual coverage it needs to detect and avoid the threats around him. Based on a similar concept a revolutionary new micro-radar sensor technology is proposed for detecting and tracking ground and/or airborne low profile low altitude targets in harsh urban environments. Distributed along a border or around a protected object (military facility and buildings, camp, stadium) small size, low power unattended radar sensors can be used for target detection and tracking, threat warning, pre-shot sniper protection and provides effective support for homeland security. In addition it can provide 3D recognition and targets classification due to its use of five orders more pulses than any scanning radar to each space point, by using few points of view, diversity signals and intelligent processing. The application of an array of directional antennas eliminates the need for a mechanical scanning antenna or phase processor. It radically decreases radar size and increases bearing accuracy several folds. The proposed micro-radar sensors can be easy connected to one or several operators by point-to-point invisible protected communication. The directional antennas have higher gain, can be multi-frequency and connected to a multi-functional network. Fly eye micro-radars are inexpensive, can be expendable and will reduce cost of defense.

  8. Planetary Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neish, Catherine D.; Carter, Lynn M.

    2015-01-01

    This chapter describes the principles of planetary radar, and the primary scientific discoveries that have been made using this technique. The chapter starts by describing the different types of radar systems and how they are used to acquire images and accurate topography of planetary surfaces and probe their subsurface structure. It then explains how these products can be used to understand the properties of the target being investigated. Several examples of discoveries made with planetary radar are then summarized, covering solar system objects from Mercury to Saturn. Finally, opportunities for future discoveries in planetary radar are outlined and discussed.

  9. Geoscience laser altimeter system - stellar reference system

    SciTech Connect

    Millar, Pamela S.; Sirota, J. Marcos

    1998-01-15

    GLAS is an EOS space-based laser altimeter being developed to profile the height of the Earth's ice sheets with {approx}15 cm single shot accuracy from space under NASA's Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE). The primary science goal of GLAS is to determine if the ice sheets are increasing or diminishing for climate change modeling. This is achieved by measuring the ice sheet heights over Greenland and Antarctica to 1.5 cm/yr over 100 kmx100 km areas by crossover analysis (Zwally 1994). This measurement performance requires the instrument to determine the pointing of the laser beam to {approx}5 urad (1 arcsecond), 1-sigma, with respect to the inertial reference frame. The GLAS design incorporates a stellar reference system (SRS) to relate the laser beam pointing angle to the star field with this accuracy. This is the first time a spaceborne laser altimeter is measuring pointing to such high accuracy. The design for the stellar reference system combines an attitude determination system (ADS) with a laser reference system (LRS) to meet this requirement. The SRS approach and expected performance are described in this paper.

  10. Mapping Mars with a Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.

    2001-01-01

    In November 1996 the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft was launched to Mars. One of the instruments on the spacecraft was a laser altimeter, MOLA, for measuring the shape and topography of the planet. The altimeter has a diode pumped Q-switched ND:YAG laser at 1064nm, operating at 10Hz with an 8 nsec pulse width. The pulse energy is 48mJ, and the instrument has a 37cm ranging precision. The laser illuminates a spot on the surface of Mars approximately 160 meters in diameter and the instrument has accumulated over 600 million range measurements of the surface since arrival at Mars in September 1997. MOLA has operated continuously for over 2 years and has mapped the planet at a horizontal resolution of about 1 km and a radial accuracy of about a meter. MOLA has measured the shape of the planet, the heights of the volcanoes, the depths of the canyons, and the volumes of the polar icecaps. It has detected carbon dioxide clouds and measured the accumulation of seasonal CO2 on the polar icecaps. This new remote sensing tool has helped transform our understanding of Mars and its geological history, and opened a new door to planetary exploration.

  11. Progress reports for October 1994 -- Joint UK/US Radar Program

    SciTech Connect

    Twogood, R.E.; Brase, J.M.; Mantrom, D.D.; Chambers, D.H.; Robey, H.F.

    1994-11-18

    This report gives the principle investigator, objectives, recent accomplishments, milestones for reporting period, expected milestones for ensuing period, other issues and planned expenditures for each of the following programs: airborne RAR/SAR; radar data processor; ground-based SAR signal processing workstation; static airborne radar; multi-aperture space-time array radar; radar field experiments; data analysis and detection theory; management; E-2C radar data analysis; modeling and analysis; current meter array; UCSB wave tank; stratified flow facility; and IR sensor system. Finally the budget status is given.

  12. Progress reports for period November 1--30, 1994 -- Joint UK/US Radar Program

    SciTech Connect

    Twogood, R.E.; Brase, J.M.; Mantrom, D.D.; Chambers, D.H.; Robey, H.F.

    1994-12-19

    This report gives the principle investigator, objectives, recent accomplishments, milestones for reporting period, expected milestones for ensuing period, other issues and planned expenditures for the following programs: airborne RAR/SAR; radar data processor; ground-based SAR signal processing workstation; static airborne radar; multi-aperture space-time array radar; radar field experiments; data analysis and detection theory; management; E-2C radar data analysis;modeling and analysis; current meter array; UCSB wave tank; stratified flow facility; and IR sensor system. Budget status is also given.

  13. Northern Hemisphere Slopes from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aharonson, O.; Zuber, M. T.

    1998-12-01

    Slopes, slope distributions, and macroscale surface roughness in the northern hemisphere of Mars have been measured from topographic profiles collected by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) in the capture orbit, aerobraking hiatus and Science Phasing Orbit phases of the Mars Global Surveyor mission. The distribution function of slopes indicates that portions of the Martian surface fall into statistically distinct categories, distinguished by the histograms of both point-to-point slopes and of longer wavelength (10 and 100 km) slopes. Roughness correlates with elevation such that low regions tend to exhibit low roughness. Areas such as southern hemisphere highlands, dichotomy boundary terrains, and northern hemisphere lowlands all posses unique slope distribution signatures. The slope distribution within the Amazonis Planitia region, particularly member 3 of the Arcadia formation, displays an unusually smooth character. This region of anomalously low thermal inertia and low radar backscatter cross-section exhibits an rms variation in topography of <2 m over a 100-km baseline. Previous interpretations have suggested that this area is composed of accumulation of fine dust. Statistical comparison with other planetary surfaces of varying origin indicates that Amazonis most closely resembles in its smoothness the heavily sedimented surfaces on the Earth, i.e. oceanic abyssal plains and basins characterized by fluvial deposition. The smoothest measured volcanic surfaces as measured by altimetry on the Moon, Venus, and Mars are all significantly rougher than Amazonis. Saharan sand sheets are rougher by a factor of about three. Other regions in the Martian northern hemisphere that exhibit clear evidence of aeolian deposition are rougher than Amazonis as well.

  14. Basic Radar Altimetry Toolbox & Tutorial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosmorduc, Vinca; Benveniste, Jerome; Breebaart, Leo; Bronner, Emilie; Dinardo, Salvatore; Earith, Didier; Lucas, Bruno Manuel; Niejmeier, Sander; Picot, Nicolas

    2010-12-01

    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/

  15. A radar tour of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beatty, J. K.

    1985-06-01

    The surface of Venus is briefly characterized in a summary of results obtained by the Soviet Venera 15 and 16 8-cm synthetic-aperture radars, IR radiometers, and radar altimeters. A series of radar images, mainly from Kotelnikov et al. (1984), are presented and discussed, and the descent vehicles to be released by the two Vega spacecraft as they pass Venus in June 1985 on their way to an encounter with Halley's comet are described. Plans for the missions Phobos (two spacecraft to orbit Mars, rendezvous with Phobos and Deimos, release small instrumented landers, and perform mass spectrometry of vapors released by laser pulses directed at the satellite surfaces, beginning in 1988), a lunar-orbiter mission for 1989-1990, and Vesta (a not-yet-approved 1991 mission comprising a French probe to the asteroid 4 Vesta and perhaps 53 Kalypso and 453 Tea and a Soviet spacecraft to release a kite-supported Venus-atmosphere probe before flying on to an unknown destination) are considered.

  16. Global Analysis of Multi-Mission Echoes Over the Earth's Land Surface from 15 Years of Altimeter Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dowson, M.; Berry, P. A. M.

    2006-07-01

    A vast quantity of radar altimeter echoes has been collected over the earth's land surfaces by the series of missions flown over the past fifteen years. The totality of these missions has resulted in a unique global database of echoes, containing information not only on the elevation but also on the surface characteristics. This paper presents the results of a global analysis of echoes from all these missions, interpreted using a rule- based expert system, and discusses the information which can be extracted, both from the spatial distribution and from the temporal changes. The results demonstrate the unique contribution of this global dataset to measurement and monitoring of the earth's land surfaces.

  17. Spaceborne radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, R. K.; Eckerman, J.; Meneghini, R.; Atlas, D.; Boerner, W. M.; Cherry, S.; Clark, J. F.; Doviak, R. J.; Goldhirsh, J.; Lhermitte, R. M.

    1981-01-01

    The spaceborne radar panel considered how radar could be used to measure precipitation from satellites. The emphasis was on how radar could be used with radiometry (at microwave, visible (VIS), and infrared (IR) wavelengths) to reduce the uncertainties of measuring precipitation with radiometry alone. In addition, the fundamental electromagnetic interactions involved in the measurements were discussed to determine the key work areas for research and development to produce effective instruments. Various approaches to implementing radar systems on satellites were considered for both shared and dedicated instruments. Finally, a research and development strategy was proposed for establishing the parametric relations and retrieval algorithms required for extracting precipitation information from the radar and associated radiometric data.

  18. On geoid heights derived from GEOS 3 altimeter data along the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watts, A. B.

    1979-01-01

    The geoid heights derived from preliminary GEOS 3 satellite radar altimeter data over the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain are examined. Two objectives are pursued: (1) to evaluate the contribution of the topography of the seamount chain and its compensation to the marine geoid; and (2) to determine whether geoid heights derived from GEOS 3 altimeter data can be used to provide information on isostasy at geological features such as the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain which formed as relatively young loads on the oceanic lithosphere. Short-wavelength geoid highs of 5-12 m over the crest of the seamount chain and geoid lows over flanking regions are observed. The geological undulations can be explained by a simple model in which the seamount-chain load is supported by a strong rigid lithospheric plate. The elastic thickness estimates agree with values based on surface ship gravity and bathymetry observations, and provide further support to the hypothesis that the elastic thickness acquired at a surface load depends on the temperature gradient of the lithosphere at the time of loading.

  19. GEOSAT Follow-On (GFO) Altimeter Document Series. Volume 5; Version 1; GFO Radar Altimeter Processing at Wallops Flight Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockwood, Dennis W.; Conger, A. M.

    2003-01-01

    This document is a compendium of the WFF GFO Software Development Team's knowledge regarding of GDO CAL/VAL Data. It includes many elements of a requirements document, a software specification document, a software design document, and a user's guide. In the more technical sections, this document assumes the reader is familiar with GFO and its CAL/VAL Data.

  20. Detecting and mitigating wind turbine clutter for airspace radar systems.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wen-Qin

    2013-01-01

    It is well recognized that a wind turbine has a large radar cross-section (RCS) and, due to the movement of the blades, the wind turbine will generate a Doppler frequency shift. This scattering behavior may cause severe interferences on existing radar systems including static ground-based radars and spaceborne or airborne radars. To resolve this problem, efficient techniques or algorithms should be developed to mitigate the effects of wind farms on radars. Herein, one transponder-based mitigation technique is presented. The transponder is not a new concept, which has been proposed for calibrating high-resolution imaging radars. It modulates the radar signal in a manner that the retransmitted signals can be separated from the scene echoes. As wind farms often occupy only a small area, mitigation processing in the whole radar operation will be redundant and cost inefficient. Hence, this paper uses a transponder to determine whether the radar is impacted by the wind farms. If so, the effects of wind farms are then mitigated with subsequent Kalman filtering or plot target extraction algorithms. Taking airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and pulse Doppler radar as the examples, this paper provides the corresponding system configuration and processing algorithms. The effectiveness of the mitigation technique is validated by numerical simulation results. PMID:24385880

  1. Detecting and Mitigating Wind Turbine Clutter for Airspace Radar Systems

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    It is well recognized that a wind turbine has a large radar cross-section (RCS) and, due to the movement of the blades, the wind turbine will generate a Doppler frequency shift. This scattering behavior may cause severe interferences on existing radar systems including static ground-based radars and spaceborne or airborne radars. To resolve this problem, efficient techniques or algorithms should be developed to mitigate the effects of wind farms on radars. Herein, one transponder-based mitigation technique is presented. The transponder is not a new concept, which has been proposed for calibrating high-resolution imaging radars. It modulates the radar signal in a manner that the retransmitted signals can be separated from the scene echoes. As wind farms often occupy only a small area, mitigation processing in the whole radar operation will be redundant and cost inefficient. Hence, this paper uses a transponder to determine whether the radar is impacted by the wind farms. If so, the effects of wind farms are then mitigated with subsequent Kalman filtering or plot target extraction algorithms. Taking airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and pulse Doppler radar as the examples, this paper provides the corresponding system configuration and processing algorithms. The effectiveness of the mitigation technique is validated by numerical simulation results. PMID:24385880

  2. Generation of an ocean geoid map using satellite altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wells, W. T.; Borman, K. L.; Mcgoogan, J. T.; Leitao, C. D.

    1976-01-01

    A discussion of the techniques and accuracies associated with creating a geoid from satellite altimeter data is given. A sample set of Skylab S-193 altimeter data is utilized to demonstrate the generation of a local ocean geoid contour map in the Atlantic and Caribbean ocean area. The altimeter geoid compares well with existing geoids; possible sources of errors are identified. In addition, the application of a long arc (global type) pass of Skylab data for providing a common reference system and validating localized geoids is illustrated.

  3. Implementation Of A Marine Altimeter Calibration Campaign In The Area Of Ibiza Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Benjamin, Juan Jose; Bravo, Rogelio Lopez; Gomez, Begona Perez; Ripoll, Josep Gili; Gomez, Ana Tapia; Gonzalez, Juan Carlos; Conde, Mercedes Sanz; Gracia, Carlos

    2013-12-01

    Sea level monitoring geodetic improvements has been made in specific coastal Spanish sites as Ibiza harbour. At Ibiza site new measurements and levelling between the GPS reference station and a radar MIROS tide gauge, both from Puertos del Estado, has been made in the last years. The goal is to maintain and improve the quality of the observation of the sea level. The information is coming from Puertos del Estado www.puertos.es. The presentation is directed mainly to the description of the actual situation of the Ibiza site in preparation for a new altimeter calibration marine campaign of Jason-2 and Saral/AltiKa satellites to be made in September 2013. A description of the two geometric levelling campaigns made in June and September 2013 is included.

  4. Jason continuity of services: continuing the Jason altimeter data records as Copernicus Sentinel-6

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scharroo, Remko; Bonekamp, Hans; Ponsard, Christelle; Parisot, François; von Engeln, Axel; Tahtadjiev, Milen; de Vriendt, Kristiaan; Montagner, François

    2016-04-01

    The Sentinel-6 mission is proposed as a multi-partner programme to continue the Jason satellite altimeter data services beyond the Jason-2 and Jason-3 missions. The Sentinel-6 mission programme consists of two identical satellites flying in sequence to prolong the climate data record of sea level accumulated by the TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, Jason-2, and Jason-3 missions from 2020 to beyond 2030. The Sentinel-6 mission intends to maintain these services in a fully operational manner. A key feature is the simultaneous pulse-limited and synthetic aperture radar processing allowing direct and continuous comparisons of the sea surface height measurements based on these processing methods and providing backward compatibility. The Sentinel-6 mission will also include radio occultation user services.

  5. Analysis of satellite altimeter signal characteristics and investigation of sea-truth data requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Results are presented of analysis of satellite signal characteristics as influenced by ocean surface roughness and an investigation of sea truth data requirements. The first subject treated is that of postflight waveform reconstruction for the Skylab S-193 radar altimeter. Sea state estimation accuracies are derived based on analytical and hybrid computer simulation techniques. An analysis of near-normal incidence, microwave backscattering from the ocean's surface is accomplished in order to obtain the minimum sea truth data necessary for good agreement between theoretical and experimental scattering results. Sea state bias is examined from the point of view of designing an experiment which will lead to a resolution of the problem. A discussion is given of some deficiencies which were found in the theory underlying the Stilwell technique for spectral measurements.

  6. Jason continuity of services: continuing the Jason altimeter data records as Copernicus Sentinel-6

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scharroo, R.; Bonekamp, H.; Ponsard, C.; Parisot, F.; von Engeln, A.; Tahtadjiev, M.; de Vriendt, K.; Montagner, F.

    2015-12-01

    The Sentinel-6 mission is proposed as a multi-partner programme to continue the Jason satellite altimeter data services beyond the Jason-2 and Jason-3 missions. The Sentinel-6 mission programme consists of two identical satellites flying in sequence to prolong the climate data record of sea level accumulated by the TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, Jason-2, and Jason-3 missions from 2020 to beyond 2030. The Sentinel-6 mission intends to maintain these services in a fully operational manner. A key feature is the simultaneous pulse-limited and synthetic aperture radar processing allowing direct and continuous comparisons of the sea surface height measurements based on these processing methods and providing backward compatibility. The Sentinel-6 mission will also include Radio Occultation user services.

  7. Variations in transport derived from satellite altimeter data over the Gulf Stream

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Molinelli, E.; Lambert, R. B.

    1981-01-01

    Variations in total change of sea surface height (delta h) across the Gulf Stream are observed using Seasat radar altimeter data. The sea surface height is related to transport within the stream by a two layer model. Variations in delta h are compared with previously observed changes in transport found to increase with distance downstream. No such increase is apparent since the satellite transports show no significant dependence on distance. Though most discrepancies are less than 50 percent, a few cases differ by about 100 percent and more. Several possible reasons for these discrepancies are advanced, including geoid error, but only two oceanographic contributions to the variability are examined, namely, limitations in the two layer model and meanders in the current. It is concluded that some of the discrepancies could be explained as changes in the density structure not accounted for by the two layer model.

  8. Lunar Shape via the Apollo Laser Altimeter.

    PubMed

    Sjogren, W L; Wollenhaupt, W R

    1973-01-19

    Data from the Apollo 15 and Apollo 16 laser altimeters reveal the first accurate elevation differences between distant features on both sides of the moon. The large far-side depression observed in the Apollo 15 data is not present in the Apollo 16 data. When the laser results are compared with elevations on maps from the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center, differences of 2 kilometers over a few hundred kilometers are detected in the Mare Nubium and Mare Tranquillitatis regions. The Apollo 16 data alone would put a 2-kilometer bulge toward the earth; however, the combined data are best fit by a sphere of radius 1737.7 kilometers. The offset of the center of gravity from the optical center is about 2 kilometers toward the earth and 1 kilometer eastward. The polar direction parameters are not well determined. PMID:17802353

  9. Ionospheric calibration for single frequency altimeter measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiner, William S.; Born, George H.; Markin, Robert E.

    1994-01-01

    This study is a preliminary analysis of the effectiveness (in terms of altimeter calibration accuracy) of various ionosphere models and the Global Positioning System (GPS) to calibrate single frequency altimeter height measurements for ionospheric path delay. In particular, the research focused on ingesting GPS Total Electron Content (TEC) data into the physical Parameterized Real-Time Ionospheric Specification Model (PRISM), which estimates the composition of the ionosphere using independent empirical and physical models and has the capability of adjusting to additional ionospheric measurements. Two types of GPS data were used to adjust the PRISM model: GPS receiver station data mapped from line-of-sight observations to the vertical at the point of interest and a grid map (generated at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory) of GPS derived TEC in a sun-fixed longitude frame. The adjusted PRISM TEC values, as well as predictions by the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI-90), a climatological (monthly mean) model of the ionosphere, were compared to TOPEX dual-frequency TEC measurements (considered as truth) for a number of TOPEX sub-satellite tracks. For a 13.6 GHz altimeter, a Total Electron Content (TEC) of 1 TECU 10(exp 16) electrons/sq m corresponds to approximately 0.218 centimeters of range delay. A maximum expected TEC (at solar maximum or during solar storms) of 10(exp 18) electrons/sq m will create 22 centimeters of range delay. Compared with the TOPEX data, the PRISM predictions were generally accurate within the TECU when the sub-satellite track of interest passed within 300 to 400 km of the GPS TEC data or when the track passed through a night-time ionosphere. If neither was the case, in particular if the track passed through a local noon ionosphere, the PRISM values differed by more than 10 TECU and by as much as 40 TECU. The IRI-90 model, with no current ability to unseat GPS data, predicted TEC to a slightly higher error of 12 TECU. The performance of

  10. Assimilation of altimeter topography into oceanic models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demey, Pierre; Menard, Yves; Pinardi, Nadia; Schroeter, J.; Verron, J.

    1991-01-01

    The primary goals of the authors are to build an intuition for assimilation techniques and to investigate the impact of variable altimeter topography on simple or complex oceanic models. In particular, applying various techniques and sensitivity studies to model and data constraints plays a key role. We are starting to use quasi-geostrophic, semigeostrophic, and primitive-equation (PE) models and to test the schemes in regions of interest to the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), as well as in the northeast Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The impact of scatterometer wind forcing on the results is also investigated. The use of Geosat, European Remote Sensing satellite (ERS-1), and TOPEX/POSEIDON altimetry data is crucial in fine tuning the models and schemes to the selected areas of interest.

  11. South African TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gruendlingh, Marten L.; Shannon, L. V.; Lutjeharms, J. R.

    1991-01-01

    The area surrounding the southern tip of Africa contains a juxtaposition of a variety of interesting and climatically relevant features. On the Indian Ocean side, the Agulhas Current with its tributaries form a conduit through which much of the southern Indian Ocean surface flow is focused. South of the continent, this flow is fragmented and partially injected into the Atlantic Ocean and across the Subtropical Convergence into the Southern Ocean. To the west of the subcontinent, the circulation of the South Atlantic subtropical gyre in the Cape Basin interacts with the vigorous Benguela upwelling regime. The creation, transformation, and transport of water masses and the intra-annual and climatic importance of all these processes have been specifically recognized by the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). The South African TOPEX/POSEIDON Altimeter Experiment addresses many of these issues through four mutually complementary and interrelated subprojects.

  12. A Coordinated Ice-based and Airborne Snow and Ice Thickness Measurement Campaign on Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter-Menge, J.; Farrell, S.; Elder, B. C.; Gardner, J. M.; Brozena, J. M.

    2011-12-01

    A rare opportunity presented itself in March 2011 when the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and NASA IceBridge teamed with scientists from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) to coordinate a multi-scale approach to mapping snow depth and sea ice thickness distribution in the Arctic. Ground-truth information for calibration/validation of airborne and CryoSat-2 satellite data were collected near a manned camp deployed in support of the US Navy's Ice Expedition 2011 (ICEX 2011). The ice camp was established at a location approximately 230 km north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, at the edge of the perennial ice zone. The suite of measurements was strategically organized around a 9-km-long survey line that covered a wide range of ice types, including refrozen leads, deformed and undeformed first year ice, and multiyear ice. A highly concentrated set of in situ measurements of snow depth and ice thickness were taken along the survey line. Once the survey line was in place, NASA IceBridge flew a dedicated mission along the survey line, collecting data with an instrument suite that included the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), a high precision, airborne scanning laser altimeter; the Digital Mapping System (DMS), nadir-viewing digital camera; and the University of Kansas ultra-wideband Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) snow radar. NRL also flew a dedicated mission over the survey line with complementary airborne radar, laser and photogrammetric sensors (see Brozena et al., this session). These measurements were further leveraged by a series of CryoSat-2 under flights made in the region by the instrumented NRL and NASA planes, as well as US Navy submarine underpasses of the 9-km-long survey line to collect ice draft measurements. This comprehensive suite of data provides the full spectrum of sampling resolutions from satellite, to airborne, to ground-based, to submarine and will allow for a careful determination of

  13. Under the Radar: Trials and Tribulations of Landing on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bailey, Erik; Chen, Curtis; Shaffer, Scott; Skulsky, Eli D.

    2008-01-01

    The Mars Phoenix Mission requires a ground-sensing radar altimeter/ velocimeter to meet touchdown velocity requirements During Phase C/D, the radar underwent a testing triptych: a) Aerial Testing, both captive carry and tethered drop tests (36 sorties, approx. 80 hrs). b) Testing with Electronic Ground Support Equipment (EGSE) on the bench (500+ hrs). c) Detailed Simulation including both RF physics and internal firmware logic (100,000+ simulated landings). All three venues were implemented to provide sufficient uniqueness and overlap to: a) Verify the radar is meeting its requirements. b) Validate radar performance within the flight system and environment. Significant discoveries were attributed to each of the three elements of the testing triptych, leading to greatly improved EDL system robustness. An overview of the testing triptych methodology, discoveries, and responses to them will be subsequently discussed.

  14. Airborne laser scanning for high-resolution mapping of Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csatho, Bea; Schenk, Toni; Krabill, William; Wilson, Terry; Lyons, William; McKenzie, Garry; Hallam, Cheryl; Manizade, Serdar; Paulsen, Timothy

    In order to evaluate the potential of airborne laser scanning for topographic mapping in Antarctica and to establish calibration/validation sites for NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) altimeter mission, NASA, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) joined forces to collect high-resolution airborne laser scanning data.In a two-week campaign during the 2001-2002 austral summer, NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) system was used to collect data over several sites in the McMurdo Sound area of Antarctica (Figure 1a). From the recorded signals, NASA computed laser points and The Ohio State University (OSU) completed the elaborate computation/verification of high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) in 2003. This article reports about the DEM generation and some exemplary results from scientists using the geomorphologic information from the DEMs during the 2003-2004 field season.

  15. Mars laser altimeter based on a single photon ranging technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prochazka, Ivan; Hamal, Karel; Sopko, B.; Pershin, S.

    1993-01-01

    The Mars 94/96 Mission will carry, among others things, the balloon probe experiment. The balloon with the scientific cargo in the gondola underneath will drift in the Mars atmosphere, its altitude will range from zero, in the night, up to 5 km at noon. The accurate gondola altitude will be determined by an altimeter. As the Balloon gondola mass is strictly limited, the altimeter total mass and power consumption are critical; maximum allowed is a few hundred grams a few tens of mWatts of average power consumption. We did propose, design, and construct the laser altimeter based on the single photon ranging technique. Topics covered include the following: principle of operation, altimeter construction, and ground tests.

  16. Photogrammetry and altimetry. Part A: Apollo 16 laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wollenhaupt, W. R.; Sjogren, W. L.

    1972-01-01

    The laser altimeter measures precise altitudes of the command and service module above the lunar surface and can function either with the metric (mapping) camera or independently. In the camera mode, the laser altimeter ranges at each exposure time, which varies between 20 and 28 sec (i.e., 30 to 43 km on the lunar surface). In the independent mode, the laser altimeter ranges every 20 sec. These altitude data and the spacecraft attitudes that are derived from simultaneous stellar photography are used to constrain the photogrammetric reduction of the lunar surface photographs when cartographic products are generated. In addition, the altimeter measurements alone provide broad-scale topographic relief around the entire circumference of the moon. These data are useful in investigating the selenodetic figure of the moon and may provide information regarding gravitational anomalies on the lunar far side.

  17. Broadview Radar Altimetry Toolbox

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    2016-04-01

    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

  18. Broadview Radar Altimetry Toolbox

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    2016-07-01

    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

  19. Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA): A pathfinder for space-based laser altimetry and lidar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bufton, Jack; Blair, Bryan; Cavanaugh, John; Garvin, James

    1995-01-01

    The Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) is a Hitchhiker experiment now being integrated for first flight on STS-72 in November 1995. Four Shuttle flights of the SLA are planned at a rate of about a flight every 18 months. They are aimed at the transition of the Goddard Space Flight Center airborne laser altimeter and lidar technology to low Earth orbit as a pathfinder for operational space-based laser remote sensing devices. Future alser altimeter sensors such as the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), an Earth Observing System facility instrument, and the Multi-Beam Laser Altimeter (MBLA), the land and vegetation laser altimeter for the NASA TOPSAT (Topography Satellite) Mission, will utilize systems and approaches being tested with SLA. The SLA Instrument measures the distance from the Space Shuttle to the Earth's surface by timing the two-way propagation of short (approximately 10 na noseconds) laser pulses. laser pulses at 1064 nm wavelength are generated in a laser transmitter and are detected by a telescope equipped with a silicon avalanche photodiode detector. The SLA data system makes the pulse time interval measurement to a precision of about 10 nsec and also records the temporal shape of the laser echo from the Earth's surface for interpretation of surface height distribution within the 100 m diam. sensor footprint. For example, tree height can be determined by measuring the characteristic double-pulse signature that results from a separation in time of laser backscatter from tree canopies and the underlying ground. This is accomplished with a pulse waveform digitizer that samples the detector output with an adjustable resolution of 2 nanoseconds or wider intervals in a 100 sample window centered on the return pulse echo. The digitizer makes the SLA into a high resolution surface lidar sensor. It can also be used for cloud and atmospheric aerosol lidar measurements by lengthening the sampling window and degrading the waveform resolution. Detailed test

  20. Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA): A pathfinder for space-based laser altimetry and lidar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bufton, Jack; Blair, Bryan; Cavanaugh, John; Garvin, James

    1995-09-01

    The Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) is a Hitchhiker experiment now being integrated for first flight on STS-72 in November 1995. Four Shuttle flights of the SLA are planned at a rate of about a flight every 18 months. They are aimed at the transition of the Goddard Space Flight Center airborne laser altimeter and lidar technology to low Earth orbit as a pathfinder for operational space-based laser remote sensing devices. Future alser altimeter sensors such as the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), an Earth Observing System facility instrument, and the Multi-Beam Laser Altimeter (MBLA), the land and vegetation laser altimeter for the NASA TOPSAT (Topography Satellite) Mission, will utilize systems and approaches being tested with SLA. The SLA Instrument measures the distance from the Space Shuttle to the Earth's surface by timing the two-way propagation of short (approximately 10 na noseconds) laser pulses. laser pulses at 1064 nm wavelength are generated in a laser transmitter and are detected by a telescope equipped with a silicon avalanche photodiode detector. The SLA data system makes the pulse time interval measurement to a precision of about 10 nsec and also records the temporal shape of the laser echo from the Earth's surface for interpretation of surface height distribution within the 100 m diam. sensor footprint. For example, tree height can be determined by measuring the characteristic double-pulse signature that results from a separation in time of laser backscatter from tree canopies and the underlying ground. This is accomplished with a pulse waveform digitizer that samples the detector output with an adjustable resolution of 2 nanoseconds or wider intervals in a 100 sample window centered on the return pulse echo. The digitizer makes the SLA into a high resolution surface lidar sensor. It can also be used for cloud and atmospheric aerosol lidar measurements by lengthening the sampling window and degrading the waveform resolution. Detailed test

  1. Noise characteristics of the Skylab S-193 altimeter altitude measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hatch, W. E.

    1975-01-01

    The statistical characteristics of the SKYLAB S-193 altimeter altitude noise are considered. These results are reported in a concise format for use and analysis by the scientific community. In most instances the results have been grouped according to satellite pointing so that the effects of pointing on the statistical characteristics can be readily seen. The altimeter measurements and the processing techniques are described. The mathematical descriptions of the computer programs used for these results are included.

  2. Laser Transmitter Design for the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Afzal, R. S.; Yu, A. W.; Mamakos, W.; Lukemire, A.; Dallas, J. L.; Schroeder, B.; Green, J. W.

    1998-01-01

    NASA is embarking on a new era of laser remote sensing instruments from space. This paper focuses specifically on the laser technology involved in one of the present NASA missions. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) scheduled to launch in 2001 is a laser altimeter and lidar for the Earth Observing System's (EOS) ICESat mission. The laser transmitter for this space-based remote sensing instrument is discussed in the context of the mission requirements.

  3. Automotive radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohling, Hermann

    2004-07-01

    Radar networks for automtovie short-range applications (up to 30m) based on powerful but inexpensive 24GHz high range resolution pulse or FMCW radar systems have been developed at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg. The described system has been integrated in to an experimental vehicle and tested in real street environment. This paper considers the general network design, the individual pulse or FMCW radar sensors, the network signal processing scheme, the tracking procedure and possible automotive applications, respectively. Object position estimation is accomplished by the very precise range measurement of each individual sensor and additional trilateration procedures. The paper concludes with some results obtained in realistic traffic conditions with multiple target situations using 24 GHz radar network.

  4. From Mars to Greenland: Charting gravity with space and airborne instruments - Fields, tides, methods, results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colombo, Oscar L.

    This symposium on space and airborne techniques for measuring gravity fields, and related theory, contains papers on gravity modeling of Mars and Venus at NASA/GSFC, an integrated laser Doppler method for measuring planetary gravity fields, observed temporal variations in the earth's gravity field from 16-year Starlette orbit analysis, high-resolution gravity models combining terrestrial and satellite data, the effect of water vapor corrections for satellite altimeter measurements of the geoid, and laboratory demonstrations of superconducting gravity and inertial sensors for space and airborne gravity measurements. Other papers are on airborne gravity measurements over the Kelvin Seamount; the accuracy of GPS-derived acceleration from moving platform tests; airborne gravimetry, altimetry, and GPS navigation errors; controlling common mode stabilization errors in airborne gravity gradiometry, GPS/INS gravity measurements in space and on a balloon, and Walsh-Fourier series expansion of the earth's gravitational potential.

  5. From Mars to Greenland: Charting gravity with space and airborne instruments - Fields, tides, methods, results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colombo, Oscar L. (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    This symposium on space and airborne techniques for measuring gravity fields, and related theory, contains papers on gravity modeling of Mars and Venus at NASA/GSFC, an integrated laser Doppler method for measuring planetary gravity fields, observed temporal variations in the earth's gravity field from 16-year Starlette orbit analysis, high-resolution gravity models combining terrestrial and satellite data, the effect of water vapor corrections for satellite altimeter measurements of the geoid, and laboratory demonstrations of superconducting gravity and inertial sensors for space and airborne gravity measurements. Other papers are on airborne gravity measurements over the Kelvin Seamount; the accuracy of GPS-derived acceleration from moving platform tests; airborne gravimetry, altimetry, and GPS navigation errors; controlling common mode stabilization errors in airborne gravity gradiometry, GPS/INS gravity measurements in space and on a balloon, and Walsh-Fourier series expansion of the earth's gravitational potential.

  6. Rainfall observations by an airbourne dual-fequency precipitation radar during CAMEX-4

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Im, E.; Durden, S. L.; Sadowy, G.; Li, L.

    2002-01-01

    The 2d Generation Precipitation Radar is a new design for a dual-frequency (13.4 and 35.6 GHz) spaceborne precipitation radar. An airborne PR-2 simulator has been developed to demonstrate key technologies. This airborne system was flown on the NASA DC-8 aircraft during the 4th Convection and Moisture Experiment in 2001. Data were acquired in Tropical Storms Chantal and Gabrielle, Hurricane Humberto, and in several more localized convective systems. The authors discuss the design of thePR-2 airborne radar and show observations from CAMEX-4. Overall, the observations validated the design of PR-2 and provide an extensive data set for scientific analysis.

  7. Altimeter waveform parameters retrieval using Artificial Neural Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swain, Debadatta; Sasamal, S. K.

    2012-07-01

    Waveform retracking and analysis methods form an integral part of any altimeter data processing to derive useable information. This is significant owing to the strong heterogeneity in the waveforms resulting of returns of altimeter pulses from uneven geographical features. The waveforms consisting of altimeter return pulses follow the Brown model over the deep oceans. However, the waveforms become rather complex when received over coastal and land regions owing to large scale inhomogeneities. The present work attempts to characterize altimeter return pulses (consisting of slope, amplitude and range) on the basis of the surface responsible for the echo followed by estimation of these waveform parameters based on an Artificial Neural Network Technique (ANN). An ANN is a non-linear parallel-distributed computer model highly effective for classification type of problems. ANNs are widely applied for pattern recognition since their non-linear characteristics makes them very suitable for application to processes with internal inhomogeneities. To demonstrate the technique, we have utilized JASON-2 high resolution waveform data over multiple passes spanning varied geographical topography covering open ocean, coasts, and in-land water bodies. The ANN model is formulated by first training and testing with data sets identified for various topography classifications. Following this, the model estimations are validated with actual altimeter returns forming the waveform, and that have not been used during the ANN model formulation process. The work aims to demonstrate the ANN technique for high resolution altimeter waveform analysis.

  8. Global anomaly and undulation recovery using GEOS-3 altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rapp, R. H.

    1979-01-01

    The data were adjusted to remove orbit error and altimeter bias in a primary adjustment and four regional adjustments. The root mean square crossover discrepancy was about + or - 55 cm after the adjustment. The adjusted altimeter data, now considered to give geoid undulations, was used to predict values at 1 deg intersections from which an oceanic geoid map, with predicted accuracies, was prepared at a two meter contour interval. This geoid was compared to the Gemini 9 geoid over very long profiles to examine the long wavelength error in the altimeter geoid. At a wavelength of 13,010 km the root mean squares difference was 57 cm. The altimeter geoid was also compared to altimeter geoids fixed by precise orbits. A root mean square difference was found of about 1 m with a systematic difference that implied the equatorial radius of the earth was 6,378,137 meters. The adjusted altimeter data was also used to determine a total of 29,479 1 deg x 1 deg anomalies (and undulations).

  9. Radar history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putley, Ernest

    2008-07-01

    The invention of radar, as mentioned in Chris Lavers' article on warship stealth technology (March pp21-25), continues to be a subject of discussion. Here in Malvern we have just unveiled a blue plaque to commemorate the physicist Albert Percival Rowe, who arrived in 1942 as the head of the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE), which was the Air Ministry research facility responsible for the first British radar systems.

  10. Developing tools for digital radar image data evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Domik, G.; Leberl, F.; Raggam, J.

    1986-01-01

    The refinement of radar image analysis methods has led to a need for a systems approach to radar image processing software. Developments stimulated through satellite radar are combined with standard image processing techniques to create a user environment to manipulate and analyze airborne and satellite radar images. One aim is to create radar products for the user from the original data to enhance the ease of understanding the contents. The results are called secondary image products and derive from the original digital images. Another aim is to support interactive SAR image analysis. Software methods permit use of a digital height model to create ortho images, synthetic images, stereo-ortho images, radar maps or color combinations of different component products. Efforts are ongoing to integrate individual tools into a combined hardware/software environment for interactive radar image analysis.

  11. Radar backscatter modelling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schaber, G. G.; Kozak, R. C.; Gurule, R. L.

    1984-01-01

    The terrain analysis software package was restructured and documentation was added. A program was written to test Johnson Space Center's four band scatterometer data for spurious signals data. A catalog of terrain roughness statistics and calibrated four frequency multipolarization scatterometer data is being published to support the maintenance of Death Valley as a radar backscatter calibration test site for all future airborne and spacecraft missions. Test pits were dug through sand covered terrains in the Eastern Sahara to define the depth and character of subsurface interfaces responsible for either backscatter or specular response in SIR-A imagery. Blocky sandstone bedrock surfaces at about 1 m depth were responsible for the brightest SIR-A returns. Irregular very dense CaCO3 cemented sand interfaces were responsible for intermediate grey tones. Ancient river valleys had the weakest response. Reexamination of SEASAT l-band imagery of U.S. deserts continues.

  12. PHARUS airborne SAR concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snoeij, Paul; Pouwels, Henk; Koomen, Peter J.; Hoogeboom, Peter

    1995-11-01

    PHARUS (phased array universal SAR) is an airborne SAR concept which is being developed in the Netherlands. The PHARUS system differs from other airborne SARs by the use of a phased array antenna, which provides both for the flexibility in the design as well as for a compact, light-weight instrument that can be carried on small aircraft. The concept allows for the construction of airborne SAR systems on a common generic basis but tailored to specific user needs and can be seen as a preparation for future spaceborne SAR systems using solid state transmitters with electronically steerable phased array antenna. The whole approach is aimed at providing an economic and yet technically sophisticated solution to remote sensing or surveying needs of a specific user. The solid state phased array antenna consists of a collection of radiating patches; the design flexibility for a large part resides in the freedom to choose the number of patches, and thereby the essential radar performance parameters such as resolution and swath width. Another consequence of the use of the phased array antenna is the system's compactness and the possibility to rigidly mount it on a small aircraft. The use of small aircraft of course considerably improves the cost/benefit ratio of the use of airborne SAR. Flight altitude of the system is flexible between about 7,000 and 40,000 feet, giving much operational freedom within the meteo and airspace control limits. In the PHARUS concept the airborne segment is complemented by a ground segment, which consists of a SAR processor, possibly extended by a matching image processing package. (A quick look image is available in real-time on board the aircraft.) The SAR processor is UNIX based and runs on easily available hardware (SUN station). Although the additional image processing software is available, the SAR processing software is nevertheless designed to be able to interface with commercially available image processing software, as well as being able

  13. Progress in coherent laser radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vaughan, J. M.

    1986-01-01

    Considerable progress with coherent laser radar has been made over the last few years, most notably perhaps in the available range of high performance devices and components and the confidence with which systems may now be taken into the field for prolonged periods of operation. Some of this increasing maturity was evident at the 3rd Topical Meeting on Coherent Laser Radar: Technology and Applications. Topics included in discussions were: mesoscale wind fields, nocturnal valley drainage and clear air down bursts; airborne Doppler lidar studies and comparison of ground and airborne wind measurement; wind measurement over the sea for comparison with satellite borne microwave sensors; transport of wake vortices at airfield; coherent DIAL methods; a newly assembled Nd-YAG coherent lidar system; backscatter profiles in the atmosphere and wavelength dependence over the 9 to 11 micrometer region; beam propagation; rock and soil classification with an airborne 4-laser system; technology of a global wind profiling system; target calibration; ranging and imaging with coherent pulsed and CW system; signal fluctuations and speckle. Some of these activities are briefly reviewed.

  14. 1991 IEEE National Radar Conference, Los Angeles, CA, Mar. 12, 13, 1991, Proceedings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Various papers on the impact of microelectronics on radar systems are presented. Individual topics addressed include: a Ka-band instrumentation radar with one foot range resolution, location accuracy in X-band multifunction radar, ambiguity function analysis of wideband radars, microelectronics applications for GBR-X testability, multiple phase center DPCA for airborne radars, microwave time delay beamforming using optics, Flaps: conformal phased reflecting surfaces, T/R modules for phased array antennas, generalized polar processing algorithm for large area SAR images. Also discussed are: neural networks for sequential discrimination of radar targets, programmable radar signal processor architecture, high-temperature superconductors for radar applications, radar loss of target track (LOTT) expert system, application of the Fast Fourier Number Theoretic Transform to radar, FMCW linearizer bandwidth requirements, RCS probability distribution function modeling of a fluctuating target.

  15. Comparison of millimeter-wave cloud radar measurements for the Fall 1997 Cloud IOP

    SciTech Connect

    Sekelsky, S.M.; Li, L.; Galloway, J.; McIntosh, R.E.; Miller, M.A.; Clothiaux, E.E.; Haimov, S.; Mace, G.; Sassen, K.

    1998-05-01

    One of the primary objectives of the Fall 1997 IOP was to intercompare Ka-band (350Hz) and W-band (95GHz) cloud radar observations and verify system calibrations. During September 1997, several cloud radars were deployed at the Southern Great Plains (SOP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site, including the full time operation 35 GHz CART Millimeter-wave Cloud Radar (MMCR), the University of Massachusetts (UMass) single antenna 33GHz/95 GHz Cloud Profiling Radar System (CPRS), the 95 GHz Wyoming Cloud Radar (WCR) flown on the University of Wyoming King Air, the University of Utah 95 GHz radar and the dual-antenna Pennsylvania State University 94 GHz radar. In this paper the authors discuss several issues relevant to comparison of ground-based radars, including the detection and filtering of insect returns. Preliminary comparisons of ground-based Ka-band radar reflectivity data and comparisons with airborne radar reflectivity measurements are also presented.

  16. Initial Validation and Results of Geoscience Laser Altimeter System Optical Properties Retrievals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hlavka, Dennis L.; Hart, W. D.; Pal, S. P.; McGill, M.; Spinhirne, J. D.

    2004-01-01

    Verification of Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) optical retrievals is . problematic in that passage over ground sites is both instantaneous and sparse plus space-borne passive sensors such as MODIS are too frequently out of sync with the GLAS position. In October 2003, the GLAS Validation Experiment was executed from NASA Dryden Research Center, California to greatly increase validation possibilities. The high-altitude NASA ER-2 aircraft and onboard instrumentation of Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL), MODIS Airborne Simulator (MAS), and/or MODIS/ASTER Airborne Simulator (MASTER) under-flew seven orbit tracks of GLAS for cirrus, smoke, and urban pollution optical properties inter-comparisons. These highly calibrated suite of instruments are the best data set yet to validate GLAS atmospheric parameters. In this presentation, we will focus on the inter-comparison with GLAS and CPL and draw preliminary conclusions about the accuracies of the GLAS 532nm retrievals of optical depth, extinction, backscatter cross section, and calculated extinction-to-backscatter ratio. Comparisons to an AERONET/MPL ground-based site at Monterey, California will be attempted. Examples of GLAS operational optical data products will be shown.

  17. Location of the Rhine plume front by airborne remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruddick, K. G.; Lahousse, L.; Donnay, E.

    1994-04-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of using airborne remote sensing to locate the Rhine plume front. Interest in fronts arises from the desire to predict the fate of pollutants and biological nutrients discharged from rivers into the open sea. Observations were made during flights over the Dutch coastal waters using a vertically-mounted video camera and a side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) designed for oil slick detection. Comparison of radar images with visual observations of the sea colour discontinuity and foam line establish that fronts can indeed be detected by SLAR because of high radar backscatter along the convergence line, where the fresh water jet impinges on saltier water. This provides a sound basis for future investigations using Synthetic Aperture Radar as mounted on ERS-1. An estimation of errors is given, identifying priorities for improvement of the technique. The accuracy achieved is considered sufficient for the validation of hydrodynamic models.

  18. Airborne Microwave Imaging of River Velocities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plant, William J.

    2002-01-01

    The objective of this project was to determine whether airborne microwave remote sensing systems can measure river surface currents with sufficient accuracy to make them prospective instruments with which to monitor river flow from space. The approach was to fly a coherent airborne microwave Doppler radar, developed by APL/UW, on a light airplane along several rivers in western Washington state over an extended period of time. The fundamental quantity obtained by this system to measure river currents is the mean offset of the Doppler spectrum. Since this scatter can be obtained from interferometric synthetic aperture radars (INSARs), which can be flown in space, this project provided a cost effective means for determining the suitability of spaceborne INSAR for measuring river flow.

  19. Cassini radar : system concept and simulation results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melacci, P. T.; Orosei, R.; Picardi, G.; Seu, R.

    1998-10-01

    The Cassini mission is an international venture, involving NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), for the investigation of the Saturn system and, in particular, Titan. The Cassini radar will be able to see through Titan's thick, optically opaque atmosphere, allowing us to better understand the composition and the morphology of its surface, but the interpretation of the results, due to the complex interplay of many different factors determining the radar echo, will not be possible without an extensive modellization of the radar system functioning and of the surface reflectivity. In this paper, a simulator of the multimode Cassini radar will be described, after a brief review of our current knowledge of Titan and a discussion of the contribution of the Cassini radar in answering to currently open questions. Finally, the results of the simulator will be discussed. The simulator has been implemented on a RISC 6000 computer by considering only the active modes of operation, that is altimeter and synthetic aperture radar. In the instrument simulation, strict reference has been made to the present planned sequence of observations and to the radar settings, including burst and single pulse duration, pulse bandwidth, pulse repetition frequency and all other parameters which may be changed, and possibly optimized, according to the operative mode. The observed surfaces are simulated by a facet model, allowing the generation of surfaces with Gaussian or non-Gaussian roughness statistic, together with the possibility of assigning to the surface an average behaviour which can represent, for instance, a flat surface or a crater. The results of the simulation will be discussed, in order to check the analytical evaluations of the models of the average received echoes and of the attainable performances. In conclusion, the simulation results should allow the validation of the theoretical evaluations of the capabilities of microwave instruments, when

  20. The Mars Observer laser altimeter investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, M. T.; Smith, D. E.; Solomon, S. C.; Muhleman, D. O.; Head, J. W.; Garvin, J. B.; Abshire, J. B.; Bufton, J. L.

    1992-01-01

    The primary objective of the Mars Observer laser altimeter (MOLA) investigation is to determine globally the topography of Mars at a level suitable for addressing problems in geology and geophysics. Secondary objectives are to characterize the 1064-nm wavelength surface reflectivity of Mars to contribute to analyses of global surface mineralogy and seasonal albedo changes, to assist in addressing problems in atmospheric circulation, and to provide geodetic control and topographic context for the assessment of possible future Mars landing sites. The principal components of MOLA are a diode-pumped, neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser transmitter that emits 1064-nm wavelength laser pulses, a 0.5-m-diameter telescope, a silicon avalanche photodiode detector, and a time interval unit with 10-ns resolution. MOLA will provide measurements of the topography of Mars within approximately 160-m footprints and a center-to-center along-track foot print spacing of 300 m along the Mars Observer subspacecraft ground track. The elevation measurements will be quantized with 1.5 m vertical resolution before correction for orbit- and pointing induced errors. MOLA profiles will be assembled into a global 0.2 deg x 0.2 deg grid that will be referenced to Mars' center of mass with an absolute accuracy of approximately 30 m. Other data products will include a global grid of topographic gradients, corrected individual profiles, and a global 0.2 deg x 0.2 deg grid of 1064-nm surface reflectivity.