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The effect of microwave backscatter uncertainty of satellite radar altimeter accuracy

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2 Author(s)
Miller, L.S. ; Applied Sci. Associates, Inc., Apex, NC ; Parsons, C.L.

The effect of variations in ocean surface roughness characteristics with upwind/downwind direction, reported by other investigators, is used to compute radar cross section ( \sigma \deg ) and to assess the errors which may arise in present and planned altimeter sensors. Based on an analysis of the rough surface impulse response, the uncertainty between attitude angle and \sigma \deg asymmetry is found to cause height errors as large as 12 cm, depending on off-nadir angles and sea state. Additionally, the previously reported data in conjunction with computed facet backscatter are found to produce \sigma \deg characteristics at large off-nadir angles which are in better agreement with experimental results than those predicted by physical optics Gaussian theory.

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 4 )