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Static and dynamic modeling of a SAR imaged ocean scene

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3 Author(s)
Shuchman, R.A. ; Environmental Research Institute of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Maffett, A.L. ; Klooster, A., Jr.

A number of models exist that attempt to explain wave imagery obtained with a synthetic aperture radar (SAR). These models are of two types; static models that depend on instantaneous surface features and dynamic models that employ surface velocities. Radar backscatter values (sigma_{0}) were calculated from 1.3- and 9.4-GHz SAR data collected off Marineland, FL. Thesigma_{0}data (averaged over many wave trains) collected at Marineland can best be modeled by the Bragg-Rice-Phillips model which is based on roughness variation and the complex dielectric constant of oceans. This result suggests that capillaries on the surface of oceanic waves are the primary cause for the surface return observed by a SAR. Salinity and temperature of the sea at small and medium incidence angles produce little effect upon sea-surface reflection coefficients atX-band, for either of the linear polarizations. The authors' observation of moving ocean, imaged by the SAR and studied in the SAR optical correlator, support a theory that the ocean surface appears relatively stationary in the absence of currents. The reflecting surface is most likely moving slowly (i.e., capillaries) relative to the phase velocity of the large gravity waves.

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Apr 1981

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