The ability to use radar to discriminate Arctic Sea ice types has been investigated using surface-based and helicopter-borne scatterometer systems. The surface-based FM/CW radar operated at 1.5 GHz and at multiple frequencies in the 8-18-GHz region. Measurements were made at angles of10degto70degfrom nadir. The helicopter-based radar operated at the 8-18-GHz frequencies with incidence angles of0degto60deg. Extensive surface-truth measurements were made at or near the time of backscattar measurement to describe the physical and electrical properties of the polar scene. Measurements in the 8-18-GHz region verify the ability to discriminate multiyear, thick first-year, thin first-year, and pressure-ridged sea ice and lake ice. The lowest frequency, 9 GHz, was found to provide the greatest contrast between these ice categories, with significant levels of separation existing between angles from15degto70deg. The radar cross sections for like antenna polarizations, VV and HH, were very similar in absolute level and angular response. Cross-polarization, VH and HV, provided the greatest contrast between ice types, The 1.5-GHz measurements showed that thick first-year, thin first-year, and multiyear sea ice cannot be distinguished at10degto60degincidence angles with like polarization, VV, by backscatter alone; but that undeformed sea ice can be discriminated from pressure-ridged ice and lake ice. The effect of snow cover on the backscatter from thick first-year ice was also investigated. It contributes on the order of 0 to 4 dB, depending on frequency and incidence angle; the contribution of the snow layer increased with increasing frequency. Snow cover on smooth lake ice was found to be a major backscatter mechanism. Summer measurements demonstrate the inability to extend the knowledge of the backscatter from sea ice under spring conditions to all seasons.