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Measurements of ocean surface waves and currents using L- and C-band along-track interferometric SAR

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4 Author(s)
Duk-jin Kim ; Sch. of Earth & Environ. Sci., Seoul Nat. Univ., South Korea ; Moon, W.M. ; Moller, D. ; Imel, D.A.

Along-track interferometric synthetic aperture radar (ATI-SAR) is an active coherent imaging system, utilizing two antennas separated along the platform flight direction. The phase information of ATI-SAR from the Doppler shift of the backscattered signal represents the line-of-sight velocity of the water scatterers. While the advent of ATI-SAR provided us with a potentially powerful technique for ocean surface current and wave mapping, the surface current has not been measured exactly from the ATI-SAR velocity because the Doppler shift is not simply proportional to the component of the mean surface current. It also includes other types of contributions associated with the phase velocity of the Bragg waves and orbital motions of all ocean waves that are longer than Bragg waves. In this paper, we review how the phase difference measured by ATI-SAR is related to the mean Doppler frequency, and we develop a new and practically useful method to extract the surface current component utilizing simultaneously measured L- and C-band ATI-SAR data. Since the measured ATI-SAR velocity shows a different value at a different radar-frequency, we investigate the influence of Bragg-resonant waves and long ocean wave motions on the ATI-SAR velocity according to the radar frequency. The Bragg-wave phase velocity component, which is a significant source of error for extracting the surface current, can be effectively eliminated by using L- and C-band ATI-SAR. The method is applied to L- and C-band ATI-SAR measurements acquired at the Ulsan coast in the southeastern part of the Korean peninsula. The resulting ocean surface current vectors are compared with in situ measurements collected by recording current meter. We furthermore extract ocean surface wave information from the ATI-SAR phase image using a quasi-linear transform.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 12 )