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Sea surface velocity vector retrieval using dual-beam interferometry: first demonstration

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5 Author(s)
J. V. Toporkov ; Remote Sensing Div., Naval Res. Lab., Washington, DC, USA ; D. Perkovic ; G. Farquharson ; M. A. Sletten
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The dual-beam interferometer consists of two interferometric synthetic aperture radars (InSARs), one squinted at 20° forward of broadside, and the other 20° aft, to allow measurement of vector surface velocity with only a single aircraft pass. Estimates of surface velocity vectors in the coastal region during high tidal flow are presented. The data were gathered over the barrier islands west of Fort Myers, Florida, as part of a March 2004 deployment. Whereas no detailed bathymetry data were available, high-quality aerial photography appears to be a useful tool in inferring bottom topography and possible current obstructions. The retrieved velocity field clearly follows the expected outflow pattern. While comparisons with tidal current magnitudes predicted by the U.S. National Ocean Service do reveal discrepancies of up to 0.5 m/s, these differences are most likely due to the contribution of ocean surface waves to the overall InSAR velocity measurement. Velocity retrievals for the same area based on the data from different tracks show good consistency. The results constitute the first demonstration of vector retrieval of the surface velocity field with a single-pass InSAR system and confirm the robustness of the dual-beam interferometry principle.

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IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 11 )