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Laboratory backscatter measurements over urea ice with a snow cover at Ku band

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4 Author(s)
Lytle, V.I. ; Antarctic CRC, Tasmania Univ., Hobart, Tas., Australia ; Jezek, K.C. ; Hosseinmostafa, A.R. ; Gogineni, S.P.

Indoor laboratory facilities were used to measure radar backscatter at Ku band (13.9 GHz) over urea ice, which has been shown to be structurally similar to sea ice. Data were collected at angles of incidence from normal to 55°, over very thin (0 to 9 cm) ice, snow-covered ice, and ice with a hooded snow cover. The laboratory proved to be useful in creating and controlling specific physical properties of ice while keeping all other variables constant, a difficulty with measurements collected in the field. It was found that surface scattering and the dielectric constant are the dominant factors that cause variations (up to 15 dB) in the measured backscatter. The addition of a snow cover increased the surface roughness of the smooth ice, increasing the backscatter at 20° incidence angle by about 11 dB and decreasing the backscatter at normal incidence by about 6 dB. The subsequent flooding of this snow layer increased the backscatter at all angles of incidence due to the increased dielectric constant of the wet slush layer. These results indicate the importance of the snow layer in influencing the surface characteristics of the ice sheet, which in turn modifies the backscattered signal

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 5 )