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Modulation of waveheight spectrum and radar cross section by varying surface currents

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1 Author(s)
K. Ouchi ; Blackett Lab., Imperial Coll. of Sci., Technol. & Med., London, UK

This paper investigates the validity of the relaxation model which is generally used to describe the modulation of wind-generated ocean waves by slowly varying surface currents, and the applicability of the model to illustrating features observed in the radar images of internal wave wakes. The amplitude and phase modulations in the waveheight spectrum are examined for sinusoidal current variations; these changes are then translated into the radar cross section (RCS) modulation using the Kirchoff scattering theory. The present study concludes that: 1) the relaxation model is valid under intermediate to strong wind conditions and/or weak current signatures, and the conditions for the validity are given; 2) the relaxation model combined with the Kirchoff model could, under certain conditions, explain the differences in amplitude and phase between the P-band and L (C- and X-) band SAR images of ship-generated internal wave wakes observed during the 1989 Loch Linnhe experiment; and 3) the directional dependence of the relaxation rate enhances these differences

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 5 )