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RADARSAT-2 and Coastal Applications: Surface Wind, Waterline, and Intertidal Flat Roughness

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5 Author(s)
Moon, W.M. ; Geophys., Univ. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada ; Staples, G. ; Duk-jin Kim ; Sang-Eun Park
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RADARSAT-2 is a follow-up to RADARSAT-1 and is an all weather Earth observation satellite with fully polarimetric imaging capability. The synthetic aperture radars (SARs) onboard both RADARSATs are C-band imaging radars and they are well suited for Earth's ecosystem monitoring and maritime surveillance, because of the near polar orbit and their unique all weather imaging capability, independent of solar illumination. In this paper, RADARSAT-2 is first introduced and several applications of various modes of SAR data to coastal zone problems are discussed, including the coastal surface wind, waterline mapping, and polarimetric SAR data inversion for topographic and geological parameters of tidal flats. Coastal zones, the important interface between the land and the ocean, where a large proportion of the world's population inhabits, continuously change and evolve. The dynamic interaction of coastal winds, coupled with the coastal waves and currents, continuously erode rocks and land mass, and move and deposit various sediments on a continuous basis, along with the tides. Estimation of wind speeds and directions in coastal areas are empirically formulated and can further be improved with the available fully polarimetric data from RADARSAT-2. The water line mapping critically depends on the SAR frequency, or the wavelength of the SAR data used, and RADARSAT-2 SAR data using C-band should map waterlines more accurately than the longer wavelength L- or P-band SAR systems. The roughness parameters and partial information on the tidal flat compositions can be obtained from fully polarimetric SAR data. Some results obtained from NASA AIRSAR(2000) L-band data and RADARSAT-2(2008) C-band data do not fully agree with field measurements and further investigation is in progress. The inversion of polarimetric SAR data is a very complex problem and critically depends on the SAR signal frequency and model functions. RADARSAT-2 is an imaging radar, which is very flexible and powerfu- - l tool for potential coastal zone applications. Key RADARSAT-2 features and potential coastal zone application capabilities are also briefly reviewed.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:98 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

May 2010

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