Skip to Main Content
We performed airborne experiments using 150- and 450-MHz radars to measure ice thickness on the Greenland ice sheet. Our objectives were to investigate to what degree surface clutter obscures the basal echo when airborne measurements are made at different elevations and at different frequencies. We also explored interferometric techniques for processing the data to form swath measurements of ice thickness. We found that surface clutter was minimal for either frequency when operated at low aircraft elevations (500 m above the ice sheet surface) or over benign regions of the ice sheet. Because signal-to-clutter ratios were favorable, we found that we could retrieve the swath measurements of ice thickness at both frequencies using an interferometric technique. At high elevation, surface clutter degraded the 150-MHz signal, but the nadir ice thickness was still retrievable. The basal return in high-elevation 450-MHz data was detectable only after additional beam-steering techniques were applied to the data to reduce the surface clutter signal. Results suggest that interferometric cross-track ice-thickness measurements can be successfully made given a sufficient number of antenna elements driven at either 150 or 450 MHz and flown at both high and low elevations over the interior ice sheet.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:49 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: March 2011