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This paper evaluates the potential use of reflected signals from Global Navigation Satellite Systems as a source of opportunity for the retrieval of absolute ellipsoidal heights over sea ice. Accurate estimation of the surface level would be helpful for the determination of the ice thickness, a key parameter for classification and characterization of sea ice masses. Our analysis is based on altimetric estimations from the coherent differential phase between direct and both cross- and co-polar reflected signals. For this purpose, GPS waveforms have been collected from a fixed platform in Greenland, monitoring the complete process of sea ice formation and melting during a 7-month period. The variability of coherent phase samples and polarimetric measurements are compared with in situ observations to make a realistic rough characterization of the ice cover. The retrieved sea ice surface height estimates are then evaluated against an Arctic tide model, ice surface temperature from moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer, and the laser altimetry product from ICESat.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:50 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: June 2012