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The University of Waterloo scatterometer, which is a system developed for observation of snow and ice properties, is described. The system is composed of two frequency-modulated continuous-wave radars operating at center frequencies of 17.2 and 9.6 GHz. A field-deployable platform allows a rapid setup and observation at remote sites under harsh environmental conditions. A two-axis positioning system moves the radar beam across a user-programmable range of azimuth (±180°) and elevation angles (15°-105°). Typical azimuth scans of 60° angular width generate between 21 and 586 independent samples, depending on the wavelength and the elevation angle. The backscatter response of terrestrial snow in the Canadian Subarctic is demonstrated with two experiments conducted in Churchill, MB, Canada, between 2009 and 2011.
Date of Publication: May 2013