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Polarimetric analysis and modeling of multifrequency SAR signatures from Gulf Stream fronts

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6 Author(s)
Jong-Sen Lee ; Remote Sensing Div., Naval Res. Lab., Washington, DC, USA ; Jansen, R.W. ; Schuler, D.L. ; Ainsworth, T.L.
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Using airborne synthetic aperture radar data from the 1990 Gulf Stream Experiment, this paper investigates the polarization and wavelength dependence of radar signatures for narrow fronts with converging flows occurring within the Gulf Stream. The signal-to-background ratios of the cross-polarization backscatter return from a convergent front were found much higher than those of copolarization returns, when the flight path is crossing the front. However, a second convergent front, imaged at 45°, showed that the signal-to-background ratios are nearly equal for co- and cross-polarizations. A polarimetric procedure, which has been successfully used to measure terrain slopes and to generate elevation maps, is applied to the convergent front to explain the polarization and imaging geometry dependence of these radar responses. A theoretical modeling of radar modulation using an ocean wave model and a composite-Bragg scattering model, which incorporates the effect of breaking waves, was developed. Calculations with the model agree reasonably well with the radar measurements at various polarizations for three radar frequencies: P-band (68 cm in wavelength), L-band (24 cm), and C-band (5.7 cm)

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 4 )