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A numerical model for electromagnetic scattering from sea ice

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3 Author(s)
Nassar, E.M. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Notre Dame Univ., IN, USA ; Johnson, J.T. ; Lee, R.

A numerical model for scattering from sea ice based on the finite difference time domain (FDTD) technique is presented. The sea ice medium is modeled as consisting of randomly located spherical brine scatterers with a specified fractional volume, and the medium is modeled both with and without a randomly rough boundary to study the relative effects of volume and surface scattering. A Monte Carlo simulation is used to obtain numerical results for incoherent υυ backscattered normalized radar cross sections (RCSs) in the frequency range from 3 to 9 GHz and for incidence angles from 10° to 50° from normal incidence. The computational intensity of the study necessitates an effective permittivity approach to modeling brine pocket effects and a nonuniform grid for small scale surface roughness. However, comparisons with analytical models show that these approximations should introduce errors no larger than approximately 3 dB. Incoherent υυ cross sections backscattered from sea ice models with a smooth surface show only a small dependence on incidence angle, while results for sea ice models with slightly rough surfaces are found to be dominated by surface scattering at incidence angles less than 30° and by scattering from brine pockets at angles greater than 30°. As the surface roughness increases, surface scattering tends to dominate at all incidence angles. Initial comparisons with measurements taken with artificially grown sea ice are made, and even the simplified sea ice model used in the FDTD simulation is found to provide reasonable agreement with measured data trends. The numerical model developed ran be useful in interpreting measurements when parameters such as surface roughness and scatterer distributions lie outside ranges where analytical models are valid

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 3 )