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Ocean wave extraction from RADARSAT synthetic aperture radar inter-look image cross-spectra

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4 Author(s)
Dowd, M. ; Ocean Sci. Div., Fisheries & Oceans Canada, St. Andrews, NB, Canada ; Vachon, P.W. ; Dobson, F.W. ; Olsen, R.B.

This study is concerned with the extraction of directional ocean wave spectra from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image spectra. The statistical estimation problem underlying the wave-SAR inverse problem is examined in detail in order to properly quantify the wave information content of SAR. As a concrete focus, a data set is considered comprising six RADARSAT SAR images co-located with a directional wave buoy off the east coast of Canada. These SAR data are transformed into inter-look image cross-spectra based on two looks at the same ocean scene separated by 0.4 s. The general problem of wave extraction from SAR is cast in terms of a statistical estimation problem that includes the observed SAR spectra, the wave-SAR transform, and prior spectral wave information. The central role of the weighting functions (inverse of the error covariances) is demonstrated, as well as the consequence of approximate (based on the quasilinear wave-SAR transform) versus exact linearizations on the convergence properties of the algorithm. Error estimates are derived and discussed. This statistical framework is applied to the extraction of spectral wave information from observed RADARSAT SAR image cross-spectra. A modified wave-SAR transform is used to account for case-specific geophysical and imaging effects. Analysis of the residual error of simulated and observed SAR spectra motivates a canonical form for the SAR observation error covariance. Wave estimates are then extracted from the SAR spectra, including wavenumber dependent error estimates and explicit identification of spectral null spaces where the SAR contains no wave information. Band-limited SAR wave information is also combined with prior (buoy) spectral wave estimates through parameterization of the wave spectral shape and use of regularization

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 2001

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