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Ocean Vector Winds Retrieval From C-Band Fully Polarimetric SAR Measurements

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7 Author(s)
Biao Zhang ; School of Marine Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China ; William Perrie ; Paris W. Vachon ; Xiaofeng Li
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We present an efficient algorithm for retrieving the ocean-surface wind vector from C-band Radar Satellite RADARSAT-2 fully polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) measurements based upon the copolarized geophysical model function, i.e., CMOD5.N, and the cross-polarized ocean backscatter model, i.e., C-2PO. The analysis of fine quad-polarization mode single-look complex SAR data and collocated in situ moored buoy observations reveals that the polarimetric correlation coefficient between co- and cross-polarization channels has odd symmetry with respect to the wind direction. This characteristic is different from the feature that normalized radar cross sections for quad-polarization have even symmetry regarding the wind direction. We first use the C-2PO model to directly retrieve wind speeds without any external wind-direction and radar-incidence-angle inputs. Subsequently, the retrieved wind speeds, along with incidence angles and CMOD5.N, are employed to invert the wind direction, still with ambiguities. The odd-symmetry property is then applied to remove the wind direction ambiguities. Thus, it is shown that fully polarimetric SAR measurements provide complementary directional information for the ocean-surface wind fields. This method has the potential to improve wind vector retrievals from space.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 11 )