Science Service System

Summary of Proposal OCE0078

TitleSea Ice Cover State from X-Band SAR Imagery
Investigator Dierking, Wolfgang - Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Climate Sciences
Team Members
Dr. Hajnsek, Irena - German Aerospace Center, Microwaves and Radar Institute
Dr. Dierking, Wolfgang - Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Climate Sciences
SummaryThe project aims at the utilization of spaceborne X-band radar imagery for the retrieval of geophysical parameters characterizing the snow cover on polar sea ice and processes at the sea ice surface and in the upper ice layer. In addition, the benefits of X-band SAR for monitoring thin ice growth and for synergistic use with L-band SAR for sea ice type classification will be assessed. Questions that need to be addressed because of their relevance in climate research are: Is it possible to monitor and quantify snow metamorphism and superimposed ice formation in order to evaluate their contribution to the sea ice mass balance? How well can thin ice classes be separated in order to retrieve their thickness and salinity which are needed for monitoring heat and salt flux variations from the spatial distribution of thin ice types in a given area? Does a synergistic use of X- and L-band imagery increase the accuracy of ice type discrimination compared to a combination of C- and L-band? The answers to these questions require investigations on the relation between radar signature levels and in-situ snow and ice properties, and on the sensitivity of backscattering to variations of these properties. An alternative is the use of complementary data from other satellite SAR systems (ALOS, ENVISAT, RADARSAT-2) and/or from airborne sensors (e. g., radar systems, visible and IR scanners, laser profilers) Considering the logistic efforts for simultaneous satellite image acquisitions, ground data collection, and/or airborne measurements in polar regions, we suggest a number of field campaigns (already fixed, planned, or under discussion) that contribute to studies related to one or more of the scientific topics mentioned above, and that can be selected to be combined with TerraSAR-X data acquisition after their funding and the measurements strategies will have been fixed.

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DLR 2004-2016