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Airborne Sea Ice Campaigns in Support of the ALOS Mission

Wolfgang Dierking(1)

(1) Alfred Wegener Institute, Bussestr. 24, D-27570 Bremerhaven, Germany

Abstract

In the last decade, three field campaigns were carried out in the region of Svalbard, during which airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images were acquired over sea ice. L-band was one of the frequency modes that were used. The airborne SAR systems that were utilized are the German ESAR (2005 and 2007) and the Danish EMISAR (1998). In all cases, optical images were gathered by airborne scanners. Examples of sea ice radar signatures at L-band will be presented for different ice conditions and compared to C-band data which are available for the campaigns of 1998 and 2007. Pros and cons of different polarizations at L-band for operational sea ice analysis will be discussed. The effect of noise level and spatial resolution of the imagery will be considered. Another campaign that was carried out in May and June 2008 in the Canadian Arctic was focussed on sea ice characteristics under melting conditions. Images from different satellite SAR systems (ALOS PALSAR, TerraSAR-X, Envisat ASAR and Radarsat-2) were ordered. Optical scanner data were acquired from an airplane. A first analysis of the ALOS data will be presented, focussing on pros and cons of monitoring melting sea ice with L-band SAR in comparison to higher radar frequencies.

 

Symposium presentation

 

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