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SAR Data For Antarctica Observation

Massimo Marrazzo(1) and Michele Manunta(2)

(1) University of Cagliari, Piazza d'Armi, 19, 09123 - Cagliari, Italy
(2) IREA-CNR, Via Diocleziano, 328, 80124 - Naples, Italy


The Antarctica plays an important role in the Earth climate system and its monitoring is by no means trivial by in situ techniques due to the extreme environmental conditions. Notwithstanding direct observations, e.g. of the ice sheet, have clearly shown the occurring changes of Antarctica. The main drawback of such in situ observations are related to the limited spatial and temporal extent. In order to cope with the need of a global monitoring the satellite remote sensing techniques are of paramaount importance. Within such a framework, the microwave active remote sensing sensors are of special relevance since they are able to work in manner which is practically independent of the solar illumination and of the cloud cover [1] and this capability is particularly relevant in the case of Antarctica. In this work we investigate the use of the spatial high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) system and its interferometric SAR (IFSAR) configuration [2] to observe the Ross Sea - Terra Nova bay area wherein the Italian base is located. The study is conducted by means of ERS-1/2 SAR data, obtained by ESA- ESRIN in the sphere of VECTRA-Project, which have been processed [3] to obtain the corresponding SAR images and the relevant interferometric products: fringes and coherency maps [3]. Within such an area some case studies are analyzed to show that the SAR and IFSAR products can provide important information on a global scale which can be interpreted in terms of geophysical parameters of interest in the study of the Antartctica ecosystem. In particular, the study presented in this work shows the capability of such a microwave sensor to support the estimation of sea ice typology and the recognition of edges in areas where the backscattering coefficient (and so the sea ice typology) is different.


1.Ulaby, F.T., R.K.Moore, and A.K.Fung, Microwave Remote Sensing, Norwood, MA: Artech House, 1986. 2.J.C.Curlander and R.N.McDomough, Synthetic Aperture Radar, New York: Wiley Interscience, 1991 3.G.Franceschetti and R.Lanari, Synthetic Aperture Radar Processing, Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1999.


Workshop presentation

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry