SAR Data For Antarctica Observation
Massimo Marrazzo(1) and Michele Manunta(2)
University of Cagliari,
Piazza d'Armi, 19,
09123 - Cagliari,
(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  and this capability is particularly relevant in the case of
In this work we investigate the use of the spatial high-resolution
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) system and its interferometric SAR
(IFSAR) configuration  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 
to obtain the corresponding SAR images and the relevant
interferometric products: fringes and coherency maps .
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.
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,