The Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) carried on-board satellites yields invaluable data of global wave spectra since the early 1990s, with several satellites in orbit at present and more launches scheduled in the near future. However, the retrieval of wave information from SAR images constitutes a complex set of procedures. In this context, we have presented here a methodology to simulate SAR image spectra of ocean swell waves. SAR simulators are important tools for the implementation and evaluation of wave spectra retrieval schemes. The one proposed here is based on the Hasselmann Transform whose Modulation Transfer Functions (MTF’s) account for the main physical processes involved in the imaging of ocean waves. A detailed description of its structure is provided. Through several test cases, we highlight some particularities of the relationship between SAR image spectra and wave spectra. We have evaluated the impact of the parameters settings and input information on the retrieval process, pinpointing possible shortcomings. The results indicated that useful information about the processes involved in the imaging of ocean swells can be derived from the SAR simulator.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)