An improved composite surface model for the radar backscattering cross section of the ocean surface 1. Theory of the model and optimization/validation by scatterometer data

Roland Romeiser, Werner Alpers, Volkmar Wismann

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167 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An improved composite surface model for the calculation of the normalized radar backscattering cross section (NRCS) of the ocean surface at moderate incidence angles is presented. The model is based on Bragg scattering theory. A Taylor expansion of the NRCS in the two-dimensional surface slope yields nonzero second-order terms which represent a first approximation for the effect of the geometric and hydrodynamic modulation of the Bragg scattering facets by all waves that are long compared to these facets. The corresponding expectation value of the NRCS varies with the wave height spectral density of all these waves, and it depends in a well-defined way on frequency, polarization, incidence angle, and azimuthal look direction of the radar. We show that measured NRCS values at frequencies ranging from 1 GHz (L band) through 34 GHz (Ka band) and wind speeds between 2 and 20 m/s can be well reproduced by the proposed model after some reasonable tuning of the input ocean wave spectrum. Also, polarization effects and upwind/downwind differences of the NRCS appear to be relatively well represented. The model can thus be considered as an advanced wind scatterometer model which is based on physical principles rather than on empirical relationships. The most promising field of application, however, will be the calculation of NRCS variations associated with local distortions of the wave spectrum by surface current gradients or wind effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25237-25250
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans
Volume102
Issue numberC11
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

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scatterometers
ocean surface
scatterometer
Backscattering
radar
sea surface
backscattering
Radar
cross section
optimization
composite materials
cross sections
Composite materials
wave spectrum
flat surfaces
polarization
incidence
scattering
wind effects
Scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

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title = "An improved composite surface model for the radar backscattering cross section of the ocean surface 1. Theory of the model and optimization/validation by scatterometer data",
abstract = "An improved composite surface model for the calculation of the normalized radar backscattering cross section (NRCS) of the ocean surface at moderate incidence angles is presented. The model is based on Bragg scattering theory. A Taylor expansion of the NRCS in the two-dimensional surface slope yields nonzero second-order terms which represent a first approximation for the effect of the geometric and hydrodynamic modulation of the Bragg scattering facets by all waves that are long compared to these facets. The corresponding expectation value of the NRCS varies with the wave height spectral density of all these waves, and it depends in a well-defined way on frequency, polarization, incidence angle, and azimuthal look direction of the radar. We show that measured NRCS values at frequencies ranging from 1 GHz (L band) through 34 GHz (Ka band) and wind speeds between 2 and 20 m/s can be well reproduced by the proposed model after some reasonable tuning of the input ocean wave spectrum. Also, polarization effects and upwind/downwind differences of the NRCS appear to be relatively well represented. The model can thus be considered as an advanced wind scatterometer model which is based on physical principles rather than on empirical relationships. The most promising field of application, however, will be the calculation of NRCS variations associated with local distortions of the wave spectrum by surface current gradients or wind effects.",
author = "Roland Romeiser and Werner Alpers and Volkmar Wismann",
year = "1997",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "102",
pages = "25237--25250",
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T1 - An improved composite surface model for the radar backscattering cross section of the ocean surface 1. Theory of the model and optimization/validation by scatterometer data

AU - Romeiser, Roland

AU - Alpers, Werner

AU - Wismann, Volkmar

PY - 1997

Y1 - 1997

N2 - An improved composite surface model for the calculation of the normalized radar backscattering cross section (NRCS) of the ocean surface at moderate incidence angles is presented. The model is based on Bragg scattering theory. A Taylor expansion of the NRCS in the two-dimensional surface slope yields nonzero second-order terms which represent a first approximation for the effect of the geometric and hydrodynamic modulation of the Bragg scattering facets by all waves that are long compared to these facets. The corresponding expectation value of the NRCS varies with the wave height spectral density of all these waves, and it depends in a well-defined way on frequency, polarization, incidence angle, and azimuthal look direction of the radar. We show that measured NRCS values at frequencies ranging from 1 GHz (L band) through 34 GHz (Ka band) and wind speeds between 2 and 20 m/s can be well reproduced by the proposed model after some reasonable tuning of the input ocean wave spectrum. Also, polarization effects and upwind/downwind differences of the NRCS appear to be relatively well represented. The model can thus be considered as an advanced wind scatterometer model which is based on physical principles rather than on empirical relationships. The most promising field of application, however, will be the calculation of NRCS variations associated with local distortions of the wave spectrum by surface current gradients or wind effects.

AB - An improved composite surface model for the calculation of the normalized radar backscattering cross section (NRCS) of the ocean surface at moderate incidence angles is presented. The model is based on Bragg scattering theory. A Taylor expansion of the NRCS in the two-dimensional surface slope yields nonzero second-order terms which represent a first approximation for the effect of the geometric and hydrodynamic modulation of the Bragg scattering facets by all waves that are long compared to these facets. The corresponding expectation value of the NRCS varies with the wave height spectral density of all these waves, and it depends in a well-defined way on frequency, polarization, incidence angle, and azimuthal look direction of the radar. We show that measured NRCS values at frequencies ranging from 1 GHz (L band) through 34 GHz (Ka band) and wind speeds between 2 and 20 m/s can be well reproduced by the proposed model after some reasonable tuning of the input ocean wave spectrum. Also, polarization effects and upwind/downwind differences of the NRCS appear to be relatively well represented. The model can thus be considered as an advanced wind scatterometer model which is based on physical principles rather than on empirical relationships. The most promising field of application, however, will be the calculation of NRCS variations associated with local distortions of the wave spectrum by surface current gradients or wind effects.

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