Simulation and measurement techniques for microwave remote sensing of sea ice
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This dissertation presents new research into the study of simulation and measurement techniques for microwave remote sensing of sea ice. We have embarked on a major study of the microwave propagation and scattering properties of sea ice in an attempt to link the physics of the sea ice medium to experimentally obtained concomitant scatterometer measurements. During our fieldwork, we studied the polarimetric backscattering response of sea ice, focusing on newly-formed sea ice under a large assortment of surface coverage. Polarimetric backscattering results and physical data for 40 stations during the fall freeze-up of 2003, 2006, and 2007 are presented. Analysis of the co-polarization correlation coefficient showed its sensitivity to sea ice thickness and surface coverage and resulted in a statistically significant separation of ice thickness into two regimes: ice less than 6 cm thick and ice greater than 8 cm thick. A case study quantified the backscatter of snow-infiltrated frost fl owers on new sea ice, showing that the presence of the frost flowers enhanced the backscatter by more than 6 dB. In our simulation work, an efficient method for simulating scattering from objects in multi-layered media was incorporated into a scattered-field formulation of the FVTD method. A total-field 1D-FDTD solution to the plane-wave propagation through multi-layered meda was used as a source. The method was validated for a TE-polarized incident-field through comparisons with other numerical techniques involving examples of scattering from canonically-shaped objects. Methods for homogenization of inhomogeneous media were developed and validated using well-known dielectric mixture models. A Monte Carlo Method for simulating scattering from statistically rough surfaces was developed and was validated through favorable comparison with the SPM method for rough surface scattering. Finally, we presented a new Monte Carlo Method for simulating sea ice remote sensing that utilized the framework of the FVTD method for scattering simulations. The modeling process was driven by actual physical measurements of sea ice, wherein dielectric and physics-based modeling techniques were employed. The method was demonstrated through a series of case studies where the scattering from newly-formed sea ice was simulated using a TE-polarized incident- eld. Good agreement between experimental scatterometer measurements and simulated results was obtained for co-polarized returns, whereas cross-polarized results indicated that more depolarizing features must be taken into account.