Evaluation of new spaceborne SAR sensors for sea-ice monitoring in the Baltic Sea
Journal article, 2010
In this study, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data from the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) and the Envisat, RADARSAT-2, and TerraSAR-X satellites were compared to evaluate their usefulness for sea-ice monitoring in the Baltic Sea. Radar signature characteristics at different frequencies, polarizations, and spatial resolutions are presented for three examples from 2009. C-band like-polarization data, which have been used for operational sea-ice mapping since the early 1990s, serve as a reference. Advantages and disadvantages were identified for the different SAR systems and imaging modes. One conclusion is that cross-polarized data improve the discrimination between sea ice and open water. Another observation is that it is easier to identify ice ridges in L-band data than in images from shorter wavelengths. The information content of X- and C-band images is largely equivalent, whereas L-band data provide complementary information. L-band SAR also seems to be less sensitive to wet snow cover on the ice.
Gulf of Bothnia