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Comparison of Sentinel-1 SAR And Sentinel-3 Altimetry Data For Ice Type Discrimination

Journal article
Authors Wiebke Aldenhoff
Leif Eriksson
Céline Heuzé
Published in Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), 2019 IEEE International
Pages 4238-4240
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 4238-4240
Language en
Keywords SAR, sea ice
Subject categories Physical Geography, Climate Research, Remote sensing


In this paper near co-incidental Sentinel-1 C-band SAR imagery and Sentinel-3 SRAL Ku-band altimeter data are compared for their capabilities of sea ice type discrimination. Knowledge of sea ice type is important for climate research and safety in Arctic offshore operations.First-year ice is characterised by a low SAR backscatter intensity in both HH and HV polarisation compared to multi-year ice, while the altimeter waveform parameters show high pulse peakiness and peak power compared to multi-year ice. Thus SAR imagery and altimetry can principally discriminate different ice types. The complexity of the backscattered radar signal however impedes a clear separation of the two types for all cases. Cross comparison of the two sensors offers an opportunity of high resolution validation data, which is often lacking for sea ice studies.

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