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Investigation of C- and X-band backscattering signatures of Baltic Sea ice

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Backscattering signatures of various Baltic Sea ice types and open water leads were measured with the helicopter-borne C- and X-band Helsinki University of Technology scatterometer (HUTSCAT) during six ice research campaigns in 1992-1997. The measurements were conducted at incidence angles of 23° and 45°. The HUTSCAT data were assigned by video imagery into various surface type categories. The ground data provided further classification of the HUTSCAT data into different snow wetness categories (dry, moist and wet snow). Various basic statistical parameters of backscattering signature data were used to study discrimination of open water leads and various ice types. The effect of various physical parameters (e.g. polarization, frequency, snow condition) on the surface type discrimination was investigated. The results from the data analysis can be used to help the development of sea ice classification algorithms for space-borne SAR data (e.g. Radarsat and Envisat). According to the results from the maximum likelihood classification it is not possible to reliably distinguish various surface types in the SAR images only by their backscatter intensity. In general, the best ice type discrimination accuracy is achieved with C-band VH-polarization ° at an incidence angle of 45°.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory of Space Technology Helsinki University of Technology PO Box 3000 FIN-02015 HUT Finland

Publication date: 01 June 2004

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