Ku-Band Sea Surface Radar Backscatter at Low Incidence Angles under Extreme Wind Conditions

This paper reports Ku-band normalized radar cross section (NRCS) at low incidence angles ranging from 0° to 18° and in the wind speed range from 6 to 70 m/s. The precipitation radar onboard the tropical rainfall measuring mission and Jason-1 and 2 have provided 152 hurricanes observations between 2008 and 2013 that were collocated with stepped-frequency microwave radiometer measurements. It is found that the NRCS decreases with increasing incidence angle. The decrease is more dramatic in the 40–70 m/s range of wind speeds than in the 6–20 m/s range, indicating that the NRCS is very sensitive to low incidence angles under extreme wind conditions and insensitive to the extreme wind speed. Consequently, the sea surface appears relatively “smooth” to Ku-band electromagnetic microwaves. This phenomenon validates the observed drag coefficient reduction under extreme wind conditions, from a remote sensing viewpoint. Using the NRCS dependence on incidence angle under extreme wind conditions, we also present an empirical linear relationship between NRCS and incidence angles, which may assist future-satellites missions operating at small incidence angles to measure sea surface wind and wave field.


NRCS, extreme wind conditions, low incidence angles

Full Text

Publisher's official version
14566 Ko
How to cite
Li Xiuzhong, Zhang Biao, Mouche Alexis, He Yijun, Perrie William (2017). Ku-Band Sea Surface Radar Backscatter at Low Incidence Angles under Extreme Wind Conditions. Remote Sensing. 9 (5). 474 (1-14). https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9050474, https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00385/49659/

Copy this text