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Polarization and wavelength diversities of Gulf Stream fronts imaged by AIRSARDuring the 1990 Gulf Stream Experiment, NASA/JPL AIRSAR imaged the north edge of the Gulf Stream near the coast of Virginia. Simultaneous in-situ measurements of currents, temperatures, salinities, etc. were made for several crossings of the north edge by the R/V Cape Henlopen. Measurements identified two fronts with shearing and converging flows. The polarimetric SAR images from the fronts showed two bright linear features. One of them corresponds to the temperature front, which separated the warm Gulf Stream water to the south from a cool, freshwater filament to the north. The other line, located about 8 km north of the temperature front, is believed to correspond to the velocity front between the filament and the slope water. At these fronts, wave-current interactions produced narrow bands of steep and breaking waves manifesting higher radar returns in polarimetric SAR images. In general, our AIRSAR imagery shows that the signal-to-clutter ratio of radar cross sections for the temperature front is higher than that of the velocity front. In this paper, we study the polarization and wavelength diversities of radar response of these two fronts using the P-, L-, and C-Band Polarimetric SAR data. The north-south flight path of the AIRSAR crossed the temperature front several times and provided valuable data for analysis. Three individual passes are investigated. We found that for the temperature front, the cross-pol (HV) responses are much higher than co-pol responses (VV and HH), and that P-Band HV has the highest signal to clutter ratio. For the velocity front, the ratio is the strongest in P-Band VV, and it is indistinguishable for all polarizations in C-Band. The radar cross sections for all three polarization (HH, HV, and VV) and for all three bands are modelled using an ocean wave model and a composite Bragg scattering model. In our initial investigations, the theoretical model agrees qualitatively with the AIRSAR observations.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lee, J. S. (Naval Research Lab. Washington, DC, United States)
Jansen, R. W. (Naval Research Lab. Washington, DC, United States)
Marmorino, G. O. (Naval Research Lab. Washington, DC, United States)
Chubb, S. R. (Naval Research Lab. Washington, DC, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 23, 1995
Publication Information
Publication: JPL, Summaries of the Fifth Annual JPL Airborne Earth Science Workshop. Volume 3: AIRSAR Workshop
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19950027368Analytic PrimarySummaries of the Fifth Annual JPL Airborne Earth Science Workshop. Volume 2: TIMS Workshop