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Moisture Remote Sensing

#A-1524


Development of a Prototype of C and Ku-Band, Dual-Frequency, Polarimetric, Combined Scatterometer-Radiometer System for Sea, Land and Atmospheric Remote Sensing

Tech Area / Field

  • INS-MEA/Measuring Instruments/Instrumentation
  • OBS-NAT/Natural Resources and Earth Sciences/Other Basic Sciences
  • PHY-RAW/Radiofrequency Waves/Physics

Status
8 Project completed

Registration date
06.04.2007

Completion date
04.04.2011

Senior Project Manager
Rudneva V Ya

Leading Institute
ECOSERV Remote Observation Centre Co. Ltd., Armenia, Yerevan

Collaborators

  • Universität Stuttgart / Institute for Space Systems, Germany, Stuttgart\nFriedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn / Meteorologisches Institut, Germany, Bonn

Project summary

Development of a prototype of C and Ku-band, dual-frequency, polarimetric, combined scatterometer-radiometer system for sea, land and atmospheric remote sensing.

The principal objectives of the project are:

  • To develop and to manufacture C (~5.6GHz) and Ku (~15GHz) band, dual-frequency, polarimetric, spatio-temporally combined, short pulse, scatterometer-radiometer system for short distance remote sensing application (the minimum operational range for scatterometers is 5m);
  • To perform spatio-temporally collocated, dual-frequency, polarimetric measurements of snow, bare and vegetated soil reflection and emission over a wide range of incidence angles;
  • To perform spatio-temporally collocated, dual-frequency, polarimetric measurements of atmospheric boundary layer formations reflection and emission (clear-air turbulence, clouds and precipitation) over a wide range of observation angles and range resolution;
  • To validate and to improve existing electromagnetic scattering and emission transfer models of wave-covered water surface, snow, bare and vegetated soil, clouds and clear-air turbulence in atmospheric boundary layer;
  • To study the feasibility and to develop new methods and algorithms for soil (bare and vegetated) and snow moisture retrieval from combining data of dual-frequency, polarimetric, scatterometric-radiometric observations;
  • To study the feasibility and to develop new methods and algorithms for near sea surface wind speed and direction, sea state, near surface air and water temperatures unambiguous retrieval from combining data of dual-frequency, polarimetric, scatterometric-radiometric observations;
  • To study the feasibility and to develop new methods and algorithms for clear-air turbulence parameters and clouds water content retrieval, for a forecasting of forthcoming precipitation quantity from combining data of dual-frequency, polarimetric, scatterometric-radiometric observations;
  • To develop structure of airborne, multi-frequency, polarimetric, combined scatterometer-radiometer system;

For achievement of the planned objectives development and manufacture of C (~5.6GHz) and Ku (~15GHz) band, dual-frequency, polarimetric, spatio-temporally combined, short pulse, scatterometer-radiometer system for short distance remote sensing application is planned. The operational range of both scatterometers will vary from 5m to 150m. By the manufactured system a series of polarimetric, spatio-temporally combined active-passive measurements of experimental water pool wave-covered surface, bare and vegetated soils and land snow cover, clouds and clear-air turbulence in atmospheric boundary layer scattering and emission will be performed under control-test laboratory conditions at C and Ku-band frequencies over a wide range of incidence and observation angles. As well as a series of polarimetric, spatio-temporally combined active-passive measurements of a lake water surface, pasture and wheat fields and various atmospheric boundary layer formations scattering and emission will be performed under quasi-field conditions at C and Ku-band frequencies over a wide range of incidence and observation angles. For these experiments an experimental site with its measuring platforms (stationary and mobile), local, small weather station, in-situ control-test and calibration facilities will be used, developed, manufactured and built by ECOSERV Remote Observation Centre Co. Ltd. (ECOSERV ROC) under the framework of the ISTC Project A-872. Dual-frequency active-passive measurements will be conducted for various wind and wave, snow, rain, soil and vegetation conditions, including frosted and melted snow conditions, frosted and melted soils, soils before and after the tillage, etc. A complete set of ground truth data, including the moisture content, snowfall depth, snow water content, soil, water and air temperatures, water salinity, wind speed and direction, rainfall and snowfall parameters will also be collocated.

The proposed research project corresponds to the applied research type of technology development and can be considered as a realizable task in all technical respects. It is partially based on the results of preliminary researches and works carried out in the framework of the ISTC Project A-872 and of the projects NFSAT PH057-02 / CRDF 12012, CRDF FSMP ARG2-5041-YE-04 and CRDF NSMP ARG2-579-YE-04 by the members of the Research Team. Multi-year experience of the Research Team members in development and manufacturing of combined radar-radiometer systems, available measuring equipment, in-situ control-test and calibration facilities of ECOSERV ROC will provide a successful implementation of the goals of the project related to a development of a unique technology (device), methods and criteria for real time retrieval of vegetation parameters, snow and soil moisture, near surface wind and wave fields parameters, water and air temperatures, forthcoming precipitation quantity, related to a development more precise models describing microwave emission and scattering from wave-covered water surface, bare soil, vegetation and snow covers, clouds and clear-air turbulence in atmospheric boundary layer.

The main research results and achievements expected are:

  • A unique technology as a dual-frequency (C and Ku-band), polarimetric, spatio-temporally combined, short pulse, scatterometer-radiometer system for short distance remote sensing application.
  • Methodology for combining data from land, water surface and atmospheric radar-radiometer observations.
  • Method development for snow and soil moistures unambiguous retrieval.
  • Method development for near sea surface wind speed and direction, sea state, water and near surface air temperatures unambiguous retrieval.
  • Classification possibilities of observed surface vegetation, water and land surface pollution.
  • Improvement of wind and wave field parameters, snow, soil and soil vegetation parameters retrieval precision.
  • Validation and improvement of existing models of wave-covered water surface, soil, snow, vegetation, clouds and clear-air turbulence microwave scattering and emission.
  • Development of dual-frequency, polarimetric, combined scatterometer-radiometer system for airborne measurements of snow, soil and soil vegetation, sea and atmospheric formations parameters in real time with precise retrievals.

Proposed tasks solution is important and topical for current and future Earth and atmospheric microwave remote sensing programs based on fusion of data from a variety of imaging sensors, which will provide timely and iterative multi-sensor observation data on a global scale. The results of the suggested investigations will make an important contribution in basic researches and would provide new quality in sea and land surface (soil, snow, vegetation) remote sensing and environmental monitoring. They will provide:
  • Demonstration of a technique for synergy of data from sea, land and atmosphere radar-radiometer observation.
  • A study of the microwave reflective-emissive joint features of wave-covered water surface, clouds, snow, bare and vegetated soils.
  • New measurements and criteria for real time retrieval of near sea surface wind and wave field parameters, water and air temperatures, snow and soil moisture, clouds and vegetation parameters.
  • More precise models to describe microwave emission and scattering from wave-covered sea surface, bare and vegetated soils, land snow cover, clouds and clear-air turbulence.

The results of these investigations will have significant economical and social impact too, particularly in agriculture, irrigation, water resource management, environment’s preservation, protection and sustainable monitoring, weather and precipitation forecasting, sea and land pollution monitoring and assessment. Aerial radar-radio thermal images of observed areas can be used in agriculture to detect lack of water and fertilizer, to optimize the quality and quantity of harvests of wheat and other crops, in hydrology and in ecology to predict snow water content and snow melting time, to detect underground water reservoirs and hazardous waste sites, (in conjunction with ultra low frequency electromagnetic geophysical systems requiring additional information about upper layer conductivity), to detect and to assess sea and land pollution, in meteorology to forecast weather, to predict storms and to assess forthcoming precipitation. Airborne processing of data of sea and land surface (snow, soil and soil vegetation) by microwave methods and devices will cost about 0.1-0.2 USD per acre in large-scale practice.

The project implementation will provide an opportunity for 11 former USSR weapon scientists (earlier engaged in development of methods and radio systems for target navigation and tracking, target detection and identification) to redirect their knowledge and skills to peaceful activities particularly in a field of environmental protection. It will promote integration of scientists from Armenia into the international scientific community, particularly the USA, Canada, EU and Japan. It will contribute to the solution of national and international technical problems applied to the environmental security and protection, hydrology and food program (agriculture and irrigation), global weather forecasting industry. Commercial value of anticipated results is high and evidently connects with current requirements to get sustainable multi-parametric information from wide area of the Earth surface and atmosphere.

For this research project implementation Armenian and Foreign research teams’ collaboration is essential. There are some reasons for that:

  • Difficulties in development and manufacturing of a unique technology as dual-frequency, polarimetric, spatio-temporally combined, short pulse, scatterometer-radiometer system.
  • Difficulties of experimental tasks solution related to microwave sensor’s field trials and calibration, wave-covered water surface soil, snow and soil vegetation, clouds and atmospheric turbulence microwave, polarimetric, reflective and emissive characteristics measurements.
  • Large capacity of supposed remote and in-situ measurements, data processing and analysis.
  • New models, methods and algorithms development necessity.
  • Methodological and technical complexities of measurements and experimental data processing.
  • Administrative and organization tasks, reporting and publication requirements, etc.

Six Collaborators from the USA (3) and EU (3), namely: the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-CET), USA, the Cooperative Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado (CIRES-UC), USA, the Center for Hydrology, Soil Climatology, and Remote Sensing, Alabama A&M University (HSCaRS-AAMU), USA, the Institute of Space Systems, University of Stuttgart (ISS-US), Germany, the Meteorological Institute, Bonn University (MIBU), Germany, and the Laboratory of Space Technology, Helsinki University of Technology (LST-HUT), Finland have expressed their agreement in collaboration and their interest in the Project fulfillment and in expected results.


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