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Title: Radar altimetric studies of polar ice
Author: Drinkwater, Mark Roland
ISNI:       0000 0001 3432 9507
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1987
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Active microwave sensors are known to provide valuable information regarding snow and ice surfaces in the polar regions, where darkness and cloud cover prevail. Here, data collected in the Arctic by a Ku-band microwave radar altimeter, designed and constructed in the UK, are analysed. The two main components of this study comprise data gathered in the East Greenland Sea marginal ice zone and over two Svalbard ice caps. A systematic treatment is made of the electromagnetic properties of snow and ice at 13.81 GHz, and the differences between various polar surface media are highlighted. Theoretical and empirical models are presented which enable calculation of the relevant dielectric and scattering properties of snow and ice layers. Parametric studies are undertaken to give insight into the range of scattering conditions likely to be encountered by a radar altimeter in the regions investigated. Examples of altimetric data and results of their analysis are presented, demonstrating the effects of different ice types and terrain upon incident altimeter pulses. Waveforms are characterised by their shape, and certain forms are linked with particular physical properties of the surface. To this a variety of supporting information is added in order to verify and validate interpretations of these results. Algorithms are proposed which enable geophysical information to be derived from altimetric data.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Glaciology & snow & ice & permafrost