Conference Paper

P-sounder: an airborne P-band ice sounding radar

Tech. Univ. of Denmark, Lyngby
DOI: 10.1109/IGARSS.2007.4423783 Conference: Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2007. IGARSS 2007. IEEE International
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT This paper presents the top-level design of an airborne, P-band ice sounding radar under development at the Technical University of Denmark. The ice sounder is intended to provide more information on the electromagnetic properties of the Antarctic ice sheet at P-band. A secondary objective is to test new ice sounding techniques, e.g. polarimetry, synthetic aperture processing, and coherent clutter suppression. A system analysis involving ice scattering models confirms that it is feasible to detect the bedrock through 4 km of ice and to detect deep ice layers. The ice sounder design features a digital signal generator, a microstrip antenna array, a conventional RF-architecture with a central transmitter, four receivers, and internal calibration loops. In 2008 the first data acquisition campaign will take place in Greenland.

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    ABSTRACT: ESA’s P-band Ice Sounding Radar Demonstrator (POLARIS) has been developed by the DTU National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, and a Proof-of-Concept Campaign has been carried out over Greenland in May 2008. Using the Level 0 data pre-processed by DTU, a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) processing has been performed, taking into account the refraction of the radar wave at the ice surface. The performance degradation related to the use of inaccurate processing parameters has been evaluated. In order to account for the variation of the flight speed and altitude over the ice, the data set has been divided into azimuth blocks and SAR processing has been applied by using the corresponding flight parameters. The expected azimuth resolution has been evaluated and compared with measurements on processed data. After having applied incoherent averaging by a factor of eight, an azimuth resolution of about 4 meters is achieved. Several data sets, from the four test flights and including both shallow and deep sounding data, have been examined. Thanks to the additional integration gain and the surface clutter reduction capability of synthetic aperture processing, it was possible to retrieve the bedrock topography up to 3 km depth. The reflection horizons due to ice-stratification were also detected.
    Advanced RF Sensors and Remote Sensing Instruments 2009, Noordwijk, Netherlands; 11/2009
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    ABSTRACT: We present the design and realization of an antenna array based on cavity-backed microstrip patch antenna elements, with a relative operating bandwidth exceeding 20% at a return-loss level better than 15 dB. The antenna array of four elements did not show any compromise in bandwidth. It exhibited sidelobe levels better than 15 dB, with a gain of around 12 dBi. Excellent agreement was achieved between measurements and predictions for the designs of both the single element and the array. This antenna is part of the European Space Agency's airborne polarimetric P-band terrestrial ice sounder.
    IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine 08/2012; 54(4):98-107. DOI:10.1109/MAP.2012.6309160 · 1.15 Impact Factor

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