Because the earth's cryosphere influences global weather patterns and climate, the scientific community has had great interest in monitoring this important region. Microwave remote sensing has proven to be a useful tool in estimating sea and glacial ice surface characteristics with both scatterometers and radiometers exhibiting high sensitivity to important ice properties. This dissertation presents an array of studies focused on extracting key surface features from multisensor microwave data sets. First, several enhanced resolution image reconstruction issues are addressed. Among these are the optimization of the scatterometer image reconstruction (SIR) algorithm for NASA scatterometer (NSCAT) data, an analysis of Ku-band azimuthal modulation in Antarctica, and inter-sensor European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS) calibration. Next, various methods for the removal of atmospheric distortions in image reconstruction of passive radiometer observations are considered. An automated algorithm is proposed which determines the spatial extent of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic regions from NSCAT data. A multisensor iterative sea ice statistical classification method which adapts to the temporally varying signatures of ice types is developed. The sea ice extent and classification algorithms are adopted for current SeaWinds scatterometer data sets. Finally, the automated inversion of large-scale forward electromagnetic scattering of models is considered and used to study the temporal evolution of the scattering properties of polar sea ice.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Cryosphere, NSCAT, NASA scatterometer, scatterometry, polar ice, multisensor data fusion, SeaWinds, azimuth modulation, sea ice, radar backscatter, sea ice extent, sea ice classification, image reconstruction