The spatial response function (SRF) of the backscatter measurements for a radar scatterometer is often used in reconstruction. It has been found that in many cases the SRF can be approximated as a binary function that is 1 inside the - 6 dB contour of the SRF and 0 outside. This improves the computation speed of reconstruction. Computing the SRF contour can still be a lengthy computation, which can be simplified by precomputing and tabulating key SRF contours. The tabular parameterization for many spinning scatterometers, i.e., QuikSCAT, is straight-forward. For RapidSCAT, this estimation is more involved than other radars due to the irregular orbit of its host platform, the International Space Station (ISS). This thesis presents a process for parameterizing the slice contours for RapidSCAT that are acceptable for reconstruction purposes. This thesis develops a new process for parameterizing slice contours. First, RapidSCAT SRFs are calculated using XfactorRS3, and -6 dB slice contours are found using matplotlib. Then, a suitable filter is found for reducing noise present in slice contours due to quantization error and interpolation inaccuracies. Afterwards, the polygon comparison algorithm is used to determine a set of approximation points. With the approximation points selected, the 3-rd order linear approximation is calculated using parameters available in the L1B data files for RapidSCAT. Finally, analysis of the parameterization is performed. Overall, I developed a process that parameterizes RapidSCAT slice contours with an average root mean square (RMS) error of roughly 1.5 km. This is acceptable for the application of the slice parameterization algorithm and significantly reduces computation compared to fully computing the SRF.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





RapidSCAT, Parameterization, Slice, Contour