Polarimetric airborne scientific instrument, mark 2, an ice‐sounding airborne synthetic aperture radar for subglacial 3D imagery

Arenas-Pingarrón, Álvaro ORCID:; Corr, Hugh F.J.; Robinson, Carl; Jordan, Tom A. ORCID:; Brennan, Paul V.. 2023 Polarimetric airborne scientific instrument, mark 2, an ice‐sounding airborne synthetic aperture radar for subglacial 3D imagery. IET Radar, Sonar & Navigation, 17 (9). 1391-1404.

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© 2023 The Authors. IET Radar, Sonar & Navigation published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Institution of Engineering and Technology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Polarimetric Airborne Scientific INstrument, mark 2 (PASIN2) is a 150 MHz coherent pulsed radar with the purpose of deep ice sounding for bedrock, subglacial channels and ice-water interface detection in Antarctica. It is designed and operated by the British Antarctic Survey from 2014. With multiple antennas, oriented along and across-track, for transmission and reception, it enables polarimetric 3D estimation of the ice base with a single pass, reducing the gridding density of the survey paths. The off-line data processing stream consists of channel calibration; 2D synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging based on back-projection, for along-track and range dimensions; and finally, a direction of arrival estimation (DoA) of the remaining across-track angle, by modifying the non-linear MUSIC algorithm. Calibration flights, during the Antarctic Summer campaigns in 16/17 and 19/20 seasons, assessed and validated the instrument and processing performances. Imaging flights over ice streams and ice shelves close to grounding lines demonstrate the 3D sensing capabilities. By resolving directional ambiguities and accounting for reflector across-track location, the true ice thickness and bed elevation are obtained, thereby removing the error of the usual assumption of vertical DoA, that greatly influence the output of flow models of ice dynamics.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 1751-8784
Additional Keywords: airborne radar, array signal processing, direction-of-arrival estimation, MUSIC algorithm, remote sensing by radar, synthetic aperture radar
Date made live: 28 Jun 2023 16:13 +0 (UTC)

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