P-band radar ice sounding in Antarctica

Jørgen Dall, Anders Kusk, Steen Savstrup Kristensen, Ulrik Nielsen, René Forsberg, C.-C. Lin, N. Gebert, T. Casal, M. Davidson, D. Bekaert, C. Buck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In February 2011, the Polarimetric Airborne Radar Ice Sounder (POLARIS) was flown in Antarctica in order to assess the feasibility of a potential space-based radar ice sounding mission. The campaign has demonstrated that the basal return is detectable in areas with up to 3 km thick cold ice, in areas with up to several hundred meters thick warm shelf ice, and in areas with up to 700 m thick crevassed glacier ice. However, major gaps in the basal return are observed, presumably due to excessive absorption, scattering from ice inclusions in the firn, low basal reflectivity, and the masking effect of the surface clutter. Internal layers are observed down to depths exceeding 2 km. The polarimetric data show that the internal layers are strongly anisotropic at a ridge, where the ice flow is supposed to be highly unidirectional. In case of space-based ice sounding, the antenna pattern cannot offer sufficient surface clutter suppression, but improved clutter suppression has been demonstrated with novel multi-phase-center techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium proceedings
Publication date2012
ISBN (Print)9781467311601
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventIEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium: Remote Sensing for a Dynamic Earth - Munich, Germany
Duration: 22 Jul 201227 Jul 2012


ConferenceIEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium
Internet address
SeriesIEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium


  • Antarctica
  • P-band
  • Radar
  • Attenuation
  • Clutter
  • Polarimetry
  • Sounding

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