Microwave remote sensing of sea ice in the AIDJEX Main Experiment
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During the AIDJEX Main Experiment, April 1975 through May 1976, a comprehensive microwave sensing program was performed on the sea ice of the Beaufort Sea. Surface and aircraft measurements were obtained during all seasons using a wide variety of active and passive microwave sensors. The surface program obtained passive microwave measurements of various ice types using four antennas mounted on a tracked vehicle. In three test regions, each with an area of approximately 1.5 × 104 m2, detailed ice crystallographic, dielectric properties, and brightness temperatures of first-year, multiyear, and first-year/multiyear mixtures were measured. A NASA aircraft obtained passive microwave measurements of the entire area of the AIDJEX manned station array (triangle) during each of 18 flights. This verified the earlier reported ability to distinguish first-year and multiyear ice types and concentration and gave new information on ways to observe ice mixtures and thin ice types. The active microwave measurements from aircraft included those from an X- and L-band radar and from a scatterometer. The former is used to study a wide variety of ice features and to estimate deformations, while both are equally usable to observe ice types. With the present data, only the scatterometer can be used to distinguish positively multiyear from first-year and various types of thin ice. This is best done using coupled active and passive microwave sensing.
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