Get access

Polarimetric thermal emission from periodic water surfaces


  • S. H. Yueh,

  • S. V. Nghiem,

  • R. Kwok,

  • W. J. Wilson,

  • F. K. Li,

  • J. T. Johnson,

  • J. A. Kong


In this paper, experimental results and theoretical calculations are presented to study the polarimetric emission from water surfaces with directional features. It is observed that the measured Stokes parameters of corrugated fiberglass-covered water surfaces are functions of azimuth angles and agree very well with theoretical calculations. The theory, after being verified by the experimental data, was then used to calculate the Stokes parameters of periodic surfaces without fiberglass surface layer and with rms height of the order of wind-generated water ripples. The magnitudes of the azimuthal variation of the calculated emissivities at horizontal and vertical polarizations corresponding to the first two Stokes parameters are found to be comparable to the values measured by airborne radiometer and SSM/I. In addition, the third Stokes parameter not shown in the literature is seen to have approximately twice the magnitude of the azimuth variation of either Th or Tυ. The results of this paper indicate that passive polarimetry is a potential tool in the remote sensing of ocean wind vector.