Experimental study and theoretical model of high-resolution radar backscatter from the sea
Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
Copyright 1980 by the American Geophysical Union.
Volume 15, Issue 4, pages 815–828, July-August 1980
How to Cite
1980), Experimental study and theoretical model of high-resolution radar backscatter from the sea, Radio Sci., 15(4), 815–828, doi:10.1029/RS015i004p00815., and (
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Received: 5 JUL 1978
The temporal characteristics of radar backscatter from the sea depend on the pulse width for surface resolutions less than about 20 m. While low-resolution backscatter appears continuously noiselike, as the resolution is increased, the backscatter is punctuated by substantially quieter periods. This results in a noticeably ‘spikey’ characteristic. Measurements at 3 cm using several different pulse widths have been made near grazing incidence together with synchronized television views of the radar-illuminated surface. These observations confirm that the largest backscatter is due to whitecaps. However, even the quieter periods disclose spikes, although they are about 3 orders of magnitude lower in power. A simple model of the salient scattering regions consists of a random collection of effective scattering centers which change in number with whitecap growth or decay. By comparing modeled surface realization with radar data it is concluded that the decorrelation time of the surface and scatterers within the surface are each about 10−2 s at X band.