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Volume 10, issue 1 | Copyright
The Cryosphere, 10, 121-131, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-121-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 18 Jan 2016

Research article | 18 Jan 2016

Utilisation of CryoSat-2 SAR altimeter in operational ice charting

E. Rinne and M. Similä E. Rinne and M. Similä
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute, Marine Research, P.O. Box 503, 00101 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. We present methods to utilise CryoSat-2 (CS-2) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode data in operational ice charting. We compare CS-2 data qualitatively to SAR mosaics over the Barents and Kara seas. Furthermore, we compare the CS-2 to archived operational ice charts. We present distributions of four CS-2 waveform parameters for different ice types as presented in the ice charts. We go on to present an automatic classification method for CS-2 data which, after training with operational ice charts, is capable of determining open ocean from ice with a hit rate of  > 90%. The training data are dynamically updated every 5 days using the most recent 15 days of CS-2 data and operative ice charts. This helps the adaption of the classifier to the evolving ice/snow conditions throughout winter. The classifier is also capable of detecting three different ice classes (thin and thick first-year ice as well as old ice) with success rates good enough for the output to be usable to support operational ice charting. Finally, we present a near-real-time CS-2 product just plotting the waveform characteristics and conclude that even such a simple product is usable for some of the needs of ice charting.

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This paper demonstrates the use of the CryoSat-2 SAR altimeter in operational ice charting. We take CryoSat-2 data and compare them to ice charts over the sea-ice-covered regions in the Barents and Kara seas. We also present an automatic classification method for CryoSat-2 measurements that could be used to support navigation. We conclude that SAR altimeter measurements can be valuable to operational ice charting if other data sources are unavailable.
This paper demonstrates the use of the CryoSat-2 SAR altimeter in operational ice charting. We...
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