3 October 2017 KydroSAT: a Ku/Ka band synthetic aperture radar space mission concept for high-resolution mapping of hydrometeorological parameters
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Abstract
Spaceborne X-band synthetic aperture radars (SARs) represent a well-established tool for Earth remote sensing at very high spatial resolution (order of meters). Until now, SAR has not been exploited for hydrological cycle modelling and numerical weather forecast, however, there are scientific evidences that at X band and beyond: i) atmospheric precipitation in liquid and ice phase affect SAR imagery and its intensity can be retrieved, ii) snow areal extent and mass (water-equivalent) can be detected and estimated. KydroSAT mission concept foresees a miniaturised fully-digital SAR at Ku and Ka band (KydroSAR), specifically devoted to detecting and estimating atmospheric precipitation and surface snow; its baseline includes dual-polarization capability, high orbit duty cycle (>75%), flexible ground resolution (5-150 m), and a large variable swath (50-150 km), doubled with formation of two minisatellites both carrying a KydroSAR. Moreover, the mission concept foresees the along-track convoy with the COSMO-SkyMed and SAOCOM SAR platforms, allowing the observation of the same scene at L, X, Ku and Ka bands. The challenging requirements of this architecture require the development of new technologies such as Digital Beam Forming and Direct Digital to RF Conversion. In order to exploit the synergic approach of the KydroSAT convoy for precipitation, in this work we will simulate and discuss the SAR response at X, Ku and Ka bands of the same scene, using the SAR forward model described in Mori et al. (2017). Subsequently, an example retrieval of Snow Equivalent Water (SWE) by Ku-SAR will be given.
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Saverio Mori, Frank S. Marzano, Nazzareno Pierdicca, Ornella Bombaci, Domenico Giancristofaro, Giovanni Macelloni, Juha Lemmetyinem, Davide Giudici, Armen Poghosyan, "KydroSAT: a Ku/Ka band synthetic aperture radar space mission concept for high-resolution mapping of hydrometeorological parameters", Proc. SPIE 10426, Active and Passive Microwave Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring, 1042603 (3 October 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2277993; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2277993
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