Calibration of the Normalized Radar Cross Section for Sentinel-1 Wave Mode

TitleCalibration of the Normalized Radar Cross Section for Sentinel-1 Wave Mode
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsLi, H, Mouche, A, Stopa, JE, Chapron, B
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Type of ArticleJournal Article
KeywordsCalibration, Histograms, Oceans, Radiometry, Rain, Synthetic aperture radar, Wind speed

Sentinel-1 (S-1) is a two-satellite constellation for continuity of operational synthetic aperture radar (SAR) observations. Wave mode (WV) is the default mode over open ocean for S-1 to monitor global ocean waves and wind field. Therefore, proper radiometric calibration is essential to accurately infer these geophysical quantities. Based on the global data set acquired by S-1A WV, assessment of normalized radar cross section (NRCS) is carried out through comparison with CMOD5.N predictions over open ocean. The calibration accuracy quantified by NRCS residuals between SAR measurements and CMOD5.N demonstrates distinct features for two incidence angles (23.8° and 36.8°). Particularly, NRCS at 23.8° is overall consistent with CMOD5.N, while NRCS at 36.8° displays great deviation. Two recalibration methods are then implemented by examining the backscattering profile over Amazon rain forest and ocean calibration. Both methods show the necessity for recalibration and obtain comparable correction factors for WV1 and WV2, respectively. The NRCS residuals by applying both methods are significantly reduced toward zero. By comparison, ocean calibration is more efficient and practical to implement.


Global Argentine Basin
Global Southern Ocean