The IceSAR-2012 campaign explored the potential of the Biomass mission to provide ice-sheet motion products and subsurface-structure maps.
At the time of the campaign, Biomass was one of three candidate Earth Explorer 8 missions. In May 2013, it was selected to be developed. The mission is therefore now being designed to provide, for the first time from space, P-band radar measurements to determine the amount of biomass and carbon stored in forests with greater accuracy than ever before.
Although the P-band imaging synthetic aperture radar will map forest biomass, a number of scientific studies have shown long-wave radar may be very useful to monitor ice-sheet movement.
Also, since P-band radar penetrates into the snow surface much more than other radar frequencies, images from Biomass could potentially provide a glimpse of ice structures beneath the surface. The IceSAR-2012 campaign was carried out on the Greenland icecap to explore these possibilities.
- Document P-band radiometric signatures over ice sheets for a range of sensor parameters and geophysical conditions on the ground.
- Document P-band interferometric and tomographic signatures for a range of parameters and geophysical conditions on ground.
- Document quantitatively the impact of temporal decorrelation.
- Assess algorithms and their suitability of the Biomass mission to generate ice motion products.
- Generate airborne prototype ice-motion and subsurface ice-structure products.
IceSAR-2012 at a glance
|Location:||Southwest Greenland, K-transect and Iceland|
|Platform:||Twin Otter aircraft operated by Norlandair, Iceland|
|Sensors:||P-band SAR system (ESA’s P-band radar ice-sounder Polaris, upgraded to SAR capability|
|Principal investigator:||Jørgen Dall, DTU Space|
|ESA coordinator:||Tânia Casal|
*Final meeting took place in March 2013 and all the data for Greenland were delivered but are not yet available online yet. Awaiting data for Iceland which should be available by October 2014.