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Title: Radar cross-section measurements of snow and ice
Authors: General Dynamics, Convair Aerospace Division
United States. Advanced Research Projects Agency
Hoekstra, P. (Pieter)
Spanogle, Dennis
Keywords: Dielectric properties
Ground clutter
Radar cross sections
Snow and ice surfaces
Terrain avoidance
Radar echoes
Snow dielectrics
Ice dielectrics
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical report (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)) ; 235.
Description: Technical Report
Abstract: The radar backscatter from undisturbed snow surfaces was measured at 10 GHz, 35 GHz and 95 GHz and at grazing angles of 1 to 0.4°. For horizontally polarized radiation the ground clutter per unit area (m^2) at 10 GHz from a flat snow terrain decreased from -50 db at 1° to -70 db at 0.4°. The return was approximately 10 db lower for vertically polarized radiation. The ground clutter depended on the free water content of the snow. The return at 35 GHz was approximately 10 db higher than that at 10 GHz at horizontal and vertical polarizations and at a grazing angle of 0.4°. The difference between the return at 10 GHz and that at 35 GHz decreased at higher grazing angles. Because of its narrow beamwidth the 95-GHz radar saw individual patches in the terrain and no meaningful number for the terrain radar cross section could be obtained. The radar cross section of ice blocks placed on the snow surface was roughly proportional to the square of the area of the ice blocks facing the radar at 10 and 35 GHz and was about 20 dbsm below the return expected for a perfectly reflecting plane surface. At 95 GHz the ice blocks became diffuse reflectors. The power reflection coefficient at normal incidence for ice blocks with carefully prepared surfaces measured in free space was from 0.005 to 0.08 at 10 GHz and from 0.009 to 0.031 at 35 GHz.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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