A Technical Seminar presented by the Washington/Northern Virginia Chapter

of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society


Sea Surface Velocity Vector Retrieval Using Dual Beam Interferometry: First Demonstration


Dr. Mark Sletten

Code 7264

Naval Research Laboratory

4555 Overlook Ave. SW

Washington DC, 20375




Abstract:  Over the past two years, the Naval Research Laboratory and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) have been engaged in a collaborative development of dual beam radar interferometry as a method of remotely measuring ocean surface current vectors. In this technique, two independent, along-track interferometric SARs (AT-INSARs), one squinted forward and the other squinted aft of the flight track, are used to extract the full vector surface velocity with only a single aircraft pass. With a standard, single beam AT-INSAR, two (nominally orthogonal) passes are required to estimate the full velocity vector. The experimental effort has centered on the UMass Dual Beam Interferometer (DBI), a C-band system that is fully contained in an aircraft wing pod. This presentation will report the results of a March 2004 DBI deployment over tidal inlets off the coast of Florida in which the technique was demonstrated for the first time. The results of theoretical studies related to the extraction of surface currents from the INSAR measurements will also be summarized.


Professional Biography:  Mark A. Sletten received the BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1984, 1987, and 1991, respectively. From 1985-1987, he was a Research Assistant and ECE Department Fellow at the Wisconsin Center for Applied Microelectronics. As a doctoral student under the Rockwell International Doctoral Fellowship Program, his research included experimental and theoretical investigations of polarization-altering, guided wave optical devices. Since joining the Naval Research Laboratory in 1991, he has been engaged in radar-based ocean remote sensing research. This work includes the development of ultrawideband, polarimetric systems for determining the fundamental physics underlying low-grazing-angle radar sea scatter, and the development and use of airborne radar systems (both real and synthetic aperture) for remote sensing of the coastal ocean. Past work has included a real-aperture radar study of the Chesapeake Bay outflow plume, and the development of a lightweight, multiband, interferometric SAR for use on a light aircraft. More recently, Dr. Sletten has conducted several field experiments that investigate the use of interferometric SAR systems for measuring ocean surface currents and mapping the space-time evolution of sub-mesoscale oceanic eddies.