Oceans cover approximately 71% of Earth’s surface and 90% of the biosphere, and contain 97% of Earth’s water. In 1978, NASA launched the frst ocean observation satellite, the SEASAT, and the microwave synthetic aperture radar (SAR) was one of four instruments. Since then, the global oceans have been observed on SAR images, which has ever-increasing spatial resolution (<100 m spatial resolution) and large swath (450 km for ScanSAR mode images). The microwave SAR can capture images of the ocean surface under all weather conditions, day or night. An increasing number of SAR satellites have become available since the early 1990s, such as the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ERS-1/-2 and ENVISAT satellites, the RADARSAT-1/-2 satellites, the COSMO-SkyMed satellites, TERRASAR-X and TANDEM-X, GAOFEN-3, among others. Recently, ESA launched a new generation of SAR satellites (Sentinel-1A in 2014 and Sentinel-1B in 2016). This operational SAR mission, for the frst time, provides researchers with free and open SAR images necessary to carry out broader and deeper investigation of the global oceans.
SAR remote sensing on ocean and coast monitoring has become a research hotspot in geoscience and remote sensing in recent years. This book focuses on ocean dynamical studies of sea surface phenomena, air–sea interactions, manmade object detection, and radar imaging mechanisms. The object of this book is to demonstrate the types of information that may be obtained from SAR images of the ocean and the cutting-edge methods of analyzing the imagery. It is intended for scientifc researchers as well as graduate and/or senior undergraduate students who wish to use remotely sensed radar data in oceanographic research.
This book is divided into four sections. The frst section presents the basic properties of SAR as well as introduces the factors behind how the sea is observed by radar, and subjects are treated in Chapters 1 through 3. The remaining materials are devoted to coastal zone and man-made object detection, ocean environment monitoring, and marine atmospheric boundary layer phenomena observations. In the second section, Chapters 4 through 9 introduce the recent progress in SAR remote sensing of coastal environment and management. In the third section, Chapters 10 through 13 include the state-of-the-art methods for monitoring parameters or phenomena related to the dynamic ocean environment. The fourth section, Chapters 14 through 16 specifcally deal with new techniques and fndings of Marine Atmospheric Boundary Layer Observations.
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