Multi surface retracker for swath processing of interferometric radar altimetry

Albert Garcia-Mondéjar, Noel Gourmelen, Maria José Escorihuela, Mònica Roca, Andrew Shepherd, Stephen Plummer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Swath mode processing of CryoSat-2 Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometric (SARIn) mode has been used to monitor elevation of areas with complex topography such as over ice sheet and ice cap margins. Swath processing relies on an accurate measure of the angle of arrival of the measured echo and, therefore, requires custom strategies in order to resolve the ambiguous phase measurement. In mountainous regions of complex terrain, it may be necessary to apply different phase ambiguities across a waveform record when returns come from different scatters distributed perpendicularly to the CryoSat-2 ground tracks. In this letter, we present modifications to the conventional swath processing method whereby a multisurface retracker is first applied to the record in order to identify potential different scattering surfaces. Phase ambiguity is then independently resolved for each of these subsurfaces. The improvements with this new method over the Karakoram glaciers are a 10% increase in the number of measurements with improvements of almost 50% for individual glaciers and a reduction in the median absolute deviation of the elevations from 20.18 to 14.69 m.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2019

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