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Imaging ionospheric inhomogeneities using spaceborne synthetic aperture radar

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Zhenhong Li


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We present a technique and results of 2-D imaging of Faraday rotation and total electron content using spaceborne L band polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR). The results are obtained by processing PolSAR data collected using the Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) on board the Advanced Land Observation Satellite. Distinguished ionospheric inhomogeneities are captured in 2-D images from space with relatively high resolutions of hundreds of meters to a couple of kilometers in auroral-, middle-, and low-latitude regions. The observed phenomena include aurora-associated ionospheric enhancement arcs, the middle-latitude trough, traveling ionospheric disturbances, and plasma bubbles, as well as ionospheric irregularities. These demonstrate a new capability of spaceborne synthetic aperture radar that will not only provide measurements to correction of ionospheric effects in Earth science imagery but also significantly benefit ionospheric studies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pi X, Freeman A, Chapman B, Rosen P, Li Z

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics

Year: 2011

Volume: 116

Issue: A4

Print publication date: 08/04/2011

ISSN (print): 2169-9380

ISSN (electronic): 2169-9402

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1029/2010JA016267


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