Surface Current Measurements Using X-Band Marine Radar With Vertical Polarization


In this paper, the retrieval of sea surface current velocity from vertically polarized (V-pol) X-band marine radar data is presented. Three different methods, including the iterative least square approach, the normalized scalar product method, and the polar current shell algorithm, that have been used for horizontally polarized data are employed here. A comprehensive comparison of the performance of the three methods is conducted using the radar images collected by the V-pol radar deployed on the Forschungsplattformen in Nord- und Ostsee No. 3 (FINO3) offshore research platform and the acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) data in the North Sea. The results indicate that all three methods are capable of providing reliable current speed and direction measurements from V-pol data, with similar performance. Based on the experimental data for which the current magnitude is less than 0.5 m/s, the radar-derived results agree best with the ADCP data at a depth of 6–8 m, with the root mean square difference for current velocity x - and y -components being 7.2–8.9 cm/s. The correlation coefficients between the radar-derived and ADCP-measured current velocity components are as high as 0.87–0.93.
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