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Journal Article

On the nonlinear mapping of an ocean wave spectrum into a synthetic aperture radar image spectrum and its inversion


Hasselmann,  Klaus
MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

Hasselmann,  Susanne
MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Hasselmann, K., & Hasselmann, S. (1991). On the nonlinear mapping of an ocean wave spectrum into a synthetic aperture radar image spectrum and its inversion. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 96, 10713-10729. doi:10.1029/91JC00302.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-87F9-7
A new, closed nonlinear integral transformation relation is derived describing the mapping of a two-dimensional ocean wave spectrum into a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image spectrum. The general integral relation is expanded in a power series with respect to orders of nonlinearity and velocity bunching. The individual terms of the series can be readily computed using fast Fourier transforms. The convergence of the series is rapid. The series expansion is also useful in identifying the different contributions to the net imaging process, consisting of the real aperture radar (RAR) cross-section modulation, the nonlinear motion (velocity bunching) effects, and their various interaction products. The lowest term of the expansion with respect to nonlinearity order yields a simple quasi-linear approximate mapping relation consisting of the standard linear SAR modulation expression multiplied by an additional nonlinear Gaussian azimuthal cutoff factor. The cutoff scale is given by the rms azimuthal (velocity bunching) displacement. The same cutoff factor applies to all terms of the power series expansion. The nonlinear mapping relation is inverted using a standard first-guess wave spectrum as regularization term. This is needed to overcome the basic 180° mapping ambiguity and the loss of information beyond the azimuthal cutoff. The inversion is solved numerically using an iteration technique based on the successive application of the explicit solution for the quasi-linear mapping approximation, with interposed corrections invoking the full nonlinear mapping expression. A straightforward application of this technique, however, generally yields unrealistic discontinuities of the best fit wave spectrum in the transition region separating the low azimuthal wave number domain, in which useful SAR information is available and the wave spectrum is modified, from the high azimuthal wave number region beyond the azimuthal cutoff, where the first-guess wave spectrum is retained. This difficulty is overcome by applying a two-step inversion procedure. In the first step the energy level of the wave spectrum is adjusted, and the wave number plane rotated and rescaled, without altering the shape of the spectrum. Using the resulting globally fitted spectrum as the new first-guess input spectrum, the original inversion method is then applied without further constraints in a second step to obtain a final fine-scale optimized spectrum. The forward mapping relation and inversion algorithms are illustrated for three Seasat cases representing different wave conditions corresponding to weakly, moderately, and strongly nonlinear imaging conditions.