Ka-band Scattering on Water and Land

Preliminary assessments of near-nadir Ka-band data from the airborne SWOT (AirSWOT) platform revealed complexity in the classification of water surfaces due to heterogeneous surface phenomenology. There is a significant dearth of knowledge surrounding Ka-band scattering for heterogeneous regions containing both water and land. Using a reference surface cover map, we identify separability between 15 surface types under observed conditions. Next, we assess the numerical trends between backscatter, surface moisture, and temperature by creating an ensemble mean of the data subsets representing theoretical observations. In so doing, we identified unique features of water and land backscatter to assess the likelihood of misclassification, opening the door for future applications of Ka-band for surface cover classification and surface change detection.

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