ECEn 568 Microwave Remote Sensing Data Analysis Assignment


For the data analysis assignment, you will conduct an original research project using an actual satellite microwave data set and write a journal-style paper to report your results. In conjunction with the instructor select a data set and project. Several are suggested below. You are strongly encouraged to develop you own research problem. It is expected that your project will take 40-60 hours of work at the minimium to do the data analysis and write up your paper. You will have to become familiar with the particular microwave sensor and how it works, the data set, how to read and analyze the data, and then conduct an original analysis of the data. You will be expected to make a short (15 min) oral presentation describing the results of your experiement.

The goal of this assignment is to give you some experience at looking at a new (and initially unfamiliar) problem. To "really" work the problem in detail will require more time than we can spend in this little assignment. As a result, you can really only begin the project. However, enjoy the experience. Try to make as much progress as you can. Remember: the key result is the writeup.

Excellent work may be submitted to a conference such as IGARSS or a journal such as TGARS or GRSL. One of these research projects could become the foundation of a good Master's Thesis. Both of these have happened in previous classes.

The following is a list of potential research projects; however, I am open to your suggestions and I encourage you to develop an original project. If you have a pet research project you would like to use, see me. In any case, I must approve your selected project.

Note: sample data sets and reader software are only available to students currently enrolled in the course at BYU.

OSCAT

The Indian OceanSat-2 scatterometer (OSCAT) is a spaceborne scatterometer launched in 2009 and operated through the start of 2014.. It is very similar to SeaWinds. This similarity can be exploited to extend the climate record started by SeaWinds, but this requires dealing with the differences in the two sensors. Key differences include the local-time-of-day of the observations and the observation incidence angles. BYU has produced an extensive set of images of the land and ice regions of the earth as part of the Scatterometer Climate Record Pathfinder project. Software, documentation, and data for BYU products is available via from the Scatterometer Climate Record Pathfinder (URL http://www.scp.byu.edu).

Assignment:

Select one (1) analyze OSCAT data to evaluate the wind measurement accuracy against either bouys or subjective analyses, (2) analyze the effectiveness of OSCAT data for measuring landcover characteristics such as canopy density, rain detection, etc. (3) cross-calibrate data from OSCAT and SeaWinds to study time-of-day effects over land or ice. (4) study a time series of SeaWindsa + OSCAT backscatter images to evaluate seasonal and/or long term changes in some area of Earth. (5) use scattering theory to "explain" the backscatter features seen in SeaWinds backscatter images, including the temporal evolution..

Data and code:

Software, documentation, and data for BYU products is available via from the Scatterometer Climate Record Pathfinder (URL http://www.scp.byu.edu) and from Dr. Long..

SeaWinds

SeaWinds is a spaceborne scatterometer launched aboard QuikSCAT in 1999, with second one launched in Dec. 2002 aboard ADEOS-2. While ADEOS-2 operated for only 10 months, over 10 years of QuikSCAT data was been collected, an enormous data set of Ku-band sigma-0 measurements over the Earth's surface at two incidence angles and a variety of azimuth angles. During the so-called "tandem mission".,when both SeaWinds instruments were operating, it is possible to resolve daily diurnal cycles. While originally designed to measure winds over the ocean, SeaWinds data has also been successfully use for land and ice observations. BYU has produced an extensive set of images of the land and ice regions of the earth as part of the Scatterometer Climate Record Pathfinder project. Two forms of data are available: (1) JPL-produced data files containing wind measurements and (2) BYU-produced backscatter imagery. Data and software for the former is available from the JPL Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive center. Software, documentation, and data for BYU products is available via from the Scatterometer Climate Record Pathfinder (URL http://www.scp.byu.edu).

Assignment:

Select one (1) analyze SeaWinds L2B wind data to evaluate the wind measurement accuracy against either bouys or subjective analyses, (2) analyze the effectiveness of SeaWinds data for measuring landcover characteristics such as canopy density, rain detection, etc. (3) use tandem mission data to study time-of-day effects over land or ice. (4) study a time series of backscatter images to evaluate seasonal and/or long term changes in some area of Earth. (5) use scattering theory to "explain" the backscatter features seen in SeaWinds backscatter images, including the temporal evolution. (6) use seasonal histograms of backscatter over sea ice in the Arctic to identify and map multi-year sea ice.

Data and code:

Two forms of data are available: (1) JPL-produced data files containing sigma-0 and wind measurements and (2) BYU-produced imagry. Data and software for the former is available through Dr. Long and from the JPL Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive center. Software, documentation, and data for BYU products is available via from the Scatterometer Climate Record Pathfinder (URL http://www.scp.byu.edu).

NSCAT

The NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT) is a spaceborne scatterometer which flew for 9 months during 1996-97. It collected a huge data set of Ku-band sigma-0 measurements over the Earth's surface at dual polarization over a wide range of incidence angles. While originally designed to measure winds over the ocean, it has also been successfully used for land and ice observations. Two forms of data are available: (1) JPL-produced data files containing sigma-0 and wind measurements and (2) BYU-produced imagry. Data and software for the former is available through Dr. Long and from the JPL Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive center. Software, documentation, and data for BYU products is available via from the Scatterometer Climate Record Pathfinder (URL http://www.scp.byu.edu).

Assignment:

Either (1) analyze NSCAT data to evaluate the wind measurement accuracy against either bous or subjective analyses or (2) analyze the effectiveness of NSCAT data for measuring landcover characteristics such as canopy density, etc.

Data and code:

Two forms of data are available: (1) JPL-produced data files containing sigma-0 and wind measurements and (2) BYU-produced imagry. Software for the former is available with hardcopy documentation from Dr. Long. Software, documentation, and sample data for the latter is available via MERS web site. Land Image data is available from the Scatterometer Climate Record Pathfinder (URL http://www.scp.byu.edu).

YINSAR

SAR technology is becoming increasing important. BYU has developed a compact, low cost interferometric SAR known as YINSAR (see the MERS web site). YINSAR has been used extensively for landslide and archeological research.

Assignment:

(1) Analyze the topographic accuracy of YINSAR data or (2) develop methods for visualizing landlide flow

Data and code:

See the instructor.

SIR-C/X-SAR

SIR-C/X-SAR are spaceborne SAR systems which fly aboard the space shuttle. Hundreds of SAR scenes have been collected.

Assignment:

Demonstrate the use of SAR imagery in land cover analysis, mapping, and time series analysis.

Data and code:

We have a set of CD-roms of processed SIR-C/X-SAR data obtain from NASA. Data is also available for download directly from JPL. An on-line catalog and documentation are available at the NASA/JPL Radar web site. You can use JPL's coverage map to determine the particular data take, image, and CD-rom number (e.g. SIRC_FL1_51). We currently have the following CD-roms:

SIR-C Flight 1: SIRC_FL1_01 through SIRC_FL1_55
SIR-C Flight 2: SIRC_FL2_01 through SIRC_FL2_46
X-SAR Flight 1: SRX_FL1_001 through SRX_FL1_049

We also have SIRC_ED02, an educational CD.

See Dr. Long about obtaining access to the CDs. They have to be checked out and returned. Data is also available on line from JPL. Alternately, you can analyze some of the SAR data collected by BYU SAR systems.

SSM/I, SSMIS, or AMSR

Passive microwave radiometers such as the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) or the Advanced Microwave Sensor Radiometer (AMSR) are used primarily for atmospheric and ocean surface observation. However, they can also be used for land and ice studies.

Assignment: (choose one)

(a) Analyze the spatial/temporal distribution of rain from SSM/I or AMSR data over either ocean or rainforest regions. (b) Evaluate the utility of image data for sea ice or vegetation classification.

Data and code:

You can also order data directly from NASA at http://ghrc.msfc.nasa.gov/. This site has additional documentation and information. SSM/I and AMSR-E data has been processed into images here at BYU. See the instructor for details.

TRMM-PR

The Tropical Rain Mapping Mission (TRMM) carries both a multi-channel radiometer and a Ku-band precipitation radar (PR) designed to measure rain over the tropics. The PR has a 4 km spatial resolution and 250 m vertical resolution while the TRMM radiometer has variable resolution.

Assignment: (choose one)

(a) Analyze the spatial/temoporal distribution of rain from TRMM data and the relationship between rain and the surface backscatter over tropical rainforest regions. (b) Compare collocated TRMM radiometer and PR data over tropical rainforest regions with and without rain.

Data and code:

TRMM has a lot of data products all available in HDF format. The MERS lab has several file sets. Data can be obtained from Haroon Stephen. For example, 2A21. For this product we have some reader software and sample data. The program trmm_tk and trmm_tkf read the HDF files and convert them to ASCII suitable for reading into matlab. See Dr. Long for Documentation.

YSCAT

YSCAT is a BYU-developed ultra-wideband tower-mounted scatterometer which was deployed for 6 months on a rsearch tower in Lake Ontario and 6 months on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. YSCAT collected a time-series of sigma-0 measurements versus environmental parameters.

Assignment:

Either (a) analyze the summary sigma-0 data set to develop a broad band model function relating vector wind and sigma-0; (b) analyze the sensitivity of sigma-0 to wave parameters including wave slope; or (c) analyze the complete YSCAT data set for wind speed slope sensivity.

Data and code:

Original source code for processing the raw YSCAT data is contained in /cers0/long/yscat/. The product of this code are a set of ascii files (*.dat) which are documented in the docs/ subdirectory.

ZSCAT

ZSCAT is a pair of small CW scatterometer systems which were deployed along side YSCAT. One was mounted at nadir while the other operated at 10 deg incidence.

Data and code:

Original source code for processing the raw ZSCAT data is contained in /cers0/long/yscat/. The product of this code are a set of ascii files (*.dat) which are documented in the docs/ subdirectory.

Assignment:

Analyze ZSCAT data to demonstrate the senstivity of sigma-0 to the directional wave spectrum.

Multisensor Analyses

Some of the most interesting recent work in microwave remote sensing comes from sensor fusion (using multiple sensors).

Assignment: (choose one)

(a) Collocate (in time and space) SeaWinds and TRMM PR data over tropical rain forests and evaluate the effects of rain on the measurements. (b) Compare collocated TRMM radiometer and SSM/I data over land regions. (c) Compare collocated TRMM PR and SeaWinds data over land regions.


Last revised: Aug. 2014