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Signature of Lighthouses, Ships, and Small Islands in Altimeter Waveforms

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  • 1 Département d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, IFREMER, Plouzané, France
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Abstract

High-rate (20 Hz) altimeter echo waveforms are particularly sensitive to small-scale changes of surface backscatter and they contain a wealth of information on the sea surface. A detailed analysis of these waveforms often reveals the signatures of objects that emerge from the sea. Such objects, such as beacons, lighthouses, ships, and small islands, have deterministic signatures that can be estimated using simple geometry. Examples of signatures of ships, beacons, and islands in the TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason altimeters waveforms are presented and analyzed. Some potential applications are also presented.

Corresponding author address: J. Tournadre, IFREMER, Technopole Brest-Iroise, 29280 Plouzané, France. Email: jean.tournadre@ifremer.fr

Abstract

High-rate (20 Hz) altimeter echo waveforms are particularly sensitive to small-scale changes of surface backscatter and they contain a wealth of information on the sea surface. A detailed analysis of these waveforms often reveals the signatures of objects that emerge from the sea. Such objects, such as beacons, lighthouses, ships, and small islands, have deterministic signatures that can be estimated using simple geometry. Examples of signatures of ships, beacons, and islands in the TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason altimeters waveforms are presented and analyzed. Some potential applications are also presented.

Corresponding author address: J. Tournadre, IFREMER, Technopole Brest-Iroise, 29280 Plouzané, France. Email: jean.tournadre@ifremer.fr

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