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Phase-Resolved Wave Field Simulation Calibration of Sea Surface Reconstruction Using Noncoherent Marine Radar

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  • 1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
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Abstract

The possibility of reconstructing sea surface wave fields from a noncoherent X-band marine radar return has much potential for maritime operations and ocean engineering. The existing reconstruction method extracts the signal associated with gravity waves that satisfy the dispersion relationship. The process involves parameters related to how the radar signal is modulated by waves of different lengths, propagation directions, amplitudes, and phases. In the absence of independent wave measurements, these reconstruction parameters cannot be rationally adjusted according to wave field conditions, and the predictions are generally of uneven accuracy and reliability. A new reconstruction method based on concurrent phase-resolved wave field simulations is proposed. By maximizing the correlation between the reconstructed and simulated wave fields over time, optimal values of the reconstruction parameters are obtained that are found to vary appreciably with the wave field properties and with the location and size of the subdomain being sensed and reconstructed. With this phase-resolved simulation calibrated (PRSC) approach, the correlation between the evolving reconstructed wave field and that based on phase-resolved simulation, which measures the consistency and fidelity of the reconstruction, is improved significantly (by up to a factor of 2) and is obtained in a substantially broader range of sea states compared to existing methods.

Corresponding author address: Dick K. P. Yue, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139. E-mail: yue@mit.edu

Abstract

The possibility of reconstructing sea surface wave fields from a noncoherent X-band marine radar return has much potential for maritime operations and ocean engineering. The existing reconstruction method extracts the signal associated with gravity waves that satisfy the dispersion relationship. The process involves parameters related to how the radar signal is modulated by waves of different lengths, propagation directions, amplitudes, and phases. In the absence of independent wave measurements, these reconstruction parameters cannot be rationally adjusted according to wave field conditions, and the predictions are generally of uneven accuracy and reliability. A new reconstruction method based on concurrent phase-resolved wave field simulations is proposed. By maximizing the correlation between the reconstructed and simulated wave fields over time, optimal values of the reconstruction parameters are obtained that are found to vary appreciably with the wave field properties and with the location and size of the subdomain being sensed and reconstructed. With this phase-resolved simulation calibrated (PRSC) approach, the correlation between the evolving reconstructed wave field and that based on phase-resolved simulation, which measures the consistency and fidelity of the reconstruction, is improved significantly (by up to a factor of 2) and is obtained in a substantially broader range of sea states compared to existing methods.

Corresponding author address: Dick K. P. Yue, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139. E-mail: yue@mit.edu
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