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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  30 Oct 2020

30 Oct 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Estimating instantaneous sea-ice dynamics from space using the bi-static radar measurements of Earth Explorer 10 candidate Harmony

Marcel Kleinherenbrink1, Anton Korosov2, Thomas Newman3, Andreas Theodosiou1, Yuanhao Li1, Gert Mulder1, Pierre Rampal2, Julienne Stroeve3, and Paco Lopez-Dekker1 Marcel Kleinherenbrink et al.
  • 1Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Delft University of Technology
  • 2Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center
  • 3Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, University College London

Abstract. This article describes the observation techniques and processing methods to estimate dynamical sea-ice parameters from data of the Earth Explorer 10 candidate Harmony. The two Harmony satellites will fly in a reconfigurable formation with Sentinel-1D. Both will be equipped with a multi-angle thermal infra-red sensor and a passive radar receiver, which receive the reflected Sentinel-1D signals using two antennas. During the lifetime of the mission, two different formations will be flown. In the stereo formation, the Harmony satellites will fly approximately 300 km in front and behind Sentinel-1, which allows the estimation of instantaneous sea-ice drift vectors. We demonstrate that the addition of instantaneous sea-ice drift estimates on top of the daily integrated values from speckle tracking have benefits in terms of interpretation, sampling and resolution. Additionally, it allows for the extraction of deformation parameters, such as shear and divergence. As a result, Harmony's data will help improve sea-ice statistics and parametrizations to constrain sea-ice models. In the cross-track interferometry (XTI) mode, Harmony's satellites will fly in close formation with an XTI baseline to be able to estimate surface elevations. This will allow for improved estimates of sea-ice volume, and also enable for the first time to retrieve full two-dimensional swell-wave spectra in sea-ice covered regions without any gap. In stereo formation, the line-of-sight diversity allows to get swell in both directions using traditional velocity bunching approaches. In XTI mode, Harmony's phase differences are only sensitive to the ground-range direction swell. To fully recover two-dimensional swell-wave spectra, a synergy between XTI height spectra and intensity spectra is required. If selected, the Harmony mission will be launched in 2028.

Marcel Kleinherenbrink et al.

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Marcel Kleinherenbrink et al.

Marcel Kleinherenbrink et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Harmony is one of the Earth Explorer 10 candidates that has the chance to get selected for launch in 2028. The mission consists of two satellites that fly in formation with Sentinel-1D, which carries a side-looking radar system. By receiving Sentinel-1's signals reflected from the surface, Harmony is able to observe instantaneous elevation and two-dimensional velocity at the surface. As such, Harmony's data allow to retrieve sea-ice drift and wave spectra in sea-ice-covered regions.
Harmony is one of the Earth Explorer 10 candidates that has the chance to get selected for...