Microwave RS Snow Products: Theory
Ali Nadir Arslan gave an introduction to microwave remote sensing covering radiometry, characteristics, microwave sensors and applications.
During winter season, snow covers about 40 million km2 in the Northern hemisphere. Snow is a vital water resource in many regions of the world. Climatic changes, Earth’s energy balance, water resources are strongly affected by the presence of snow. Knowledge of the amount of snow water equivalent from year to year is essential to estimate the effects of snow melt run-off. Knowing the snow characteristics helps to improve weather forecasts, to predict water supply for hydropower stations, and to anticipate flooding. Microwave sensors such asradiometers and radars are often used because of their usability under varying conditions, factors like clouds, rain and lack of light do not affect the measurement, the large penetration depth into the surface with increasing wavelength, sensitive to liquid water. Understanding of the relationship between microwave signatures and snow is very important for retrieving desired snowpack parameters such as snow density, snow water equivalent and snow wetness.
In this session, we will present a general introduction to microwave remote sensing covering radiometry, characteristics, microwave sensors and applications. We will also provide information on algorithms used to retrieve HSAF snow products from microwave sensors.