Ocean surface current measurements from satellites have historically been limited. We propose a new approach to detect ocean surface currents as observed by dual-polarized (VV and VH) spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR). This approach is based on the assumptions that the VH-polarized SAR signal is only generated by the effects of ocean winds creating surface waves, whereas the VV-polarization data are due to the effects of both ocean winds and surface currents. Therefore, the surface currents features may be extracted after retrieving the ocean winds from VH-polarized backscatter and inputting signal due to the wind to the VV-polarized backscatter data. To investigate the performance of this approach under extreme wind conditions, we consider a scene of C-band RADARSAT-2 dual-polarized ScanSAR images over Typhoon Lan (2017) in the open ocean, and we verify our results with current estimates from altimeter data. The ocean current features extracted from the backscatter data that were collected from the SAR images are shown to correspond to an area of strong currents and an oceanic front observed by altimeters. We suggest that the proposed method has the potential capacity to provide information about ocean surface currents from high-resolution dual-polarized ScanSAR images.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited