On the detection of crevasses in glacial ice with synthetic-aperture radar. Page: 3 of 174
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Printed February 2010
On the Detection of Crevasses in Glacial
Ice with Synthetic-Aperture Radar
Billy C. Brock
SAR Sensor Technologies Department
Sandia National Laboratories
P.O. Box 5800
Albuquerque, NM 87185-0529
The intent of this study is to provide an analysis of the scattering from a crevasse in
Antarctic ice, utilizing a physics-based model for the scattering process. Of primary
interest is a crevasse covered with a snow bridge, which makes the crevasse
undetectable in visible-light images. It is demonstrated that a crevasse covered with a
snow bridge can be visible in synthetic-aperture-radar (SAR) images. The model of the
crevasse and snow bridge incorporates a complex dielectric permittivity model for dry
snow and ice that takes into account the density profile of the glacier. The surface
structure is based on a fractal model that can produce sastrugi-like features found on
the surface of Antarctic glaciers. Simulated phase histories, computed with the
Shooting and Bouncing Ray (SBR) method, are processed into SAR images. The
viability of the SBR method for predicting scattering from a crevasse covered with a
snow bridge is demonstrated. Some suggestions for improving the model are given.
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Brock, Billy C. On the detection of crevasses in glacial ice with synthetic-aperture radar., report, February 1, 2010; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1013276/m1/3/: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.