22 Oct 2021
22 Oct 2021
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Airborne SnowSAR data at X- and Ku- bands over boreal forest, alpine and tundra snow cover

Juha Lemmetyinen1, Juval Cohen1, Anna Kontu1, Juho Vehviläinen1, Henna-Reetta Hannula1, Ioanna Merkouriadi1, Stefan Scheiblauer2, Helmut Rott2, Thomas Nagler2, Elisabeth Ripper2, Kelly Elder3, Hans-Peter Marshall4, Reinhard Fromm5, Marc Adams5, Chris Derksen6, Joshua King6, Adriano Meta7, Alex Coccia7, Nick Rutter8, Melody Sandells8, Giovanni Macelloni9, Emanuele Santi9, Marion Leduc-Leballeur9, Richard Essery10, Cecile Menard10, and Michael Kern11 Juha Lemmetyinen et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2ENVEO IT GmbH, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 3Rocky Mountain Research Station, US Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • 4Department of Geosciences, Boise State Univ., Boise, ID, USA
  • 5Department of Natural Hazards, Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW), Innsbruck, Austria
  • 6Environment and Climate Change Canada, Climate Research Division, Toronto, Ontario, M3H5T4, Canada
  • 7Metasensing BV, The Netherlands
  • 8Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  • 9Institute of Applied Physics “Nello Carrara”, Florence, Italy
  • 10School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  • 11European Space Research and Technology Center, European Space Agency

Abstract. The European Space Agency SnowSAR instrument is a side looking, dual polarized (VV/VH), X/Ku band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), operable from a small aircraft. Between 2010 and 2013, the instrument was deployed at several sites in Northern Finland, Austrian Alps, and northern Canada. The purpose of the airborne campaigns was to measure the backscattering properties of snow-covered terrain to support the development of snow water equivalent retrieval techniques using SAR. SnowSAR was deployed in Sodankylä, Northern Finland for a single flight mission in March 2011 and twelve missions at two sites (tundra and boreal forest) in the winter of 2011–2012. Over the Austrian Alps, three flight missions were performed between November 2012 and February 2013 over three sites located in different elevation zones, representing a montane valley, Alpine tundra, and a glacier environment. In Canada, a total of two missions were flown in March and April 2013, over sites in the Trail Valley Creek watershed, Northwest Territories, representative of the tundra snow regime. This paper introduces the airborne SAR data, as well as coincident in situ information on land cover, vegetation and snow properties. To facilitate easy access to the data record the datasets described here are deposited in a permanent data repository (; Lemmetyinen et al., 2021).

A temporary link to access the data without login information is provided for reviewers of this manuscript:

Juha Lemmetyinen et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-239', Anonymous Referee #1, 22 Apr 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Juha Lemmetyinen, 25 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-239', Anonymous Referee #2, 15 May 2022

Juha Lemmetyinen et al.

Data sets

Airborne SnowSAR data at X- and Ku- bands over boreal forest, alpine and tundra snow cover. Lemmetyinen, Juha; Cohen, Juval; Kontu, Anna; Vehviläinen, Juho; Hannula, Henna-Reetta; Merkouriadi, Ioanna; Scheiblauer, Stefan; Rott, Helmut; Nagler, Thomas; Ripper, Elisabeth; Elder, Kelly; Marshall, Hans-Peter; Fromm, Reiner; Adams, Marc S.; Derksen, Chris P.; King, Joshua; Meta, Adriano; Coccia, Alex; Rutter, Nick; Sandells, Mel; Macelloni, Giovanni; Santi, Emanuele; Leduc-Leballeur, Marion; Essery, Richard; Menard, Cecile; Kern, Michael

Juha Lemmetyinen et al.


Total article views: 818 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
620 172 26 818 16 15
  • HTML: 620
  • PDF: 172
  • XML: 26
  • Total: 818
  • BibTeX: 16
  • EndNote: 15
Views and downloads (calculated since 22 Oct 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 22 Oct 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 717 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 717 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 17 May 2022
Short summary
The manuscript describes airborne, dual-polarized X and Ku-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data collected over several campaigns over snow covered terrain in Finland, Austria and Canada. Colocated snow and meteorological observations are also presented. The data are meant for science users interested in investigating X/Ku band radar signatures from natural environments in winter conditions.