31 Mar 2021

31 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Polar maps of C-band backscatter parameters from the Advanced Scatterometer

Jessica Cartwright1,2,3,a and Alexander D. Fraser4,5,3 Jessica Cartwright and Alexander D. Fraser
  • 1National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK
  • 2Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK
  • 3Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 80, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
  • 4Australian Antarctic Program Partnership, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  • 5Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  • acurrent address: Spire Global Inc., Glasgow, UK

Abstract. Maps of backscatter anisotropy parameters from the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT), a C-band fan-beam scatterometer, contain unique and valuable data characterising the surface and subsurface of various cryospheric elements, including sea ice and ice sheets. The computational expense and considerable complexity required to produce parameter maps from the raw backscatter data inhibits the wider adoption of ASCAT data. Here, backscatter anisotropy parameter maps gridded at a resolution of 12.5 km per pixel are made available to the community in order to facilitate the exploitation of these parameters for cryospheric applications. These maps have been calculated from the EUMETSAT Level 1B sigma0 product acquired from ASCAT on board MetOp-A, MetOp-B and MetOp-C. The dataset is unique in that it prioritises anisotropy characterisation over temporal resolution, and combines ASCAT data from multiple platforms. The parameterisation chosen assumes a linear falloff of backscatter with incidence angle and a 4th order Fourier series parameterisation of azimuth angle anisotropy. The product (Fraser and Cartwright, 2021) is available at presented on three time scales depending on orbital platform availability: 5-day (2007 to present – MetOp-A only – suitable for users requiring a long time-series), 2-day (2013 to present – MetOp-A and -B), and 1-day resolution (2019 – present – MetOp -A, -B and -C – suitable for users needing both high temporal resolution and detailed anisitropy characterisation).

Jessica Cartwright and Alexander D. Fraser

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-2021-92', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 May 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Jessica Cartwright, 06 Oct 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-92', Anonymous Referee #2, 17 Aug 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Jessica Cartwright, 06 Oct 2021

Jessica Cartwright and Alexander D. Fraser

Data sets

Advanced Scatterometer-derived Arctic and Antarctic backscatter anisotropy parameter maps Fraser, A. D. and Cartwright, J.

Jessica Cartwright and Alexander D. Fraser


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Short summary
Due to the scale and remote nature of the polar regions, it is essential to use satellite remote sensing to monitor and understand them and their dynamics. Here we present data from the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT), processed in a manner proven for use in cryosphere studies. The data has been processed on three timescales (5-day, 2-day and 1-day) in order to optimise temporal resolution as each of the three MetOp satellites are launched.