Through the eyes of a microwave: imaging the environment with X-band marine radar

Wednesday 22 November 2017 - 14:00 to 15:00
NOC Liverpool - Nicholson Lecture Theatre (University of Liverpool).
Dr. Dave McCann (NOC)

The remote sensing of the sea surface with marine (X-band) radar is a mature science and now a legitimate companion to traditional in-situ measurement systems. The NOC has been at the cutting edge of remote sensing with X-band marine radar for over two decades, with NOC science being behind some of the most important developments in the field. Using widely available navigational radar technology NOC scientists have measured water depth and tidal currents, visualised turbulent surface eddies and tracked seabirds and killer whales all using data from the same sensor.

‘SAR-like’ long-exposure radar image of the Solent generated using data recorded by the RSS Discovery sailing out from NOC Southampton

This talk will showcase some of the most exciting recent developments and projects in marine radar research at NOC, including:

  • The visualisation of aspect-dependent radar cross section of flying seabirds using a commercially-available marine radar system.
  • Tracking a pair or killer whales off Orkney.
  • The production of high-resolution ‘SAR-like’ imagery of coastal areas from the RSS Discovery.
  • The transition of NOC radar oceanography from shore-based to vessel-based operation.



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