Sea surface mesoscale structures imaged by the synthetic aperture radar
Antonio Martínez, Jordi Font, Victoriano Moreno, Emili García
The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is an active sensor working in the frequency range of the microwaves. Its distinctive characteristic is the synthesis of a large antenna through the study of the phase of the received pulses over an integration time. The possibility of producing high resolution images regardless of the weather conditions makes SAR a very suitable sensor for the remote sensing of the ocean surface. In this paper we present the main characteristics of SAR, several techniques of image processing, and its applications to the study of sea surface structures, especially those related to mesoscale currents. We describe one of the first SAR images acquired by the European ERS-1 satellite in 1991 in the western Mediterranean.