Polarimetric airborne scientific instrument, mark 2, an ice‐sounding airborne synthetic aperture radar for subglacial 3D imagery
Polarimetric Airborne Scientific INstrument, mark 2 (PASIN2) is a 150 MHz coherent pulsed radar with the purpose of deep ice sounding for bedrock, subglacial channels and ice-water interface detection in Antarctica. It is designed and operated by the British Antarctic Survey from 2014. With multiple antennas, oriented along and across-track, for transmission and reception, it enables polarimetric 3D estimation of the ice base with a single pass, reducing the gridding density of the survey paths. The off-line data processing stream consists of channel calibration; 2D synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging based on back-projection, for along-track and range dimensions; and finally, a direction of arrival estimation (DoA) of the remaining across-track angle, by modifying the non-linear MUSIC algorithm. Calibration flights, during the Antarctic Summer campaigns in 16/17 and 19/20 seasons, assessed and validated the instrument and processing performances. Imaging flights over ice streams and ice shelves close to grounding lines demonstrate the 3D sensing capabilities. By resolving directional ambiguities and accounting for reflector across-track location, the true ice thickness and bed elevation are obtained, thereby removing the error of the usual assumption of vertical DoA, that greatly influence the output of flow models of ice dynamics.
Authors: Arenas-Pingarrón, Álvaro ORCID record for Álvaro Arenas-Pingarrón, Corr, Hugh F.J., Robinson, Carl, Jordan, Tom A. ORCID record for Tom A. Jordan, Brennan, Paul V.