Airborne dual-polarization observations of sea-surface normalized radar cross-section (NRCS) were conducted over the North Atlantic during Jan–Feb 2011. Observations were made using the University of Massachusetts’ Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler (IWRAP) radar system installed on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) WP-3D research aircraft during several winter storm events to determine the high-wind response of the sea-surface NRCS for both horizontal and vertical polarizations. During the flights, the aircraft performed several constant-roll circle maneuvers to allow collection of NRCS over a range of incidence angles. We find consistency with prior reports in the polarization ratio observed at moderate incidence angles at the winds encountered. For larger incidence angles, we observe a measurable decrease in polarization ratio with increasing wind speed.
- ocean winds,
- polarization ratio,