Radar Remote Sensing

I have a strong interest in developing Radar techniques for Glaciology. Glaciers and ice sheets are difficult to access and many interesting processes cannot be observed due to adverse weather conditions that can halt field campaigns in an instant. Radar sensors can fill the gap left behind by optical instruments by acquiring continuous measurements of Earth surface processes without interruption. They can also operate at night, which is a major advantage in the Polar regions where there is 24/7 darkness during winter.

The AVTIS millimetre wave radar. Photo from W.D. Harcourt.

In my research, I am developing the method of ground-based millimetre wave radar for glacier remote sensing. Millimetre waves are at the high frequency end of microwave techniques and offer a compromise between the benefits of optical instruments and low frequency radar systems. Specifically, they can acquire data at high angular resolution and in the presence of atmospheric obscurants. Further, ground-based sensors can measure glacier processes at the scale of hours to days, elucidating changes on spatial and temporal scales unresolvable by satellite techniques. This exciting new research will be applied to a number of glaciological problems (see here) and will enhance the suite of Remote Sensing instruments able to monitor glacier processes.