Microwave emissions from breaking waves and foam

Projet en cours

Project leader Université de Toulon - LSEET
Research partners Ifremer, CETP-CNRS
Cofinanceur publics ANR
Year of labeling 2009 – Joint Certification by Pôle Mer Bretagne
Year of co-financing 2009

The main objective of this project is to gain better understanding and interpretation of the influence of phenomena associated with tidal surge through the use of remote sensing of active and passive microwave emissions on the ocean. These phenomena include several aspects of the ocean surface: non-Gaussian waves, surface roughness and breaking waves, and sea foam. Incorporating these effects into remote sensing models is essential for the inversion procedures of ocean geophysical parameters (temperature and ocean surface salinity, wind and sea state).

There is currently no global hydrodynamic and electromagnetic model defining the interaction of microwaves with the sea surface in the presence of breaking waves. It is the aim of this project to further this goal by following two approaches:

  • Theoretical approach: develop a unified theoretical framework taking into account all relevant aspects of breaking waves for remote sensing of microwave emissions during moderate to strong winds. This description will include statistics of non-Gaussian waves, the occurrence of breaking waves and the resulting foam, whilst remaining sufficiently flexible from an analytical and digital approach. It will be coupled with recent effective electromagnetic diffusion models. Typical configurations of remote sensing will be retained: active or passive survey with a moderate frequency (relevant for satellite missions and airborne) and active survey with occasional frequency (for coastal radars and boats)
  • Experimental approach: experimental validation of theoretical developments in bringing together a maximum of simultaneous measurements in different configurations: on site measurements, satellite data, optical images, radar and radiometric survey in different bands. This study is based on several sets of experimental data already in existence.