Polarimetric Ku-Band Scatterometer (PolSCAT)


Operated By: 

PolSCAT equipment rack install on Twin Otter

PolSCAT is a Ku-band polarmetric scanning scatterometer operating at 13.95 GHz. with an approved NASA license. The transmitting polarizations of PolSCAT, alternating between Vertical and Horizontal, from pulse to pulse. Two receivers detect the V and H polarized radar echoes simultaneously allowing for measurements of VV, HH, VH, and HV radar responses. It provides scalable resolution, between 3,000 and 20,000 feet AGL.

The PolSCAT antenna assembly includes two axis gimbals for conically scanning, parabolic antenna, which is controlled from 0° (nadir) to 65 degrees. It was designed and built to investigate the benefits of active microwave for the remote sensing of high resolution snow-water-equivalent (SWE).

PolSCAT’s flexible design is compatible with many aircraft. It has flown on the NCAR C-130, NASA’s DC-8, P-3, and Twin Otter International’s, Twin Otter. Flown more than 500 hours in support of NASA’s Cold Land Process (CLPX) campaigns, PolSCAT is a very mature instrument.

Instrument Type: 
Point(s) of Contact: 
Simon Yueh (Prev PI), Steven J Dinardo (POC; PI), Deborah G. Vane (PI)