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Radio-Tomography of the Ocean


Diagnostics of Near-Water Wind Velocity, Surface Currents and Contamination of Oceans and Seas by Radar Methods. Methods, Procedures and Facilities for Computer Radar Tomography of Undersea Phenomena

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-NGD/Fluid Mechanics and Gas Dynamics/Physics
  • PHY-RAW/Radiofrequency Waves/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
TsNII Kometa, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of Oceanology, Russia, Moscow


  • University of Uppsala, Sweden, Uppsala

Project summary

The project is aimed to theoretical justification and practical realization of methods of diagnostics of surface current velocity and near-surface wind using results of aerospace measurements of sea surface.

When aerospace measuring of sea surface the registered signal is related to space-time spectrum of surface waves. But modeling sea surface is based on kinetic equation for space wave spectrum. Relation of the space wave spectrum with the space-time spectrum is now undetermined and requires some additional hypothesis or field measurements.

In this project, one suggests a systematic procedure for obtaining of space-time spectrum of surface waves through to space spectrum taking into account wave nonlinearity. In this procedure the space-time spectrum of horizontally uniform "background" is transformed to space-time spectrum on nonuniform current using Doppler relation. Explicit form of nonuniform current as sum of components ("current attributes") is obtain from solution of inverse hydrodynamical with help of radar-tomography procedure. In condition of unsteady wavy sea the radar-tomography procedure is realized with the help of radar and algorithms based on constructive logic of fuzzy sets.

Thus in the framework of the project one considers a principal new direction of improving of satellite-radar diagnostic (sea radar-tomography). The method is based on constructing of image of undersea perturbations from the multi-frequency radar data of sea surface.

The fundamentals of radar-tomography approach to underwater perturbations recognizing are given in the book "Methods, procedures, and facilities of aerospace computer radar tomography of near-surface Earth region" Moscow, Nauchnuy Mir, 1997, Ed. By S.V. Nesterov, S.I. Shamaev, and A.S. Shamaev.

One of a basic project aims is elaboration of a method and testing of radar tomography algorithms. The approbation of the method and its efficiency will be carried out by comparison of the results of calculations of sea bottom characteristics in coastal regions with the actual data.

The radar tomography diagnostics with aerospace facilities permits:

- to trace variations of current boundaries and related with its boundaries of fish accumulations;
- to give notifications about natural disasters caused by eruption of underwater volcanoes, underwater earthquakes
- to use an information concerning bottom topography in coastal region for providing save shipping and for determination of shelf perspective from the point of view of finding oil and gas resources.
- to determine directions of material and pollutant transfer.
- to solve wide range of other social and scientific problems with cannot be resolved by using traditional radar methods.
- to estimate damping of wind waves by surface film contamination.

Role of foreign collaborators maybe as follows:

- Participation in the development of project proposal and work plan
- Exchange of information during project implementation
- Mutual review of technical reports
- Joint seminars, workshops, meetings, consultations
- Verification of results using independent methods and/or equipment
- Sharing of scarce materials, samples, resources
- Joint or parallel investigations
- Consultation on Intellectual Property Rights, in case of joint invention

Possible collaborators are National Ocean and Atmospheric Association (USA) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (California Institute of Technology, USA).


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