Ice Concentration Retrieval from the Analysis of Microwaves: A New Methodology Designed for the Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer
Over the last 25 years, the Arctic sea ice has seen its extent decline dramatically. Passive microwave observations, with their ability to penetrate clouds and their independency to sunlight, have been used to provide sea ice concentration (SIC) measurements since the 1970s. The Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer (CIMR) is a high priority candidate mission within the European Copernicus Expansion program, with a special focus on the observation of the polar regions. It will observe at 6.9
... ill observe at 6.9 and 10.65 GHz with 15 km spatial resolution, and at 18.7 and 36.5 GHz with 5 km spatial resolution. SIC algorithms are based on empirical methods, using the difference in radiometric signatures between the ocean and sea ice. Up to now, the existing algorithms have been limited in the number of channels they use. In this study, we proposed a new SIC algorithm called Ice Concentration REtrieval from the Analysis of Microwaves (IceCREAM). It can accommodate a large range of channels, and it is based on the optimal estimation. Linear relationships between the satellite measurements and the SIC are derived from the Round Robin Data Package of the sea ice Climate Change Initiative. The 6 and 10 GHz channels are very sensitive to the sea ice presence, whereas the 18 and 36 GHz channels have a better spatial resolution. A data fusion method is proposed to combine these two estimations. Therefore, IceCREAM will provide SIC estimates with the good accuracy of the 6+10GHz combination, and the high spatial resolution of the 18+36GHz combination.