School of Mechanical Engineering Ron Abileah
School of Mechanical Engineering Seminar
Monday, March 19, 2018 at 14:00
Wolfson Building of Mechanical Engineering, Room 206
Mapping coastal bathymetry with X-band radar
JOmegaK consultancy firm
Mapping the nearshore bathymetry is important for navigation safety and coastal engineering, Sidescan sonar bathymetry is slow and expensive and there is great interest in using remote sensing to do it faster and cheaper. One method inverts surface wave speed into depth. This is a 100+ year old idea which is now established and even commercialized, but mostly ignored. The problem with it is the relatively poor spatial resolution. The wave motion inversion uses FFTs of 200 m x 200 m wave images. So the spatial resolution of the bathymetry maps is 200 m, which is too coarse for most users. Especially for navigation the goal is <10m.
A new paradigm in wave speed–depth inversion is proposed that overcomes the resolution limitation with FFTs. A time series of ocean wave images was obtained with an X-band radar to demonstrate better resolution, possibly as good as 10 m. The analysis is ongoing as this abstract is written. The TAU seminar will be the first to report the results.
My entire professional life has been in remote sensing (45 years and counting). I started with Earth – to –stars (i.e., astronomy) but took an early turn to remote sensing from satellites –to –Earth (it pays much better). My career has gone through four stages. First, in a research institution (SRI International) doing lots of government funded research projects. My favorite (it didn’t pay much but was the most fun) was tracking humpback whales from Hawaii to Alaska. Second, joined a startup company (Vista Research) and invented a new radar (google Widop radar). Third, consulting. And now on the fourth leg: tinkering in whatever sounds interesting which is currently ocean waves with radar and optical satellites. There will be a lot on that in the TAU seminar talk.