Wave Height Estimation from Shipborne X-Band Nautical Radar Images

Liu, Xinlong and Huang, Weimin and Gill, Eric William (2016) Wave Height Estimation from Shipborne X-Band Nautical Radar Images. Journal of Sensors, 2016. ISSN 1687-7268

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A shadowing-analysis-based algorithm is modified to estimate significant wave height from shipborne X-band nautical radar images. Shadowed areas are first extracted from the image through edge detection. Smith’s function fit is then applied to illumination ratios to derive the root mean square (RMS) surface slope. From the RMS surface slope and the mean wave period, the significant wave height is estimated. A data quality control process is implemented to exclude rain-contaminated and low-backscatter images. A smoothing scheme is applied to the gray scale intensity histogram of edge pixels to improve the accuracy of the shadow threshold determination. Rather than a single full shadow image, a time sequence of shadow image subareas surrounding the upwind direction is used to calculate the average RMS surface slope. It has been found that the wave height retrieved from the modified algorithm is underestimated under rain and storm conditions and overestimated for cases with low wind speed. The modified method produces promising results by comparing radar-derived wave heights with buoy data, and the RMS difference is found be 0.59 m.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11971
Item ID: 11971
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: 2016
Date Type: Publication
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