Polarimetric Scatterometers

FMCW Polarimetric Scatterometers

This series of FMCW scatterometers, operating from 1 GHz to 40 GHz, is designed for near range measurement of the polarimetric response of natural surfaces, such as sea ice,  snow, or terrain.  Scatterometers measure normalized radar cross section (NRCS) and the target Mueller Matrix (alternately the covariance matrix) as a function of incidence angle.  Near field correction software allows calibrated measurements at ranges as close as 1 meter.

These instruments employ an embedded micro-computer that handles all processing tasks as well as hosting the system web page. The only connections required to operate the scatterometers are system power and Ethernet.

We recently introduced two wideband scatterometers operating at Ku-band (6 GHz bandwidth) and Ka-band (10 GHz bandwidth), having 2.5 cm and 1.5 cm resolution, respectively.


  • Radar type: solid-state FMCW
  • Operating Frequency
    • L-band
    • S-band
    • C-band
    • X-band
    • Ku-band
    • Ka-band
  • Transmit bandwidth: 500 MHz-10 GHz depending on center frequency
  • Transmit Power: less than 1 mW
  • Range: 1m-30m
  • Range resolution: 1.5 cm to 30 cm, depending on bandwidth
  • Azimuth coverage: +/-170 degrees
  • Elevation coverage: 15-180 degrees
  • Cross-polarization isolation: >30 dB
  • Transmit/receive polarizations: Linear, Vertical, Horizontal
  • Digitizer: 14 bits resolution, 5MS/s
  • Sensitivity at 15 m range: -30 dB m²
Data Products
  • Target Mueller Matrix
  • Target Covariance Matrix
  • Normalized radar cross-section
  • Co-polarized correlation coefficient magnitude and phase
  • Scatter plots of instantaneous ellipse parameters
Data Product Example Data

Example data products

Normalized Radar Cross Section of crop land vs. elevation angle


Black Trace: VV; red trace: HH; dash traces: VH and HV

Magnitude Correlation Coefficient of crop land


Correlation Coefficient Phase of crop land



System Webpage

System web page for instrument control and real time data display