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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (M.S.E.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



radar, FOPAIR, ocean, inversion, sea spikes


The ocean influences global weather patterns, stores and transports heat, and supports entire ecosystems. An area of interest is the relationship between the observed backscattered power received by a surface-based marine radar and the ocean surface topography. Current methods for obtaining surface elevation maps involve either in situ devices, which only provide point measurements, or an interferometric radar, which can be costly. During the late 1990's and early 2000's a radar was built at UMass, called the Focused Phased Array Imaging Radar II (FOPAIR II), and deployed at a several locations. A method is discussed to determine a transfer function between displacement and backscattered power for each of the range bins used by the radar and evaluate it's accuracy by applying the transfer function to separate data sets. In addition, it is known that horizontal polarized (H-Pol) backscatter exhibits a very different characteristic than vertical polarization (V-Pol). The horizontal polarization data exhibits less echo power except for intermittent bright spots, colloquially called “sea spikes'', that only briefly occur. Determining if there is correlation between these bright returns and a characteristic of the of the surface topography is investigated.


First Advisor

Stephen J Frasier