Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 5, 403–415, 2016

Special issue: Multi-disciplinary research and integrated monitoring at the...

Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 5, 403–415, 2016

Research article 07 Sep 2016

Research article | 07 Sep 2016

Nordic Snow Radar Experiment

Juha Lemmetyinen1, Anna Kontu1, Jouni Pulliainen1, Juho Vehviläinen1, Kimmo Rautiainen1, Andreas Wiesmann2, Christian Mätzler2, Charles Werner2, Helmut Rott3,4, Thomas Nagler3, Martin Schneebeli5, Martin Proksch5, Dirk Schüttemeyer6, Michael Kern6, and Malcolm W. J. Davidson6 Juha Lemmetyinen et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Gamma Remote Sensing AG, Gümlingen, Switzerland
  • 3ENVEO IT GmbH, Austria
  • 4Institute of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 5WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, Davos Dorf, Switzerland
  • 6European Space Research and Technology Center, Noordwijk, the Netherlands

Abstract. The objective of the Nordic Snow Radar Experiment (NoSREx) campaign was to provide a continuous time series of active and passive microwave observations of snow cover at a representative location of the Arctic boreal forest area, covering a whole winter season. The activity was a part of Phase A studies for the ESA Earth Explorer 7 candidate mission CoReH2O (Cold Regions Hydrology High-resolution Observatory).

The NoSREx campaign, conducted at the Finnish Meteorological Institute Arctic Research Centre (FMI-ARC) in Sodankylä, Finland, hosted a frequency scanning scatterometer operating at frequencies from X- to Ku-band. The radar observations were complemented by a microwave dual-polarization radiometer system operating from X- to W-bands. In situ measurements consisted of manual snow pit measurements at the main test site as well as extensive automated measurements on snow, ground and meteorological parameters.

This study provides a summary of the obtained data, detailing measurement protocols for each microwave instrument and in situ reference data. A first analysis of the microwave signatures against snow parameters is given, also comparing observed radar backscattering and microwave emission to predictions of an active/passive forward model.

All data, including the raw data observations, are available for research purposes through the European Space Agency and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. A consolidated dataset of observations, comprising the key microwave and in situ observations, is provided through the ESA campaign data portal to enable easy access to the data.