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Ice penetrating radar system development

From 2009 to 2021 NASA sponsored airborne laser altimetry and radar sounding of Alaskan glaciers through Operation IceBridge. I participated from 2017-2021, leading the development of the Arizona Radio-Echo Sounder (ARES). ARES is a high-MF to low-HF chirped radar that is designed to sound thick (~300m to ~1600m) temperate glaciers from an aircraft.

Article about Operation IceBridge Alaska.

Surface clutter simulation

Clutter simulation compared to radargram

Simple antennas with poor directionality transmit significant power off-nadir, and therefore can receive significant reflections from off-nadir topography. These off-nadir reflections can arrive at a similar travel time to reflections from the nadir subsurface, and therefore be misinterpreted as originating in the subsurface. One way to confront this uncertainty is to model the radar reflections expected from topography and compare the result to observed data. This allows an interpreter to rule out candidate subsurface reflections that coincide with modeled topographic reflections.

As an undergraduate at the University of Texas I re-implemented an existing algorithm for modeling radar reflections from a surface. While I was research staff at the University of Arizona I led the generation of a dataset of topography reflection models (a.k.a. surface clutter simulations) corresponding to data products generated by the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument onboard the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter. This dataset was delivered to NASA's Planetary Data System and is intended to be a resource for users of SHARAD data.

The image to the left shows SHARAD data (top) and the corresponding clutter simulation (bottom).

Interpolating radar sounding data from mountain glaciers

Hubbard glacier with radar flights lines and interpolated bed elevation

Drone Photogrammetry

3D printing planetary surfaces

Article about a 3D print of the Jezero Crater using a file that was generated with the code here.