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Microwave Radiometry

ESL’s Multi-frequency radiometerESL’s Multi-frequency radiometer (MFRAD) is capable of measuring naturally emitted signals at 37 frequency channels from 2-18 GHz

Microwave radiometry involves measuring naturally emitted signals from an object or scene in order to determine properties of the scene observed.

ElectroScience Laboratory researchers are developing theoretical electromagnetic models to understand microwave radiometer measurements, investigating new radiometer technologies, and supporting the analysis of measured data from airborne and spaceborne radiometers.

An example of work in this area is NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, which includes an L-band microwave radiometer for measuring soil moisture. ESL researchers have supported the design of the radiometer, including its dedicated subsystem for detection and mitigating radio frequency interference.

Faculty/Researcher Contacts: Dr. Joel Johnson, Dr. Caglar Yardim.

 

Sample MFRAD measurement of a subsurface objectSample MFRAD measurement of a subsurface object (color is the observed brightness temperature, horizontal axis is antenna position, vertical axis, frequency). Oscillatory pattern in frequency indicates presence of subsurface object.

 

ESL’s radio frequency interference backend (bottom) deployed with NASA JPL’s PALS radiometer ESL’s radio frequency interference backend (bottom) deployed with NASA JPL’s PALS radiometer for airborne measurements