An application of L-band synthetic aperture radar to tide height measurement

Sang Wan Kim, Sang Hoon Hong, Joong Sun Won

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20 Citations (Scopus)


A method for measuring the tide height near the coast from L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data is presented. Twenty-one coherent interferograms have been successfully constructed from Japanese Eearth Resources Satellite 1 (JERS-1) SAR data obtained over oyster sea-farming structures. A coherence analysis of the 21 interferometric pairs showed that a perpendicular baseline of less than 3 km, with a temporal baseline within 500 days, are required to obtain a coherent pair, with a coherence higher than 0.25, in the study area. The coherent phases preserved in the interferograms showed a close relation with the sea level. The problem of phase unwrapping to restore an absolute tide height was overcome by introducing normalized image intensities. The radar measurements estimated by the proposed method were verified using tide gauge data, and comparison of the two datasets yielded a correlation coefficient R2 of 0.91, with a root mean square error of 5.76 cm. The results demonstrate that radar interferometry can be applied for a tide height measurement near the coast given sufficient structures that return off-nadir radar pulses to the antenna. The multipolarized L-band SAR system will provide better results, using only double-bounced signals, in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1472-1478
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received December 3, 2004; revised February 21, 2005. This work was supported in part by the Yonsei University Research Fund of 2004 and in part by the National Research Lab Project under Grant M1-0302-00-0063 of the Korea Ministry of Science. The JERS-1 SAR data were provided in part by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) under the ALOS Research Program under Contract 120.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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