Dissertation Defense

Electromagnetic Modeling for Radar Remote Sensing from Snow-packs

Mostafa Zaky

Water is the single most precious resource that exist on our planet. It is everyone’s absolute responsibility to manage and keep such a vital element of life. A substantial amount of water is stored in the form of snow, especially during the winter season. Estimation of the snow-water equivalent is highly desired and the very first step towards reaching this goal is to develop an accurate physics-based scattering model.

The goal of this dissertation is to develop a 3-D electromagnetic scattering model for a snowpack of arbitrary thickness over a rough ground plane. Computer-generated snow media are reconstructed using 3-D spatial exponential correlation functions along with Lineal-Path functions to preserve the connectivity of the snow particles. A fully-coherent computational model is presented through the usage of the Statistical S-Matrix Wave Propagation- in Spectral Domain approach (SSWaP-SD) in conjunction with a numerical EM solver. A Method of Moments (MoM) code based on the Discrete-Dipole Approximation (DDA) is chosen to provide a time-efficient solver and cross-compared with a Finite Element Method (FEM) solver for validation purposes. The underlying rough ground surface response is then estimated through both an analytical technique based on Physical Optics (PO) and a numerical solver based on MoM using a commercial full-wave solver. Finally, the complete response is calculated and validated with measurements.

Chair: Professor Kamal Sarabandi