Sea ice detection based on differential Delay-Doppler Maps from UK TechDemoSat-1

Yongchao Zhu, Kegen Yu, Jingui Zou*, Jens Wickert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals can be exploited to remotely sense atmosphere and land and ocean surface to retrieve a range of geophysical parameters. This paper proposes two new methods, termed as power-summation of differential Delay-Doppler Maps (PS-D) and pixel-number of differential Delay-Doppler Maps (PN-D), to distinguish between sea ice and sea water using differential Delay-Doppler Maps (dDDMs). PS-D and PN-D make use of power-summation and pixel-number of dDDMs, respectively, to measure the degree of difference between two DDMs so as to determine the transition state (water-water, water-ice, ice-ice and ice-water) and hence ice and water are detected. Moreover, an adaptive incoherent averaging of DDMs is employed to improve the computational efficiency. A large number of DDMs recorded by UK TechDemoSat-1 (TDS-1) over the Arctic region are used to test the proposed sea ice detection methods. Through evaluating against ground-truth measurements from the Ocean Sea Ice SAF, the proposed PS-D and PN-D methods achieve a probability of detection of 99.72% and 99.69% respectively, while the probability of false detection is 0.28% and 0.31% respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1614
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • sea ice
  • GNSS-R
  • Delay-Doppler Map (DDM)
  • differential DDM (dDDM)
  • UK TechDemoSat-1 (TDS-1)


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