AuthorShaw, Joseph Alan, 1962-
AdvisorReagan, John A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractOptical glint patterns convey information about the roughness of the surface on which they are formed. This dissertation describes two new optical instruments that relate the variations of specular laser reflections (laser glints) from the sea surface in angular, temporal, and wavenumber space to the surface roughness. Measurements from these instruments are interpreted with the objective of improving the capabilities of remote-sensing instruments that view the ocean surface. Particular attention is paid to cm waves, which are resonant structures for microwave sensors and the most significant component of optical roughness. The scanning-laser glint meter counts laser glints in 1° angular bins over a ± 75° nadir-angle range. The video laser-glint imager is a CCD video camera that images glints from an array of diode lasers. Both instruments were deployed on the research platform FLIP in the Pacific Ocean near the Oregon coast for three weeks during September 1995. Normalized histograms of angular glint counts are interpreted as the probability density function (PDF) of sea-surface slope, a Gram-Charlier expansion of which facilitates studying the variation with wind speed and atmospheric stability of moments through order four. The PDF appears approximately Gaussian, but is skewed toward downwind slopes in the along-wind axis due to asymmetric wind waves. No skewness exists in the cross-wind axis. Slope PDFs also have positive peakedness, increasing the probability of very small and large slopes relative to a Gaussian. Surface roughness is shown to depend strongly on atmospheric stability, which is proportional to the air-water temperature difference. Both the mean-square slope and the peakedness increase with negative stability (water warmer than air) relative to the neutral-stability case (water and air temperatures equal). Increased surface roughness, due to increases in wind speed or negative stability, causes glint-count fractal dimensions to increase, glint-image power spectra to flatten, and glint-image autocorrelations to appear more wrinkled. Glint-image spectra are dominated by glint-size effects, which are related to surface curvature. New ways of modeling the interaction of electromagnetic waves with the ocean surface are suggested by the new fractal and spectral characterizations of surface roughness that are introduced here.
Degree ProgramGraduate College