Evolution of remote sensing
sensors technologies is presented, with emphasis on its suitability in observing the polar
regions. The extent of influence of polar regions on the global climate and
vice versa is the spearhead of climate change research. The extensive cover of
sea ice has major impacts on the atmosphere, oceans, and terrestrial and marine
ecosystems of the polar regions in particular and teleconnection on other
processes elsewhere. Sea ice covers vast areas of the polar oceans, ranging
from ~18×106 km2 to ~23×106 km2, combined for the Northern and
Southern Hemispheres. However, both polar regions are witnessing contrasting
rather contradicting effects of climate change. The Arctic sea ice extent is
declining at a rate of 0.53×106 km2·decade–1,
whereasAntarcticaexhibits a positive trend
at the rate of 0.167×106 km2·decade–1.
This work reviews literature published in the field of sea ice remote sensing,
to evaluate and access success and failures of different sensors to observe
physical features of sea ice. The chronological development series of different
sensors on different satellite systems, sensor specifications and datasets are
examined and how they have evolved to meet the growing needs of
users is outlined. Different remote sensing technology and observational methods
and their suitability to observe specific sea ice property are also discussed.
A pattern has emerged,which
shows that microwave sensors are inherently superior to visible and infrared in
monitoring seasonal and annual changes in sea ice.
Degree of successes achieved through remote sensing techniques by various
investigators has been compared. Some technologies appear to work better under
certain conditions than others, and it is now well accepted that there is no
algorithm that is ideal globally. Contribution of Indian remote sensing
satellites is also reviewed in the context of polar research. This review
suggests different primary datasets for further research on sea ice features
(sea ice extent, ice type, sea ice thickness, etc.). This work also examines
past achievements and how far these capabilities have evolved and tap into
current state of art/direction of sensor technologies. Effective monitoring and
syntheses of past few decades of research pinpoint useful datasets for sea
ice monitoring, thereby avoiding wastage of resources to find practical
datasets to monitor these physically inaccessible regions.
Cite this paper
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