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Graduate Exam Abstract


Darrin Albers

M.S. Final

January 11, 2012, 9:00

Engineering 126

Design and Fabrication of Direct Detection, MMIC-Based Millimeter-Wave Radiometers at 92 and 130 GHz for Wet-Tropospheric Path Delay Correction for Satellite Altimetry in the Coastal Zone


Abstract: Advances in future ocean satellite altimetry missions are needed to meet oceanographic and hydrological objectives. These needs include accurately determining the sea surface height (SSH) on spatial scales of 10 km and larger, as well as monitoring the height of the world’s inland bodies of water and the flow rate of rivers. The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission was recommended by the National Research Council’s Earth Science Decadal Survey and selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as an accelerated Tier-2 mission to address these needs. Current sea surface altimetry missions use nadir pointing 18-37 GHz microwave radiometers to correct for errors in SSH due to wet-tropospheric path delay. However, at these frequencies oceanic measurements include significant errors within 50 km of coastlines due to varying emissivity and temperature of land. Higher frequencies (90-170 GHz) can provide proportionally smaller footprints for the same antenna size. In turn, this provides improved retrievals of wet-tropospheric path delay near the coasts. This thesis will focus on the design, fabrication, and testing of two direct detection radiometers with internal calibration at center frequencies of 92 and 130 GHz. Component design, testing and integration of the radiometers using multi-chip modules are discussed. The performance of these radiometers is characterized, including noise figure, internal calibration and long-term stability. These performance parameters, along with their mass, volume, and power consumption, will be used as the basis for the development of future airborne and space-borne millimeter-wave direct detection radiometers with internal calibration.

Adviser: Dr. Steven Reising
Co-Adviser: N/A
Non-ECE Member: Dr. Chris Kummerow, ATS
Member 3: Dr. Branislav Notaros, ECE
Addional Members: Dr. Pekka Kangaslahti, JPL

Publications:
Albers, D., S. C. Reising, A. Lee, S. T. Brown, P. Kangaslahti, D. E. Dawson, T. C. Gaier, O. Montes, D. J. Hoppe, and B. Khayatian (2012) "Development, Fabrication, and Demonstration of 92, 130, and 166 GHz Radiometers for Improved Coastal Wet-Tropospheric Correction on SWOT," In: Proc. 2012 USNC-URSI National Radio Science Meeting, Boulder, Colorado, Jan. 2012.

Albers, D., A. Lee, S. C. Reising, S. T. Brown, P. Kangaslahti, D. E. Dawson, T. C. Gaier, O. Montes, D. J. Hoppe and B. Khayatian, "Development, fabrication and testing of a 92 GHz radiometer for improved wet-tropospheric correction on the SWOT mission," IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Vancouver, Canada, Jul. 2011.

Albers, D., S. C. Reising, A. Lee, S. T. Brown, P. Kangaslahti, D. E. Dawson, T. C. Gaier, O. Montes, D. J. Hoppe, and B. Khayatian (2011) "Development and fabrication of a 92-GHz radiometer for improved coastal wet-tropospheric correction on SWOT," In: Proc. 2011 USNC-URSI National Radio Science Meeting, Boulder, Colorado, Jan. 2011.


Program of Study:
ATS652
ECE444
ECE536
ECE548
ECE580A4
ECE641
GSTR500
N/A