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Samiur Rahman (Department of Electronic Engineering): Phase-sensitive FMCW radar for high precision Antarctic ice shelf profile monitoring and imaging
Ice shelves are the floating extensions of Ice sheets. They essentially bottleneck the flow of ice into the ocean. The base of an ice shelf can be 2 km from its surface. So, the change of its thickness due to a warming climate will heavily affect the flow of ice into the ocean. It is therefore important to measure the melting pattern of the ice shelves very precisely in order to correlate the pattern with the seasonal changes in the climate and the ocean.
Phase-sensitive Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) Radar has provided hitherto the best solution for measuring the basal layer depth as well as imaging of the ice shelf underneath its surface. A purpose-build radar prototype of this type has recently been developed at UCL. It has the capability to measure the melt rate at mm precision per year within 2 km depth.