This study presents methods for sea ice analysis which make use of SAR wave mode data products, so-called imagettes, to be provided by the European satellite ENVISAT every 100 km along the track, thus forming a particulary dense coverage of the polar regions. Prior to ENVISAT a reprocessed ERS-2 wave mode data set is used to derive sea ice variables like deformation energy. The results are compared to sea ice model runs and SSM/I data. Furthermore, ENVISAT data are of particular interest for observation of the damping of ocean waves by sea ice as pairs of high resolution images with different polarizations will be available. It is e.g. shown that ENVISAT data allow a better distinction between effects due to ocean wave motion and mechanisms. The basic principles of extracting parameters describing sea ice damping characteristics are demonstrated using ERS-2 SAR data.

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