Surface Clutter and Echo Location Analysis for the Interpretation of SHARAD Data from Mars

Prateek Choudhary, John W. Holt, Scott D. Kempf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This letter presents a suite of analysis techniques designed to support the interpretation of data from the Shallow Radar on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Cross-track surface echoes ('clutter') with a time delay similar to potential subsurface echoes are known to present a major challenge to orbital radar sounding; furthermore, we demonstrate that the broad beam pattern of orbital sounders combined with cross-track long-wavelength surface slopes can result in first-received echoes arising from locations significantly distant from the nadir point, further hindering interpretation. Combining known surface topography (of lower resolution than the radar wavelength) with an appropriate radar model and orbital parameters, we can simultaneously address both of these challenges. Our technique has been applied to a variety of scientific targets on Mars with success and is recommended as a standard practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7506219
Pages (from-to)1285-1289
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • Cluttergram
  • Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
  • incoherent radar simulation
  • planetary radar
  • shallow radar (SHARAD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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