Master's Student Defends
In a culmination of
1 ½ years of "sweat, blood and tears," John Paden
put his work to the test.
On April 18th, Paden defended his thesis, entitled
Synthetic Aperture Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements, to committee
chairperson Dr. Chris Allen and committee members Dr. Prasad
Gogineni and Dr. Glenn Prescott, all faculty members at the University
"I'm relieved," said Paden. "I think
it takes a while for the relief to come.
I've had it looming over my head for so long."
Paden's thesis is an integral part of the PRISM
project (Polar Radar for
Ice Sheet Measurements). The project, which will collect its first
data set from Greenland in June, centers around the use of a
sophisticated radar system to determine the conditions of the bedrock
underneath the massive Greenland ice sheets.
Paden's thesis explained the possible errors and
ideal positioning of
both the receiver and the transmitters in monostatic and bistatic
Monostatic mode will be used when the bedrock is rough. During
monostatic mode, both the receiver and the transmitter will be located
the same position. Bistatic mode will be used when the bedrock is
smooth. During bistatic mode, the receiver and the transmitter will
His tests also showed how important accurate positioning
antennas is. If the Global Positioning System or GPS is not accurate
the antennas' positions are off by 0.1 meter, the images could be
Paden also ran a series of sandbox tests simulating
the bedrock with
Styrofoam balls. Of course, Paden will not uncover these in Greenland's
icy tundra. However, he said this was a good way to test the new
by Rachel Larson, Staff Writer