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PRISM Home> Spectrum Home>Thesis Defense

Master's Student Defends Thesis

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 Bistatic/Monostatic
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
of Kansas.

"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 field
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 mode.
Monostatic mode will be used when the bedrock is rough. During
monostatic mode, both the receiver and the transmitter will be located in
the same position. Bistatic mode will be used when the bedrock is
smooth. During bistatic mode, the receiver and the transmitter will be
positioned apart.

His tests also showed how important accurate positioning of the
antennas is. If the Global Positioning System or GPS is not accurate and
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 system.

by Rachel Larson, Staff Writer


For more information, download Paden's presentation.