This paper describes an experiment in a wind-wave pool in Brest, France, to characterize surface films when observed at moderate incidence from X-to-K radar bands. Measurements of the radar backscattered field were carried out for various seawater surface states and incidence angles. From this meaningful database (mainly lying in simultaneous acquisitions in X-, Ku-, and K-bands), an inversion method is proposed to characterize the elasticity modulus of the surface film. This process is based on the minimization of the cost function correlating the values given by a physical model of the damping ratio and the measured ones. The resulting oil parameters are found in overall good agreement - but still qualitative - with the various released oils. Nonetheless, the inversion method does not work properly for the rapeseed oil slick when higher wind speeds are considered, and this failure is explained. In addition, it can be seen that the results can be applied in an ocean context by comparing the modeled normalized radar cross section (NRCS) in an ocean context (given by the Bragg scattering and the Elfouhaily spectrum) and the measured NRCS.
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