Polarimetric Time Series Analysis of ALOS-PalSAR Data

Irena Hajnsek(1), Luca Marotti(1) and Konstantinos Papathanassiou(1)

(1) German Aerospace Center (DLR), PO Box 1116, 82234 Wessling, Germany


Since its launch in January 2006 JAXA’s ALOS provides the opportunity to acquire fully Polarimetric data from space. Indeed, PalSAR (i.e. the SAR instrument onboard of ALOS) is able to operate in a Quad-pol mode - declared by JAXA as “Experimental Mode” - that allows the acquisition of PolSAR data with a temporal frequency of 46 days. In this sense, even if limited by the data acquisition scenario, ALOS PalSAR provides for the first time the opportunity of multi-temporal PolSAR data on a much wider range of sites distributed world-wide and accessible to a much wider scientific user community than possible until now.

In this paper we present the analysis of fully - and/or dual-polarimetric time series acquired by ALOS-PalSAR during the almost two years of its operational operation. For the first time it becomes possible to investigate the seasonal evolution of polarimetric signatures for a wide range of natural scatterers. Based on the analysis of the time series we discuss the information content of multi-temporal polarimetric data and their potential for qualitative and quantitative parameters estimation. Finally the impact of repeat-pass time and observation strategy for the individual scatterers / potential applications are addressed.



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