ALOS-PalSAR Pol-InSAR Results

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

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


Since its launch in January 2006 JAXA’s ALOS provides the opportunity to acquire Pol-InSAR 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 Pol-InSAR data in a 46 days repeat-pass mode. In this sense, even if limited by the data acquisition scenario and the 46 days repeat-pass, ALOS PalSAR allows for he first time the application, validation and development of Pol-InSAR inversion techniques on a much wider range of sites distributed world-wide and accessible to a much wider scientific user community than possible up to now.

In this paper we present the analysis of fully - and/or dual-polarimetric and interferometric data sets acquired by ALOS-PalSAR during the almost two years of operational operation. Based on this we evaluate the suitability and performance of ALOS for different Pol-InSAR applications. The impact of temporal decorrelation - the most limiting factor in terms of Pol-InSAR applications - is quantified based on a large number of test sites and interferograms, and discussed. Conclusions about the space-borne implementation of Pol-InSAR techniques in general are drawn and finally the impact of critical mission and operation design paremeters as Spatial Coverage, Repeat-Pass Time, Observation scenario, and Orbit Control are evaluated and discussed.



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