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Comparison of Models of InSAR/PolInSAR Coherence for Forest Height Retrieval Using PolInSAR Simulated Data

Marco Lavalle(1), Domenico Solimini(1), Eric Pottier(2) and Yes-Louis Desnos(3)

(1) DISP, Tor Vergata University of Rome, Via del Politecnico 1, 00133, Rome, Italy
(2) IETR Laboratory, University of Rennes 1, Campus de Beaulieu, 263 Avenue Général Leclerc, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France
(3) ESA-ESRIN, Via Galileo Galilei, 00144, Frascati (Rome), Italy


This paper is focused on the dependence of the L-band polarimetric interferometric degree of coherence on relevant forest parameters. Our analysis is based on simulations carried out by a coherent PolInSAR scattering model [1] that computes the fully polarimetric and interferometric SAR data set of a forest. The SAR viewing geometry and the forest characteristics are specified by the incidence angle and vegetation parameters such as trees height, canopy density, etc..

The PolInSAR complex coherence computed for different polarization states and optimization algorithms [2], [3] is presented and discussed. The dependence of the coherence on the various parameters, and in particular on the forest height, is then compared with the results obtained from other models [2]. Such a PolInSAR simulator proves to be an important tool to study, analyse and improve the models of PolInSAR coherence, also given its capability to single out the volume decorrelation among other decorrelation sources.

The sensitivity of PolInSAR L-band coherence to forest height finds practical application in the retrieval of the forest biomass. Experimental results obtained from polarimetric ALOS data will be finally reported and compared with the simulation predictions.

[1] M. Williams, E. Pottier, L. Ferro-Famil, S. Allain, S. Cloude, I. Hajnsek, K. Papathanassiou, A. Moreira, A. Minchella, Y.-L. Desnos, “Forest Coherent SAR Simulator within PolSARPro: an Educational Toolbox for PolSAR and PolInSAR Data Processing”, to be presented at 28th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing, 12-16 November 2007, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

[2] S. C. Cloude, K. P. Papathanassiou, “Polarimetric SAR Interferometry”, IEEE Transaction on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, vol. 36, pp. 1551-1565, 1998.

[3] E. Colin, C. Titin-Schneider, W. Tabbara, “Coherence optimization Methods for Scattering Centre Separation in Polarimetric Interferometry”, J. Electromagnetic Waves and Applications, vol. 18, pp. 1237-1250, 2005.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry