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Surface Parameter Estimation Using Interferometric Coherences at Different Polarisations

Irena Hajnsek (1), Prof Shane Cloude(2) , Alberto Moreira(1) , and Kostas Papathanassiou(1)

(1) DLR German Aerospace Center, PO Box 1116, 82230 Wessling, Germany
(2) AEL Consultants, Unit 3.3, KY15 5YQ Cupar, United Kingdom


Irena Hajnsek, Konstantinos P. Papathanassiou, Jose-Luis Alvarez-Perez and Shane R. Cloude

In this work the potential of using the interferometric coherence at different polarisations over surface scatterers in order to extract information about surface parameters is investigated. The sensitivity of the individual coherence contributions to surface roughness and moisture conditions is discussed and simulated using a polarimetric surface scattering model. Polarimetry plays an important role in the estimation of surface parameter, as it allows a direct or indirect separation of roughness, rms height s, and moisture mv [vol. %] induced effects on the backscattered signal. Several algorithms have been proposed in the literature for the retrieval of surface parameters from polarimetric SAR data. Most of them are based on the evaluation of the backscattering amplitudes. However, there are several works addressing the evaluation of second order statistical parameters (correlation coefficients between different polarisations) with respect to surface parameter estimation. The polarimetric coherence can be regarded as a zero baseline interferometric coherence between different polarisations. Introducing a spatial baseline an conventional interferometric coherence is obtained. In this work the information content of a interferometric coherence with respect to surface parameter estimation is investigated and the essential contribution are critical discussed. One important task of this work is to figure out the applicability of using the interferometric coherence between different polarisations in order to increase the estimation accuracy of surface parameters in a general SAR remote sensing scenario. Finally, experimental airborne SAR data are used to demonstrate the discussed effects.


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