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POLinSAR Workshop 2003

Session - Other Applications Development

Chair/s:Kristina R. Czuchlewski
krodrig at

This session addressed areas beyond the traditional forestry, agriculture and sea ice applications for polarimetric SAR. Recommendations called for: 1) research in surface scattering properties; 2) development of fully-polarimetric systems with short temporal repeat capabilities; 3) development of biomass quantification capabilities (forestry and agriculture); 4) research in urban classification based on texture and 5) easy access to dual- and fully-polarimetric products for decision makers.

1) Session Topics
a) Natural Hazards Mapping
i) L-Band (and perhaps C- and P-Band) entropy and alpha parameters can be used for classification of disasters that remove vegetation from the surface (change scattering from surface to volume scattering).
ii) POLSAR should be used operationally for landslide, volcanic eruption, wildfire and flood identification.
iii) Airborne and Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle (UAV) systems should be developed for quick response to disasters.
iv) Explore the usability of POLinSAR for biomass disruption mapping and recovery monitoring.
b) Precision Farming and Crop Management
i) C- , L and X-band dual-polarimetry may be used for agricultural biomass management.
ii) Develop satellite systems with repeat time of 3-5 days and commercial applications for farmers.
iii) Demonstrate the fusion of POLSAR data with optical data.
c) Urban Mapping
Identify and map urban density and land use with POLSAR.
d) Oil Slick Detection and Identification
Circular polarization coherence and anisotropy can be used to locate oil slicks, estimate thickness and identify texture of the oil layer. Develop capability to use this method operationally and research the scattering properties of oil slicks.

2) Other Topics (from roundtable discussion)
a) Currently, difInSAR is used to detect surface deformation. POLinSAR can be implemented to address the change in polarimetric properties between two interferometric scenes. This technique may be useful for measuring torsion.
b) Wetlands may be studied with the use of long wavelength POLinSAR to monitor the depth of the vadose (unsaturated zone). Applications in this area may be similar to flood and rice crop management.
c) Terrestrial glaciers should be studied to see how their volume scattering and roughness properties relate to those of sea ice.
d) Aerial platforms have the unique capability to monitor areas with a high repeat time (hours) and on short notice. UAVs have the added benefit of keeping the data collector(s) out of harms way. We need to explore this option for areas of human (i.e. oil slicks) and natural (i.e. landslide, wildfire) hazards.
e) Tornadoes also change surface scattering properties and their trails can be detected using POLSAR.


Assessing Natural Disaster Impacts and Recovery Using Airborne, Multifrequency Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Polarimetry
Kristina Czuchlewski

Remote Sensing - A Future Technology in Precision Farming
Prof. Dr. Walter Kuehbauch

Multitemporal and/or Polarimetric SAR Characterization of Urban Areas
Fabio Dell'Acqua

Improved oil slick detection and classification with polarimetric SAR
Dr. Joaquim Fortuny-Guasch


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