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Calibration of linearly polarized polarimetric SAR data subject to Faraday rotation

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1 Author(s)
A. Freeman ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA

A model for linearly polarized fully polarimetric backscatter measurements is used, incorporating the effects of system noise, channel amplitude, phase imbalance, crosstalk, and Faraday rotation. A step-by-step procedure is outlined for correction (or calibration) of fully polarimetric data subject to Faraday rotation, to recover the true scattering matrix. The procedure identifies steps for crosstalk removal and correction of channel imbalances that are robust in the presence of Faraday rotation. The final steps in the procedure involve a novel strategy for estimation and correction of Faraday rotation. Three approaches to estimate the (one-way) Faraday rotation angle Ω directly from linear (quad-) polarized synthetic aperture radar (SAR) backscatter data obtained by a spaceborne SAR system are described. Each approach can initially be applied to the signature of any scatterer within the scene. Sensitivity analyses are presented that show that at least one of the measures can be used to estimate Ω to within ±3° to 5°, with reasonable levels of residual crosstalk, noise floor, channel amplitude, and phase imbalance. Ambiguities may be present in the estimates of Ω of ±nπ/2 - the impact of this is discussed, and several approaches are suggested to deal with this possibility. The approach described in this paper is relevant for future L-band spaceborne SARs and removes one key obstacle to the deployment of even longer wavelength SARs (e.g., an ultrahigh frequency or P-band SAR) in Earth orbit.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 8 )