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From airborne via drones to space-borne polarimetric-interferometric SAR environmental stress-change monitoring - comparative assessment of applications

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2 Author(s)
Boerner, W.-M. ; Sensing & Navigation Lab., UIC-ECE Commun., Chicago, IL, USA ; Morisaki, J.J.

Very decisive progress was made in advancing fundamental POL-IN-SAR theory and algorithm development during the past decade. This was accomplished with the aid of airborne and shuttle platforms supporting single-to-multi-band multi-modal POL-SAR and also some POL-IN-SAR sensor systems, which are compared and assessed with the aim of establishing the hitherto not completed but required missions such as tomographic and holographic imaging. Because the operation of airborne test-beds is extremely expensive, aircraft platforms are not suited for routine monitoring missions which is better accomplished with the use of drones or UAVs. Such unmanned aerial vehicles were developed for defense applications, however lacking the sophistication of implementing advanced forefront POL-IN-SAR technology. This shortcoming is thoroughly-scrutinized resulting in the finding that we do now need to develop the most rapid POL-IN-SAR drone-platform technology especially for environmental stress-change monitoring with a great variance of applications beginning with flood, bush/forest-fire to tectonic-stress (earth-quake to volcanic eruptions) for real-short-time hazard mitigation. However, for routine global monitoring purposes of the terrestrial covers neither airborne sensor implementation - aircraft and/or drones - are sufficient; and therefore multi-modal and multi-band space-borne POL-IN-SAR space-shuttle and satellite sensor technology needs to be further advanced at a much more rapid phase. The existing ENVISAT with the forthcoming ALOS-PALSAR, RADARSAT-2, and the TERRASAT are compared, demonstrating that at this phase of development the fully polarimetric and polarimetric-interferometric modes of operation must be viewed and treated as preliminary algorithm verification support modes and at this phase of development, they are still not to be viewed as routine modes.

Published in:

Microwaves, Radar and Wireless Communications, 2004. MIKON-2004. 15th International Conference on  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

17-19 May 2004