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WindSat provides an opportunity to explore the passive microwave polarimetric signatures of land surfaces. In order to accommodate the large sensor footprint, large homogeneous regions with unique features were used. These included forest, rangeland, desert, and agricultural conditions. WindSat observations at horizontal and vertical polarizations over land surfaces were found to be well calibrated and consistent with other passive microwave sensors. Isotropic regions (e.g., Amazon rainforest) had no polarimetric response at all azimuth angles. Results showed that land surfaces with aligned features (topography or row structured vegetation) produced systematic variations in the third and fourth Stokes parameters. These responses were found to be in good agreement with previous sea surface studies. Analysis of the temporal trends of the variation in polarimetric measurements for a specific azimuth angle could be attributed to the crop growth cycle in the agricultural region. Further analyses will seek to isolate specific features that could be used in applications such as soil moisture retrieval. [All rights reserved Elsevier].
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:45 , Issue: 7 )
Date of Publication: July 2007