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Digital elevation map generation using VHF-band SAR data in forested areas

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2 Author(s)
P. -O. Frolind ; Swedish Defence Res. Agency, Linkoping, Sweden ; L. M. H. Ulander

The paper investigates digital elevation model (DEM) generation based on data from the ultra wideband coherent all radio band sensing (CARABAS) very high frequency (VRF)-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR). The results show excellent capability to penetrate forest areas, i.e., the generated DEMs are found to be close to the true ground height. A conventional DEM, based on stereo photography and surveying, and additional phase differential Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements have been used for comparison. The results in heavily vegetated areas (stem volume up to 600 m3/ha) show a mean height difference of less than 1.5 m and a root-mean-square (rms) error of less than 1.0 in compared to the conventional DEM. Stable backscattering properties allows us to use large baselines in order to obtain high height sensitivity. However, the amount of poor data due to low coherence increases with the increase of the baseline. The optimum baseline which balances these two effects is found to correspond to an incidence angle difference of 4°-8°.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 8 )