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Cameron's coherent target decomposition (CTD) theory and the classification method that Cameron developed for operational use of his CTD are reconsidered. It is shown that Cameron's classification leads to a coarse scattering segmentation because of the large class dispersion that corresponds to a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system with about ±8-dB channel imbalance. The application of Cameron's method within known SAR radiometric calibration requirements limits the utility of the classification. In addition, Cameron's classification is applied under the implicit assumption on the coherence nature of target scattering, and this might yield erroneous results within areas of noncoherent scattering. A new method, named the symmetric scattering characterization method (SSCM), is introduced to better exploit the information provided by the largest target symmetric scattering component in the context of coherent scattering. The Poincare´ sphere is used as the basis for a more complete representation of symmetric scattering than Cameron's unit disk, thus enabling the SSCM to generate better segmentation of target symmetric scattering with much higher resolution. In order to limit the application of the SSCM to targets of coherent scattering, new methods are developed for assessment and validation of the coherent nature of point and extended target scattering.