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In synthetic aperture radar (SAR) polarimetry, the measured polarimetric signatures are used to analyze physical scattering properties of the imaged media. It is generally assumed that the sensor has a fixed orientation with respect to the objects. However, SAR sensors operating at lower frequencies, like L- and P-band, have a wide azimuth beamwidth, i.e., during the formation of the synthetic aperture, multiple squint angles are integrated to build the full-resolution SAR image. Variations in the polarimetric properties with the azimuthal look angle remain unconsidered. In this paper, a fully polarimetric subaperture analysis method is introduced. Using deconvolution, synthesized SAR images are decomposed into subaperture datasets, which correspond to the scene responses under different azimuthal look angles. A statistical analysis of the polarimetric parameters permits to clearly discriminate media showing a nonstationary behavior during the SAR integration. Finally, a method is proposed, which eliminates the influence of azimuthal backscattering variations in conventional polarimetric SAR data analysis. The effectiveness of the new methods is demonstrated on fully polarimetric SAR data, acquired by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) airborne experimental SAR sensor (E-SAR) at L-band.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:41 , Issue: 10 )
Date of Publication: Oct. 2003