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Several proposed near-future spaceborne radar missions, such as the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) and TerraSAR, will include an L-band instrument. At such low frequencies, the Faraday rotation in the ionosphere, which rotates the polarization plane of the radar signal, becomes an important consideration in instrument design. In this paper, both simple analytic approximations and numerical models are used to derive likely values of Faraday rotation and determine their impact on polarimetric imagery and derived products. One-way rotations exceeding 5° are likely to significantly reduce the accuracy of geophysical parameter recovery, such as forest biomass. On average, Faraday rotation can be neglected at solar minimum, but correction methods are needed at other times of the solar cycle and under disturbed conditions. Methods for implementing such corrections based on estimates of the Faraday rotation and prerotation of the transmitted signal are described.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:41 , Issue: 12 )
Date of Publication: Dec. 2003