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Radiative transfer models have been widely used to interpret the radar backscatter from forested areas. Most of these models are based on an iterative solution of the radiative transfer equation, usually solved up to first or second order, thus taking into account single and double scattering. Although this method leads to results agreeing well with copolarized backscatter measurements, it produces less accurate estimates for horizontal-vertical (HV) polarization. This paper presents a radiative transfer backscatter model that accounts for multiple scattering by using the discrete ordinate and eigenvalue method applied to a layered medium. Using parameters derived from an architectural tree model, calculations at C- and L-band are compared with HV data acquired for a maritime pine forest in the southwest of France during the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C missions. Good agreement is found at C-band for all values of forest biomass, and reasonable agreement at L-band for high biomass, when the soil backscatter plays a minor role. For low biomass, the L-band modeling is inadequate because of difficulties in estimating the soil backscatter. Comparison with calculations from a first-order radiative transfer model shows that multiple scattering is significant, especially at C-band.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:42 , Issue: 8 )
Date of Publication: Aug. 2004