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Volume decorrelation effects in polarimetric SAR interferometry

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1 Author(s)
Alberga, V. ; German Aerosp. Centre, Microwaves & Radar Inst., Wessling, Germany

Volume decorrelation is an aspect of synthetic aperture radar interferometry that is currently at stake. It stems from the distribution in height of the backscattering cross section in a imaged scene, and it widely affects interferometric coherence images, e.g., in the presence of forests or buildings. The interest in its reduction lies on the fact that "resolving" volume decorrelation and fixing the exact position of the scattering centers in a resolution cell may lead to an estimation of the height of the observed distributed scatterers. Indeed, the determination of the volume scattering contribution is determinant in digital elevation model generation as well as in biomass estimation. However, volume decorrelation itself may be a source of information on the mechanisms that originate it. In this paper, a distinction is made between the behavior of volume decorrelation due to random volumes and stationary distributed targets. The two cases are then studied by means of polarimetry: the response of such targets to different polarizations is considered by applying a series of decompositions of the scattering matrix, and a systematic analysis of the interferometric coherence characteristics is reported.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 11 )