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Power lines: radar measurements and detection algorithm for polarimetric SAR images

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4 Author(s)
Sarabandi, K. ; Radiation Lab., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI ; Pierce, L. ; Oh, Y. ; Ulaby, F.T.

Polarimetric radar backscattering measurements of a variety of powerline cables are presented. The objective of the first part of the investigation was to study the effect of braiding of the cables on the backscattering at skew incidence. The measurements were performed for four different actual size powerline samples at C-, X-, and Ka-band over a wide range of incidence angles. The data were collected over a 500 MHz bandwidth at C- and X-band with a 1.25 MHz increment and a 1 GHz bandwidth at Ka-band with a 2.5 MHz increment. Also the effect of nonuniform illumination and measurement in the near field of the cables were studied. Experimental data shows a significant radar backscatter for W-polarization (σνν) at angles away from normal incidence. This backscatter is proportional to the number and diameter of the strands on the surface of the cables. There is also noticeable backscatter for the HH and VH components of the scattering matrices. Their magnitudes, relative to that of the W component, are proportional to the pitch angle of the helix. Since detection of these cables is an important safety issue for low-flying airplanes a detection algorithm using polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images was developed using the knowledge gleaned from the measurements. The detection algorithm was tested on a simulated image and worked well, detecting a power line whose backscatter power was 6 dB below the average background power

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 2 )