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Angular Backscatter Variation in L-Band ALOS ScanSAR Images of Tropical Forest Areas

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3 Author(s)
Ardila, J.P. ; Dept. of Earth Obs. Sci., Int. Inst. for Geo-Inf. Sci. & Earth Obs., Enschede, Netherlands ; Tolpekin, V. ; Bijker, W.

Scanning synthetic aperture radar (ScanSAR) systems provide continuous information over large areas, but for effective use of such products in tropical forest, the decrease of radar backscatter with large variation of incidence angles requires attention. This letter analyzes the dependence of radar backscatter on incidence angle for L-band ScanSAR images of tropical forest. We investigated and modeled the angular backscatter effect per land-cover class in three ScanSAR images of the Colombian Orinoco. We found that there is an evident effect of incidence angle on radar backscatter, depending on land-cover class, moisture content, and physical structure of the reflecting targets. To normalize the angular backscatter variation, we proposed two methods. The first one applies a cosine correction estimated through linear regression. The second one models the radar backscatter of flooded forest considering second-order signal interactions. The model explains the observed backscatter of flooded forest areas in the rainy season (R2 that is larger than 0.77).

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, IEEE  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 4 )