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Quantification of Temporal Decorrelation Effects at L-Band for Polarimetric SAR Interferometry Applications

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4 Author(s)
Seung-Kuk Lee ; Inst. of Environ. Eng., ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland ; Kugler, F. ; Papathanassiou, K.P. ; Hajnsek, I.

Temporal decorrelation is the most critical issue for the successful inversion of polarimetric SAR interferometry (Pol-InSAR) data acquired in an interferometric repeat-pass mode, typical for satellite or lower frequency airborne SAR systems. This paper provides a quantitative estimation of temporal decorrelation effects at L-band for a wide range of temporal baselines based on a unique set of multibaseline Pol-InSAR data. A new methodology that allows to quantify individual temporal decorrelation components has been developed and applied. Temporal decorrelation coefficients are estimated for temporal baselines ranging from 10 min to 54 days and converted to height inversion errors caused by them. The temporal decorrelations of γTV (volume temporal decorrelation) and γTG (ground temporal decorrelation) depend not only on the wind-induced movement but also strongly on the rain-induced dielectric changes in volume and on the ground at temporal baseline on the order of day or longer. At temporal baselines on the order of minutes, the wind speed is a critical parameter and the speed of 2 m/s already hampers the application of Pol-InSAR forest parameter inversion. The approach is supported and validated by using L-band E-SAR repeat-pass data acquired in the frame of three dedicated campaigns, BioSAR 2007, TempoSAR 2008, and TempoSAR 2009.

Published in:

Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 3 )