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Measurements and modeling of vertical backscatter distribution in forest canopy

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6 Author(s)
Martinez, J.-M. ; Centre d''Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphere, Toulouse, France ; Floury, N. ; Le Toan, T. ; Beaudoin, A.
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Presents the results of analysis and modeling of the airborne ranging Helsinki University of Technology Scatterometer (HUTSCAT) data obtained over an Austrian pine forest in southern France. The objective is to use high vertical resolution backscatter profiles to validate a model that is subsequently used to determine the scattering sources within a canopy and to understand the wave/tree interaction mechanisms. The backscatter coefficients derived from HUTSCAT measurements at X-band at near-normal incidence and polarizations HH, VV, and VH are analyzed. The tree crown backscatter separated from the ground backscattering shows a sensitivity of about 3 dB between 0 and 200 m3/ha. The estimation of tree height using HUTSCAT profiles gives very good results, with a mean precision of 1 m. The vertical backscatter profiles are compared with the output from the MIT/CESBIO radiative transfer (RT) model coupled with a tree growth architectural model, AMAP, which recreates tree architecture using botanical bases. An a posteriori modification to the RT model is introduced, taking into account the vertical and horizontal variability of the scattering area in order to correctly estimate the backscatter attenuation. The results show good agreement between both simulated and HUTSCAT-derived vertical backscatter distribution within the canopy. The penetration depth at near normal incidence is studied. Both simulated and experimental penetration depth are compared and appear to be of several meters, varying with the stand's age

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 2 )