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Estimates of Faraday rotation with passive microwave polarimetry for microwave remote sensing of Earth surfaces

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1 Author(s)
Yueh, S.H. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA

A technique based on microwave passive polarimetry for the estimates of ionospheric Faraday rotation for microwave remote sensing of Earth surfaces is described. Under the assumption of azimuth symmetry for the surfaces under investigation, it is possible to estimate the ionospheric Faraday rotation from the third Stokes parameter of microwave radiation. An error analysis shows that the Faraday rotation can be estimated with an accuracy of better than 1° with a space-based L-band system, and the residual correction errors of linearly polarized brightness temperatures can be less than 0.1 K. It is suggested that the estimated Faraday rotation angle can be further utilized to derive the ionospheric total electron content (TEC) with an accuracy of about 1 TECU=1016 electrons-m-2 which will yield 1 mm accuracy for the estimate of an ionospheric differential delay at the Ku-band. Therefore, this technique can potentially provide accurate estimates of ionospheric Faraday rotation, TEC and differential path delay for applications including microwave radiometry and scatterometry of ocean salinity and soil moisture as well as satellite altimetry at sea surface height. A conceptual design applicable to real aperture and aperture synthesis radiometers is described for the measurements of the third Stokes parameter

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 5 )