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Introduction To Microwave

Remote Sensing
David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Center For Remote Sensing
and Geographic Information Science
Michigan State University
Senior Research Specialist
November, 1999
Contents
Introduction To Microwave Remote Sensing
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
Introduction To Microwave Remote Sensing
1.1 Microwave Radiation
1.2 Wavelength vs Frequency
1.3 Radar Operation
1.4 The Radar Equation
1.5 Radar Angle Nomenclature
1.6 Polarization
1.7 A Brief History of Imaging Radar
Atmospheric Interactions with Microwave Radiation
Spatial Resolution
3.1 Range Resolution
3.2 Azimuth Resolution
3.2.1 Azimuth Resolution for SAR
3.2.2 Azimuth Resolution for RAR
Synthetic Aperture Processing
Radar Image Geometry
5.1 Layover
5.2 Foreshortening
5.3 Radar Shadows
Controls of Radar Backscatter
6.1 Backscatter
6.2 Dielectric Constant
6.3 Surface Roughness
6.4 Penetration Depth
6.5 Sigma Nought ( s
0
)
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Radar Backscatter from Vegetation
7.1 Applying SAR Data to Tropical Forest Issues
7.1.1 Overview
7.1.2 Mapping Forest Types, Clearings and
Regeneration
7.1.3 Relating SAR Data to Tropical Forest Biomass
7.2 Agricultural Applications of Imaging Radar
7.2.1 Overview
7.2.2 Relating SAR Data to Crop Biomass
7.2.3 Other Aspects of SAR Backscatter From Crops
Radar Backscatter from Soils
Radar Backscatter from Water
9.1 Dielectric Constant of Water
9.2 Backscatter Response From Water Features
Satellite SAR Systems
10.1 ERS-1 and -2 and ENVISAT
10.2 JERS-1
10.3 RADARSAT-1 and -2
SIVAM Airborne SAR
11.1 SIVAM Remote Sensing Aircraft (RSA)
11.2 SIVAM RSA SAR
7.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
11.0
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
1.1 Microwave Radiation
The optical wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum,
which can be focused with lenses, cover the range from about 0.3 to
15 micrometers - the reflective and emissive portion of the spec-
trum. The microwave portion of the spectrum encompasses wave-
lengths from about 1 mm to 1.3 m (Figure 1). These non-optical
wavelengths in the microwave portion of the spectrum must be
focused with an antenna rather than a lens. The commonly used
wavelength bands for active microwave (radar) remote sensing are
given in Table 1.
1.2 Wavelength vs Frequency
Most radar engineers and technicians refer to the frequency
which is transmitted and received by an imaging radar system.
Most remote sensing application specialists, on the other hand, are
more comfortable refering to the wavelength at which these work.
As a result, the literature associated with microwave remote sensing
contains both wavelength and frequency specifications and it is
very useful for the end user to be able to easily convert from one to
the other. Recall that according to Maxwell's Wave Theory,
c = l * n
where c = speed of light, 3 x 10
8
m s
-1
l = wavelength
n = frequency.
A useful relationship between wavelength and frequency, called the
"thirty rule", can be derived by expressing the speed of light in cm s
-1
, rather than the more common m s
-1
:
c = 3 x 10
8
m s
-1
= 30 x 10
9
cm s
-1
So, if n is expressed in Gigahertz (GHz = 10
9
Hz), then
30 10
9
cm s
-1
l
(cm)
=
____
x
_________________
n 10
9
cycles s
-1
If l is expressed in cm, then
30 10
9
cm s
-1
n
(GHz)
=
____
x
_________________
l cm cycle
-1
1.0 Introduction to
Microwave
Remote Sensing
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Electromagnetic Spectrum
I n f r a r e d ( I R )
V
I
S
I
B
L
E
Near
IR
Shortwave
IR
Thermal
IR
Microwave
(radar)
Wavelength (micrometers, m)
0.4 0.7 1.0 5.0 10.0 1,000
(1 cm) (1 mm)
UV
(10 cm) (1 m)
O p t i c a l
W a v e l e n g t h s
N o n - O p t i c a l
W a v e l e n g t h s
1
Table 1. Radar bands and designations
* most commonly used bands
Band Wavelength
Designation (cm)
Ka 0.75 - 1.10
K 1.10 - 1.67
Ku 1.67 - 2.40
X* 2.40 - 3.75
C* 3.75 - 7.50
S 7.50 - 15.0
L* 15.0 - 30.0
P 30.0 - 130
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
1.3 Radar Operation
Imaging radar systems in typical use for remote sensing are
pulsed - the energy that they transmit from their antenna is confined
to a very short interval of time. This outgoing packet of energy
eventually interacts with the landscape and some of it may be
backscattered to return toward the antenna (Figure 2). In order to
keep track of the outgoing and incoming energy packets, the system
uses a pulse repetition frequency (the rate of recurrence of the
transmitted pulses) which provides sufficient time for any
backscatter from the far range portion of the scene to return to the
antenna before the next transmitted pulse occurs (Figure 3).
The pulse duration, the time interval during which the
antenna is energized during the transmit phase, controls the range-
width of the outgoing energy packet and, as will be discussed later,
is directly related to the range resolution of the system.
The heart of an imaging radar system is the timing and
frequency control module (Figure 4). The trigger initiates the
generation of the pulse which gets to the antenna through a one-way
switching device. Most radars used for remote sensing are
monostatic -- the transmit antenna and the receive antenna are
essentially at the same location. The transmit / receive switch
toggles the antenna between these two modes of operation, sending
the transmitted pulse out and, during the quiet period between
pulses, receiving backscattered energy which is sent to the RF
amplifier.
The returned signal from the landscape is extremely weak
and must be greatly amplified to be useful. As an example, the
Seasat SAR produced an average radiated power of 50 watts - less
than must light bulbs. The effective power received by the Seasat
antenna from a typical object having a radar cross section of 10 m
2
was about 10
-17
watts!
After RF amplification, the returned signal is sent to a
demodulator where the envelope and phase of the return is
separated from the carrier frequency. There are two output signals
from this process: in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q). These two
signals are further amplified and then, in the A-to-D converter,
quantized. These quantized signal data are then transferred to
memory or transmitted to a ground receiving station for subsequent
processing.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
Pulse
Backscatter
Radar Operation
2
Single Pulse Time - Space Diagram
Pulse Duration t
Backscatter
from tree
Transmit
Pulses
Backscatter
from house
Radar
Antenna
1
2
3
4
5
6
8
9
10
11
12
13
6
7
8
9
10
11
7
8
7
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
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Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
T / R
switch
Video
amplifier
A - to - D
conversion
Data transfer
sub-system
X
Demodulator
Trigger
Motion
compensation
90
0
0
0
Low-noise
RF amp
I
Q
I Q
I Q
I Q
Range line
Timing
and
frequency
control
Pulse
generation &
modulation
Transmitter
Radar Hardware Block Diagram
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
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Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
1.4 The Radar Equation
G
2
l
2
P
R
= P
T
(s
0
A)
(4 p)
3
R
4
where P
R
= the power returned to the radar antenna
from an areally extensive target
P
T
= the power transmitted by the radar system
s
0
= the radar scattering coefficient of the target
A = area of the resolution cell of the radar
system
G = gain of the antenna
l = wavelength of the radar system
R = range from antenna to target
So, the power returned from a target to the antenna on an
imaging radar system is directly proportional to A) two system
parameters: the transmitted power and the area of the resolution
cell and B) one target property -- its radar scattering coefficient.
Two other system factors, the antenna gain and wavelength, play
a greater role in influencing the strength of P
R
because returned
power is directly proportional to the square of each of these
system parameters.
Finally, P
R
is inversely related to the fourth power of range.
If all other factors are held constant, increasing the
wavelength of an imaging radar system from 1 cm (K-band) to 3
cm (X-band) would increase the return power from a target by a
factor of 3
2
or 9. Shifting from the K-band to the L-band (25 cm)
would increase the return power from a target by a factor of 25
2
or
625!
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Incident
Angle
q = 30
0
Depression
Angle b = 60
0
r
a
d
a
r

b
e
a
m
antenna
Horizontal Surface
Look Angle
f = 30
0
Grazing
Angle
g = 80
0
1.5 Radar Angle Nomenclature
r
a
d
a
r

b
e
a
m
Grazing
Angle
g = 80
0
Incident
Angle
q = 10
0
slope a = 20
0
Inclined Surface
antenna
Look Angle
f = 30
0
Depression
Angle b = 60
0
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
1.6 Polarization
Recall that electromagnetic energy has two components -
electrical and magnetic - which are planar fields of oscillation that
are orthogonal to each other (Figure 5). Polarization refers to the
spatial orientation of the electrical oscillation plane -- is it
oriented vertically, horizontally, or at some other angle. Note that
no matter what orientation the electrical field has, the magnetic
field is always at right angles to it.
Because radar is an active remote sensing device, the
orientation of the electromagnetic energy that is transmitted can
be controlled. Although all angles are possible, only vertical or
horizontal orientations are used. The orientation of the
backscatter which will be received can also be controlled. This
gives four possibilties for a radar system:
HH horizontal transmit and receive
VV vertical transmit and receive
HV horizontal transmit, vertical receive
VH vertical transmit, horizontal receive
Wave Theory
c = 3x10
ms
8
u = Frequency
(Number of cycles per second
passing a fixed point)
C
Velocity of light
Electric field
Distance
Magnetic field
Plane-polarized,
transverse wave
E
M
l = W
avelength
(D
istance betw
een successive w
ave peaks)
c = u
.
l
c = l n c = 3 x 10
8
m s
-1
5
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
- The electric field oscillations of the transmitted pulses
are either in the VERTICAL or the HORIZONTAL plane
(by design of the antenna elements).
- Most backscattered energy has the same polarization as
the transmitted pulses.
PARALLEL-POLARIZED or LIKE-POLARIZED
systems
HH (horizontal transmit, horizontal receive)
VV (vertical transmit, vertical receive)
- Some backscattered energy is DEPOLARIZED.
- DEPOLARIZATION effects are STRONGER
from VEGETATION than from bare ground
(if horizontally transmitted radiation is used because of the
dominantly vertical growth form of vegetation).
- Some radar systems have additional antenna elements in
order to RECEIVE DEPOLARIZED backscatter
oscillating at right angles to the plane of the transmitted
pulse.
CROSS-POLARIZED systems
HV (horizontal transmit, vertical receive)
VH (vertical transmit, horizontal receive)
- When four polarimetric channels are used, the radar is
referred to as quadrature - polarimetric or "quad-pol"
for short. This type of radar is different from, and more
sophisticated than, the "polarization diversity" radars
mentioned above. Quad-pol data may be analyzed over
all polarization states to determine the reflectivity pattern of
landcover types (their polarization signature). Zebker et
al. (1991) reported that the reflectivity from the canopy of a
tropical forest may be separated from the two-bounce
reflectivity components from tree trunks in standing water.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
1.7 A Brief History of Imaging Radar
The following brief history of imaging radar technology is
based on the following two references:
Henderson, F.M. and A.J. Lewis. 1998. Chapter 1, Introduction
in F.M. Henderson and A. J. Lewis, eds. Principles and
Applications of Imaging Radar, Manual of Remote Sensing, 3rd
ed., v. 2. NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 1-7.
Sardar, A.M. 1997. The Evolution of Space-borne Imaging
Radar Systems: A Chronological History. Canadian Journal of
Remote Sensing, v. 23, n. 3, pp. 276-280.
Heinrich Hertz experimentally tests Maxwell's Theory of
Electromagnetism. He discovers radio waves and showed that
reflections could be received from metallic and nonmetallic
objects.
Christian Hulsmeyer demonstrates radar detection of ships
at sea. He obtains the first patent for using radar as a ship
detector.
A.H. Taylor at the US Naval Research Laboratory
develops a ground-based, pulsed radar system.
The US Naval Research Laboratory team uses its ground-
based radar system to detect and track ships and aircraft.
Sir Watson-Watt (U.K.) develops the first practical radar
system for aircraft detection.
The first airborne radar images showing the reflections
from ships at sea to a range of ten miles were made on 28 March.
Independent and penecontemporaneous development of
radar systems was conducted in secret during the period of WW II
in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United
States. This research perfected the plan position indicator (PPI)
radar system.
Real-aperture, side looking imaging radar systems (SLAR
-- Side looking Airborne Radar) were developed to produce much
better quality images (compared to PPI systems) for military
reconnaissance. Optical image processing techniques were used
to both create and analyze SLAR imagery.
1886
1903
1920
1930
1937
1938
1940s
1950s
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Carl Wiley (USA) first observes that the azimuth resolution
of a SLAR system can be significantly improved by using the
Doppler shifts of the return signals. This observation gives birth to
the current imaging radar technology -- synthetic aperture radar
(SAR).
The first operational SAR system was developed.
The first airborne SAR image was acquired using a system
operating at 930 MHz.
Goodyear Corporation and The Ohio State University,
among others, conduct research into the electromagnetic reflection
properties of natural surfaces. Measurements of terrain
backscattering from both static and airborne radars are made.
Limited declassification of SLAR data in the early 1960s
allows an open discussion of the geoscience potential of radar.
SLAR surveys using real aperture systems become commercially
available.
The First Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment
was held at the University of Michigan.
The first unclassified publications on geoscience radar
reconnaissance appear in the Proceedings of the Third Symposium
on Remote Sensing of Environment and in Photogrammetric
Engineering.
Extensive, unclassified SLAR coverage of the United States
was acquired under a NASA radar program using the Westinghouse
AN/APQ 97 system, K
a
-band, multiple polarized, real-aperture
imaging radar.
Goodyear/Aeroservice, Motorola, and Westinghouse
collected SLAR imagery of the US and in Brazil, Indonesia,
Panama, Nigeria and Venezuela using a variety of systems:
- Westinghouse AN/APQ 97
K
a
-band, HH, RAR (Real Aperture Radar)
- Goodyear Electronic Mapping System (GEMS)
X-band, HH, SAR
- Motorola (MARS) Ltd.
X-band, HH, RAR with simultaneous dual look
directions
1952
1953
late 1950s
1960s
1962
1964
late 1960s and
early 1970s
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
The first major radar mapping project is conducted in the
Darien Province of Panama using the Westinghouse AN/APQ 97
system. This project acquired the first complete image coverage
(17,000 km
2
) of this area which is most often covered with
clouds.
Multichannel, airborne SAR systems are developed at the
Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM), the
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and at the Canadian
Center for Remote Sensing (CCRS).
RADAM (RADar of the AMazon)-Brazil was conducted.
Initially, the mission acquired airborne SLAR imagery of the
Amazon and Northeast, but eventually included imagery of all of
Brazil -- in all, 8.5 million km
2
were imaged.
The first spaceborne SAR system, the Apollo Lunar
Sounder Experiment radar, was flown around the Moon on
Apollo-17.
RADAM-Colombia collected airborne SLAR imagery of
the Colombian Amazon, mapping about 380,000 km
2
.
Seasat, the first civilian satellite-based SAR was launched
on 27 June. Flying at an altitude of 800 km, it provided L-band
(23.5 cm), HH imagery with 25 m range and azimuth resolution
across a 100 km swath. Seasat imaged over 126 million km
2
in its
brief 3-month life-span.
Shuttle Imaging Radar-A (SIR-A) was flown for 2.5 days
on the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-2) at an altitude of 260 km.
About 10 million km
2
of L-band (23.5 cm), HH imagery were
acquired with 40 m range and azimuth resolution across a 50 km
swath.
The Soviet Union experimented with its Kosmos real-
aperture imaging radar system for oceanography applications.
Their Verena-15 and -16 spaceprobes provided 2 - 4 km
resolution radar imagery of Venus.
SIR-B was flown on the Space Shuttle Challenger. This
was an L-band (23.5 cm), HH SAR which produced imagery with
25 m range resolution and 17 - 58 m azimuth resolution. SIR-B
provided variable incident angles (15
0
- 64
0
); the swath width
varied from 10 - 60 km.
1967
1970s
1971-76
1972
1973-79
1978
1981
1983
1984
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
The Soviet Union launched Kosmos 1870, an S-band (10
cm), HH SAR system. It provided variable incident angles (30
0
-
60
0
), producing image swath widths of 20 - 45 km. Resolution was
approximately 30 x 30 m (range x azimuth).
The Magellan spaceprobe was launched from the Space
Shuttle Atlantis on 4 May. Magellan entered its orbit around Venus
on 10 August 1990. The radar mapping mission ran from 15
September 1990 to 15 May 1991. The Magellan radar was an S-
band (12.6 cm), HH SAR. It produced imagery with 120 - 360 m
range resolution and 120 - 150 m azimuth resolution.
The USSR/Russia launched Almaz on 31 March. This S-
band (10 cm), HH SAR provided variable incident angles between
(30
0
- 60
0
). Almaz imagery covered a swath which varied from 20 -
45 km at resolutions of 15 - 30 m in range and 15 m in azimuth.
The European Space Agency (ESA) launched its first earth-
resources remote sensing satellite, ERS-1, in July. The SAR
instrument on board is a C-band (5.7 cm), VV system operating at a
fixed incident angle of 23
0
. Its 6-look imagery covers a 100 km
swath and produced 26 m range resolution and 28 m azimuth
resolution.
JERS-1, the Japanese Earth Resources Satellite, was
launched in February. It carries an L-band (23.5 cm), HH SAR
which provides 75 km-wide imagery having 18 m x 18 m
resolution.
On 9 April, with the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor,
a major milestone in spaceborne imaging radar began. This 11-day
Shuttle mission carried the SIR-C/X SAR instrument into low (225
km) earth orbit. This system provided quadrature polarized, L-band
(23.9 cm) and C-band (5.7 cm) data along with VV-polarized, X-
band (3.1 cm) imagery. This mission included steerable incident
angles, varying from (15
0
- 55
0
), which produced swath widths of
15 - 60 km. SIR-C/X SAR imagery has range resolutions of 10 - 30
m with an azimuth resolution of 30 m. SIR-C/X SAR flew a
second time on STS-68 (Shuttle Endeavor) from 30 September to
11 October.
ESA launched ERS-2, the twin of ERS-1, on 21 April.
Canada launched its first earth-resources remote sensing
satellite, Radarsat-1, on 4 November. This satellite carries a C-
band (5.6 cm), HH SAR with a steerable antenna providing incident
1987
1989
1991
1992
1994
1995
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
angles varying from (10
0
- 60
0
). This SAR system can be
operated in several modes producing swath widths of 50 km, 75
km, 100 km, 150 km, 300 km and 500 km. The Fine Resolution
Mode outputs imagery with a resolution of 11 m x 9 m (range x
azimuth). Several other modes produce 25 m x 28 m data. The
Narrow ScanSAR imagery has 50 m x 50 m resolution while the
Wide ScanSAR produces 100 m x 100 m data.
Several satellite SAR systems are planned for launch in
the near future. Almaz II, a virtual twin of Almaz, is already
built, but does not have a firm launch date. The Russian
PRIRODA mission includes a SAR operating at both L-band and
S-band frequencies. It is specified to provide VV or HH
polarizations and a fixed incident angle of 35
0
. It will produce an
80 m image swath having 100 m range resolution and 50 m
(L-band) or 150 m (S-band) azimuth resolution.
ESA plans to launch ENVISAT in November, 2000. The
Advanced SAR (ASAR) instrument on ENVISAT will provide
beam- elevation steerage, allowing the selection of different
swaths within an operating swath over 400 km wide. In its
alternating polarization mode, the transmit and receive
polarization can be selected, allowing scenes to be imaged
simultaneously in two polarizations.
Radarsat-2 is scheduled for launch in the first quarter of
2001. This system builds upon the basics of Radarsat-1, but
provides several new capabilities including modes providing 3 m
x 3 m resolution across either 20 km or 10 km swaths using one
of four selectable polarizations (HH, VV, HV or VH) and fully
polarimetric data sets at resolutions as fine as 11 m x 9 m.
Near Future
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
The atmosphere is virtually transparent to wavelengths in
the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that are
longer than about 7 mm (Figure 6). These radar wavelengths can
penetrate all non-raining clouds and, as shown in Figure 7, wave-
lengths longer than about 3 cm can produce useful imagery (>= 60
% terrain signal) of the terrain beneath even moderate rain showers
(< 1.7 mm/hr).
The spatial resolution of a radar system is controlled by
several system parameters as listed in Table 2. As shown in Figure
8, the two-dimensional radar image is referenced by the range
domain, orthogonal to the flight track, and the azimuth domain,
parallel to the line of flight. The dimensions of the radar
resolution cell are controlled by the pulse duration and the azimuth
beamwidth. Since the azimuth beamwidth diverges with increasing
range, so does the illuminated footprint. Pulse duration, on the
other hand, is constant across the swath width. As discussed below,
range resolution is either constant (slant-range resolution) or
inversely dependent on range (ground-range resolution). Azimuth
resolution is directly proportional to range for real-aperture radars
and is constant for synthetic aperture systems (Figure 9).
3.1 Range Resolution
There are two aspects of the range domain. Slant range
refers to the line-of-sight ray between the radar antenna and a
position in the range domain. In slant-range terms, range resolution
is constant and solely dependent on pulse duration. The shorter the
pulse duration, the the narrower the transmitted energy packet
(across the range axis) and the smaller (i.e. better) the slant-range
resolution (Figure 10). In ground-range terms, range resolution is
still a function of pulse duration, but is also inversely related to
ground range. Ground-range resolution is poorest in the near-range
portion of the scene and best in the far-range sector (Figure 9 and
10). The depression angle b is inversely related to ground range
position -- a large b illuminates the near-range sector of the swath
while small depression angles irradiate the far-range portion of the
beam. From this relationship, we can associate depression angle
with ground-range resolution:
t c where t = pulse duration
R
GR
= ---------- c= 3 x 10
8
m s
-1
2 cos b b= depression angle
2.0 Atmospheric
Interactions
3.0 Spatial Resolution
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
0
.
9
2

m
m
0
.
1
6

c
m
0
.
2
5

c
m
0
.
5
0

c
m
1
.
3
5

c
m
0
2
absorption
H 0
2
absorption
H 0
2
absorption
Far-Infrared Microwave
X

B
a
n
d
T
r
a
n
s
m
i
s
s
i
v
i
t
y
Wavelength (m)
Wavelength (cm)
50 1000 0.5 1.0 5.0 1 5
0
2
4
6
8
10
K
a

B
a
n
d
C

B
a
n
d
L

B
a
n
d
Microwave
Atmospheric Windows
6
XBand
(3 cm)
Microwave Interaction
with Precipitation
Rainfall Rate (mm/hr)
Percent of
Terrain Signal
Returned
100
80
60
40
20
0
.1 .5 1.0 1.5
Light
Rain
Drizzle Moderate
Rain
KaBand
(1cm)
7
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Table 2
For imaging radars, the size of the
Ground Resolution Cell is controlled by:
PULSE DURATION
GROUND RANGE
BEAMWIDTH
Pulse duration and ground range dictate the spatial
resolution in the direction of energy propagation, refered
to as the
RANGE RESOLUTION
Beamwidth determines the spatial resolution in the
direction of flight, refered to as
AZIMUTH RESOLUTION
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
Radar Resolution Cell
Range domain
L
i
n
e

o
f

f
l
i
g
h
t
H
A
z
i
m
u
t
h

d
o
m
a
i
n
Pulse
Duration t
Beamwidth b
8
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
22
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
b
Range Resolution
Rsr = c t / 2
Rsr
Rgr
Rgr
c t
Rgr = ------------
2 cos b
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
adapted from Henderson, F.M. and Lewis, A.J. 1998. Principles and Applications of Imaging Radar.
NY: John Wiley & Sons. 866 p.
Radar Resolution
G
r
o
u
n
d
-
r
a
n
g
e
R
e
s
o
l
u
t
i
o
n
SAR Azimuth Resolution
R
A
R
A
z
im
u
th
R
e
s
o
lu
tio
n
(
R
A
R
a
n
d
S
A
R
)
R
e
s
o
l
u
t
i
o
n

(
m
)
10
20
30
40
Ground Range (km)
2 4 6 8 10 12 14
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
9
10
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
3.2 Azimuth Resolution
3.2.1 Azimuth Resolution for SAR As given by Raney
(1998), the equation for the maximum attainable, single-look
azimuth resolution for a spaceborne SAR system is:
V
B
D
A
R
a (SAR)
= ------ x -------
V
sc
2
where R
a (SAR)
= azimuth resolution
V
B
= rate of antenna footprint movement
at the illuminated surface
V
sc
= velocity of the spaceborne SAR
D
A
= antenna size (length) in azimuth
For aircraft mounted SARs, this relationship becomes simply
R
a (SAR)
= D
A
/ 2
There are several important things to note about these
relationships. First, SAR azimuth resolution is independent of
range and is constant across the whole swath width. Second,
shorter SAR antennas produce better azimuth resolutions -- the
opposite of the case for real aperture radar. Third, since the
V
B
/ V
sc
ratio is always very small, the azimuth resolution of
spaceborne SAR systems are notably better than the R
a
of aircarft
SAR systems!
3.2.2 Azimuth Resolution for RAR For real aperture
radars (RAR), which are no longer in use for environmental remote
sensing, azimuth resolution degrades (i.e. becomes poorer) from
near range to far range (Figures 8 and 9). This is due to the diver-
gence of the physical beamwidth as a function of range as indicated
by the relationship:
R
a (RAR)
= GRR x b where GR = ground-range distance
b = azimuth beamwidth
Beamwidth for a real aperture radar is directly proportional to the
system wavelength and inversely related to the antenna length:
l
b = ------
D
A
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
4.0 Synthetic
Aperture Processing
A synthetic aperture radar is a coherent imaging system on
a moving platform which looks obliquely at the landscape. The
backscattered energy a SAR receives has a frequency spread in
the azimuth domain. This Doppler spectrum of the system, as it is
called, has a shape and bandwidth (b
DOP
) which is established by
the azimuth pattern of the antenna, the velocity of the platform
and the transmitted wavelength. The Doppler shift (f
D
) imposed
on the backscatter from each target is determined by the
component of apparent motion along the line-of-sight (LoS)
between the SAR antenna and the target (Figure 11). The
Doppler frequency shift is zero (f
D
0) when the LoS velocity
between the antenna and the scatterer is zero. This occurs at the
moment the LoS to the target is orthogonal to the line of flight.
During the time any target is illuminated in the fore-beam
zone, its backscatter is upshifted (f
D
+) because the range between
it and the antenna is constantly diminishing. After passing the
zero Doppler shift line, the range to a target is constantly
increasing and its backscattered signals are downshifted in
frequency (f
D
-).
Any target in the scene can produce backscatter only
during the time interval T
A
that it is irradiated by the SAR
antenna. This azimuth integration time (T
A
) for a given scatterer
is proportional to the slant range. In combination with the
platform velocity, T
A
determines the distance along the line of
flight for which the target is illuminated (Figure 12). This
distance L
S
is the length of the synthetic aperture.
As discussed previously, beamwidth is inversely
proportional to antenna length. A large beamwidth results in a
long illumination integration time T
A
. Hence, for synthetic
aperture radars, the azimuth resolution R
a(SAR)
is directly
proportional to azimuth antenna length D
A
. For SAR systems,
shorter antennas produce improved azimuth resolution.
SAR systems have a large azimuth time-bandwidth
product (TBP
A
= T
A
x b
DOP
) which describes the spatial
complexity of the Doppler modulation across the real aperture.
Most SARs have a TBP
A
> 10 and spaceborne SAR systems often
have a TBP
A
> 100. The large TBP
A
property of SAR systems
means that they can operate efficiently in a range-Doppler mode.
The two-dimensional SAR image is built up by the processor's
knowledge of the range to each scatterer and its Doppler phase
(Figure 13). At any given range, a scatterer is mapped at its zero
Doppler position.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
25
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
H
L
i
n
e

o
f

f
l
i
g
h
t
A
n
t
e
n
n
a

p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n

w
h
e
r
e

T

i
s

l
a
s
t

i
l
l
u
m
i
n
a
t
e
d
br
A
n
te
n
n
a
p
o
s
itio
n
w
h
e
re
T
is
firs
t illu
m
in
a
te
d
T
R
time 1
time 2
time 3
time 4
time 5
-
t5
D
o
p
p
l
e
r

s
h
i
f
t

f
D
time
t1 t3 t4 t2
+
At any given range,
targets in the
fore-beam area
have upshifted fD
while those in the
back-beam area
have downshifted fD
Doppler Shift fD
fD+
fD-
Synthetic Aperture
For airborne SAR,
the synthetic azimuth
resolution Ra(SAR) at
range R is
Ra(SAR) = R bs = DA / 2
Synthetic beamwidth
bs = l / 2Ls
= DA / 2R
Target T at range R
remains within br for
a distance Ls = R br
(the azimuth resolution
Ra(RAR) for a RAR)
br = l / DA
where br = real beamwidth
DA = real antenna length
in azimuth
H
L
i
n
e

o
f

f
l
i
g
h
t
DA
br
T
Ls
A
n
te
n
n
a
p
o
s
itio
n
w
h
e
re
T
is
firs
t illu
m
in
a
te
d
A
n
t
e
n
n
a

p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n

w
h
e
r
e

T

i
s

l
a
s
t

i
l
l
u
m
i
n
a
t
e
d
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
R
11
12
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
Range / Doppler Domain
Equi-range
lines
Range domain
L
i
n
e

o
f

f
l
i
g
h
t
H
Equi-Doppler
lines
fD+
fD-
fD0
13
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
5.0 Radar Image
Geometry
5.1 Layover
A radar image in the range domain is a record of the time it
took for the signals to interact with targets and return to the
antenna. These times are converted to distances, but in the slant
range geometry. As a result, tall objects will be displaced toward
the flight line since the wave front will encounter the top of the
object before it illuminates the bottom of the target. Radar layover
is an extreme case of relief displacement. As shown in Figure 14
(A, B and C), radar layover is not dependent on absolute range but
on the difference in range between the return from the top of an
object and the return from its bottom section.
The amount of layover is a function of the depression angle,
which controls the angle of the wave front, and the local incident
angle. Layover is most extreme at large depression angles (near
range portion of the scene) and diminishes as the depression angle
becomes smaller out in the far range portion of the scene.
Spaceborne SAR imagery is, therefore, prone to this type of
distortion, whereas aircraft SAR imagery is less troubled by
layover, except in the immediate near range.
From an image interpretation viewpoint, there are two
important affects of layover. As can be observed at example A in
Figure 14, in the near range where layover is severe, the landscape
surface in front of the tall object is at the same slant range as the top
of the object. As the wave front moves outward across the
landscape, it produces simultaneous backscatter from places in the
foreground terrain and along the radar-facing slope. In most cases,
the radar-facing slope produces the stronger backscatter of the two
and, as a result, information about the foreground landscape is
obliterated. In high relief terrain with most of the landscape in
slope, this can make the imagery virtually uninterpretable.
The second important aspect of layover for an image
interpreter is that the length of the slope is distorted in proportion to
the depression angle (i.e. position in the ground range) and the local
slope angle. Since local slope angles may not be know a priori,
estimating slope length and inclination becomes impossible.
A very instructive example of layover is presented in Figure
15. As seen in the side-view sketch, the center span of this bridge
is an arched structure. The upper edge of the arch is closer to the
radar antenna (in slant range) than the roadway section is. As a
result, the bridge is imaged as if it were laying on its side in the
river. Two other linear reflections can be observed to the right of
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
Radar Layover Example
Seasat SAR image of the bridge crossing the
St. Lawrence Seaway at Trois Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
adapted from Raney, R.K. 1998. Radar Fundamentals: Technical Perspective. in Henderson, F.M. and
Lewis, A.J. eds. Principles & Applications of Imaging Radar. NY: Wiley & Sons, 866p.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
b Depression
angle
T
o
p
B
o
t
t
o
m
B
o
t
t
o
m
T
o
p
T
o
p
B
o
t
t
o
m
T
o
p
B
o
t
t
o
m
slope shown
as a line
Shadow Shadow Shadow
Weak
return
Weak
return
La
y
o
v
e
r
L
a
y
o
v
e
r
L
a
y
o
v
e
r
F
o
r
e
s
h
o
r
t
e
n
i
n
g
Radar
image
(ground
range
format)
Radar Image Geometry
A B C D E
14
15
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
the arched return. The straight line in the middle of the three
reflections is an example of dihedral corner reflection. It represents
the double-bounce reflections from the river surface to the side of
the bridge and back to the antenna and the reverse circumstance.
Both of these dihedral paths have the same slant range and are
additive. The slightly curved reflection across the river on the far
right of the triplet represents a very interesting situation. This is the
image of the bottom of the bridge roadway! In this case, these
reflections result from a triple-bounce pathway: from the river
surface up to the bottom of the roadway, back to the river surface
and then back to the antenna. Since the bridge roadway is gently
curved to reach its maximum height-above-water at mid-span, the
triple bounce pathway is longest at mid-span and the reflection is
also gently curved, but displaced down range from the antenna
(Raney, 1998).
5.2 Foreshortening
At small depression angles, layover ceases and a new
distortion, foreshortening, occurs (example E, Figure 14). Radar
imagery shortens terrain slopes in all cases except where the local
angle in incidence (see Section 1.5, page 8) is equal to 90
o
. Terrain
slopes imaged at a 0
o
incident angle, as shown by the example D in
Figure 14, are foreshortened to a bright line on the image.
5.3 Radar Shadows
Radar shadows are dependent on the relationship between
the depression angle and the inclination of the terrain slope facing
away from the radar antenna. If the angle of the backslope is less
than the depression angle, the backslope will be fully illuminated
(no shadow) The backslope is irradiated at an acute grazing angle,
producing weak backscatter, when the depression angle and the
backslope angle are nearly equal (examples A and B, Figure 14). If
the backslope angle is greater than the depression angle, it is not
illuminated at all due to terrain obscuration which produces a radar
shadow (examples C, D and E, Figure 14). Radar shadows occur
more frequently and are more areally extensive at small depression
angles. Airborne SAR systems are prone to this problem
(landscape obscuration due to radar shadows).
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
6.0 Controls of Radar
Backscatter
6.1 Backscatter
n STRONGER returns produce BRIGHTER
signatures
n Backscatter intensity is determined by:
I. RADAR SYSTEM PARAMETERS
Polarization
* Depression Angle
* Wavelength
II. TARGET PROPERTIES
Complex Dielectric Constant
(moisture content)
* Surface Roughness
Local Geometry
* = interrelated factors to be discussed
together
n RADAR BACKSCATTER is a function of:
I. SURFACE REFLECTIVITY
- Dielectric Constant
II. SURFACE GEOMETRY
- micro (roughness)
- macro (incident angle)
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
6.2 Dielectric Constant
n description of a medium's response to the
presence of an electric field
n indication of REFLECTIVITY and
CONDUCTIVITY
n difficult to measure
n few published values especially for
landscape features rather than individual
elements
n at radar wavelengths:
object dielectric constant
dry rocks & soils 3 - 8
liquid water 80
n Dielectric constant is DIRECTLY
RELATED to MOISTURE CONTENT:
d
i
e
l
e
c
t
r
i
c

c
o
n
s
t
a
n
t
moisture content
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
32
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
6.3 Surface Roughness
n As a function of wavelength
+ SMOOTH SURFACES
(SPECULAR REFLECTORS)
25 sin g
h = surface
micro-relief
l = radar
wavelength
g = grazing angle
between terrain
and incidence
vector
h <
+ ROUGH SURFACES
(DIFFUSE REFLECTORS)
4.4 sin g
h >
l
note: h and l must
be in the same units
(usually cm)
l
n Influence on backscatter in relation to
depression angle
90
0
60
0
45
0
30
0
Sm
ooth Surface
Rough Surface
R
e
t
u
r
n


I
n
t
e
n
s
i
t
y
Depression Angle
near range
far range
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
33
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
h <
25 sin 45
0
3 cm
h <
25 (0.71)
3 cm
h < 0.17 cm
h = 0.17 - 0.96 cm
h >
4.4 sin 45
0
3 cm
h >
4.4 (0.71)
3 cm
h > 0.96 cm
adapted from Sabins, F.F. 1987. Remote Sensing, Principals and
Interpretation. New York: W.H. Freeman and Co., Figure 6.27, p. 201.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
6.4 Penetration Depth
n DIRECTLY RELATED to WAVELENGTH
(i.e. longer wavelengths penetrate more)
l
D
pen
--------- where q = incident angle
p tan q
n In lithologic materials
+ INVERSELY RELATED to
DIELECTRIC CONSTANT
+ INVERSELY RELATED to WATER
CONTENT
- As dielectric constant increases,
SURFACE REFLECTIVITY
increases
- moist soils reflect more radar
energy than dry soils
n In vegetative canopies
+ Function of the radar cross-section of
the canopy (scattering element
density vs wavelength)
~
~
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
35
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
6.5 Sigma Nought ( s
o
)
Sigma nought is a fraction which describes the amount of
average backscattered power compared to the power of the incident
field. It represents the average reflectivity of a material normalized
with respect to a unit area on the horizontal ground plane. It is
sometimes referred to as the scattering coefficient. The magnitude
of s
o
is a function of the physical and electrical properties of the
target, the wavelength and polarization of the SAR system, and the
incident angle as modified by the local slope.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
7.0 Radar
Backscatter
From
Vegetation
q Dielectric constant of vegetation is DIRECTLY
PROPORTIONAL to its in vivo MOISTURE
CONTENT
q Backscatter strength from a canopy is a function
of:
w Scattering geometry
(specular <--> diffuse)
w Frequency distribution of scatterer sizes
w Surface reflectivity beneath the canopy
w Leaf area (density of scattering elements
per unit volume)
w Polarization of the radar energy
(stronger vertical backscatter)
w Row structure and orientation relative to
the range domain of the radar
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
37
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
A
A
C
D B
D C
A
B
B
C
D
adapted from Carver, K.R. et al. 1987. Synthethic aperture radar instrument
panel report. Vol. IIf, Earth Observing System Reports. Greenbelt, Maryland:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. 233p.
5
0
10
15
20
25
10 20 30 40 50
Percent Moisture Content by Weight
freq. = 8.5 GHz
T
a
x
u
s

N
e
e
d
l
e
G
r
a
s
s
C
o
r
n

L
e
a
f
L
e
a
f

D
i
e
l
e
c
t
r
i
c

C
o
n
s
t
a
n
t
adapted from Carlson, N.L. 1967. Dielectric constant of vegetation at 8.5 Ghz. Columbus,
Ohio: Ohio State University ElectroScience Laboratory Technical Report 1903-5.
Types of Canopy Backscatter
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
Leaf Dielectric Constant vs Moisture Content
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
Canopy Backscatter (volume scatter)
Canopy-Soil Multiple Scatter
Soil-Canopy Multiple Scatter
Direct Soil Backscatter
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
38
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
7.1 Applying SAR Data To Tropical Forest Issues
7.1.1 Overview. Tropical rainforests present
particularly difficult challenges for applying remote sensing for
the following reasons:
- frequent, nearly ubiquitous cloud cover
- very high biomass densities (200 - 600 tons ha
-1
)
- complex vertical stratification of the forest canopy
- lack of seasonal variation in structural attributes
According to Leckie, D.G. and Ranson, K.J. 1998.
Forestry Applications Using Imaging Radar. in F.M.
Henderson and A.J. Lewis, eds. Principles and Applications of
Imaging Radar. NY: Wiley and Sons, pp. 435-509:
n The best discrimination of forest type with SAR imagery
is achieved by visual interpretation:
- backscatter intensity, texture and context
- understanding of local ecology and cultural practices is
essential
- knowledge of topography is important to determine
ecological niche and to account for the effects of different
incident angles
- drainage patterns also give important clues
n Results regarding SAR use from temperate and boreal
forests cannot be applied to tropical forests:
- tropical forests have much larger species diversity and
much greater biomass density
n Forest mapping in the humid tropics consists of
delineating general forest types and units which are often
classified by their physiographic setting.
n Example forest units that have been mapped using
airborne SAR:
- primary and secondary forest
- mangrove swamp
- beach forest
- high scrub forest
- hill dipterocarp
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
- coastal plain forest
- eucalyptus
n RADAM-Columbia (1973-1979) used X-band, HH SAR
imagery to map the following classes:
- floodplain
- dry land terrace and low hills
- with dense, homogeneous forest
- with savanna and savanna-forest
- high hills and plains
7.1.2 Mapping Forest Types, Clearings and
Regeneration. According to Banner, A.V.
and Ahern, F.J. 1995. Incidence Angle Effects on the
Interpretability of Forest Clearcuts Using Airborne C-HH SAR
Imagery. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. 21 (1): 64-66.
- Satellite SAR data should be selected for the largest
possible incident angle to maximize the contrast of forest clearings.
- Airborne SAR data should be acquired at incident angles
greater that 60
o
to facilitate mapping forest clearings.
Conway, J. 1997. Evaluating ERS-1 SAR data for the
discrimination of tropical forest from other tropical vegetation
types in Papua New Guinea. International Journal of Remote
Sensing. 18 (14): 2967-2984.
- Western Province, Papua New Guinea
ERS-1 SAR C-VV; 100 m resolution (smoothed from
original 30 m data); 23.5
o
incident angle.
- ERS-1 data can discriminate forest from nonforest (Kappa =
77.7%). Landsat TM over the same area produced a similarly
accurate classification (Kappa = 73.4%).
- One-date data set provides successful results (Kappa =
84.7%) if it is acquired during the dry season.
- Multitemporal data analysis, using acquisitions from both
the wet and dry seasons, yields the most accurate results (Kappa =
77.7% - 90.3%).
- The potential of ERS-1 SAR data for forest type
discrimination is very low.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Saachi, S.S. et al. 1997. Mapping Deforestation and Land Use
in Amazon Rainforest by Using SIR-C Imagery. Remote
Sensing of Environment. 59: 191-202.
- Northeast of Jaru, Rondonia State, Brazil.
- SIR-C C- and L-band; HH and HV; 25 m resolution; 32
o
incident angle.
- Six-category classification scheme (Figure 16):
- Primary forest
- Secondary forest (Young and Old)
- Pasture/Crops
- Quebradao
- Disturbed forest
- MAP classification of 4-channel SAR data (L-HH, L-HV,
C-HH, C-HV) produced an overall average classification accuracy
of 72% (Table 3).
adapted from Saatchi, S.S. et al. 1997. Mapping Deforestation and Land
Use in Amazon Rainforest by Using SIR-C Imagery. Remote
Sensing of Environment. 59: 191-202.
Table 3
SIR-C C-HH, C-HV, L-HH and L-HV channels
Confusion Matrix of Land Cover Types Derived from MAP Classifier
SIR-C C-HH, C-HV, L-HH and L-HV channels
Confusion Matrix of Grouped Land Cover Types Derived from MAP Classifier
Classification Category
Truth Class Primary Regrowth/ Pasture/
Forest Disturbed Crops
Primary forest (PF) 93% 7% 0%
Regrowth / Disturbed 18% 81% 1%
Pasture / crops (PS) 0% 13% 87%
____________
The Regrowth/Disturbed class includes both young and old regrowth as well as
forest disturbances. The Pasture/Crops class includes Quebradao, Pasture and
Agricultural Fields.
Classification Category
Truth Class PF SR DF QB PS
Primary forest (PF) 84% 4% 11% 0% 0%
Secondary regrowth (SR) 32% 62% 0% 6% 0%
Disturbed forest (DF) 16% 0% 77% 6% 0%
Quebradao (QB) 0% 8% 10% 69% 13%
Pasture / crops (PS) 0% 29% 0% 0% 71%
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
41
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
-10
-12
-14
-16
-18
-20
-10 -8 -6 -4 -2 0
L
-
H
V

(
d
B
)
L-HH (dB)
1: Pasture/Crops
2: Primary Forest
3: Quebradao
4: Young Regrowth
5: Old Regrowth
6: Disturbed Forest
x x
x
x
x
x
5
6
2
3
-2
1: Pasture/Crops
2: Primary Forest
3: Quebradao
4: Young Regrowth
5: Old Regrowth
6: Disturbed Forest
1
C-HH (dB)
-12 -10 -8 -6 -4
-20
-15
-10
-5
C
-
H
V

(
d
B
)
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
3
4
SIR-C Data for Mapping
Tropical Deforestation
1: Pasture/Crops
2: Primary Forest
3: Quebradao
4: Young Regrowth
5: Old Regrowth
6: Disturbed Forest
L-HV (dB)
C
-
H
V


(
d
B
)
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
6
2
5
3
4
1
-10 -15 -20 -25 -30
-20
-15
-10
-5
adapted from Saatchi, S.S. et al. 1997. Mapping Deforestation and Land Use in Amazon
Rainforest by Using SIR-C Imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment. 59:
191-202.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
16
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
42
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
- Significant confusion existed between Primary and
Secondary forests and between Secondary forests and Pasture/
Crops. Disturbed forests were also confused with Primary forests,
but less often (16%).
- C-HH and C-HV channels help delineate the low
vegetative areas but add confusion to the distinction between
forest types achieved by L-HH and L-HV.
- Using all four SAR channels, with a simplified three-
category classification scheme (Primary forest, Regrowth/
Disturbed forest and Pasture-Crops/Quebradao), the MAP
classifier produced an overall accuracy of 87% with greater
separability between the classes (Table 3).
- Using only the two L-band channels (L-hh and L-HV),
with the three-category legend, the MAP classifier produced a
classification with 92% overall accuracy.
- L-band SAR data in this study area and during the dry
season appeared to saturate at less than 10 years forest regrowth
(woody biomass < 100 tons / hectare) because the green biomass
and canopy water content are high.
- L-band SAR data acquired during the wet season is not
suitable for land cover classification (for example, Figure 17
shows the impact of a local rain shower on the backscatter from a
forest canopy).
- Some areas of Secondary regrowth appear in Landsat TM
imagery, but not in the SAR data. Other studies have shown the
opposite -- that L-band SAR data have better sensitivity to
Secondary regrowth than do the Landsat data.
- Some areas of disturbed forest do not appear clearly on
Landsat TM imagery, but have distinctive backscatter
characteristics in the L-band SAR data.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
43
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
Enhanced Backscatter from
Wet Forest Canopy
c ESA
Ra
Az
ERS-1
SAR
Local
rain
shower
17
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
44
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Rignot, E. et al. 1997. Mapping Deforestation and Secondary
Growth in Rondonia, Brazil, Using Imaging Radar and
Thematic Mapper Data. Remote Sensing of Environment. 59:
167-179.
- 50 km southeast of Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil.
- SIR-C C- and L-band, quad-polarized, incident angle ca.
37
o
.
- JERS-1 L-HH, incident angle ca. 39
o
.
- Land cover classes:
- Open water
- Flooded, dead forest
- Clearings with no woody biomass
- Initial regrowth (0-5 years old; 0-60 tons/ha)
- Intermediate regrowth (5-8 years old; 60-120 t/ha)
- Recent clearings with high woody biomass slash
- Forest (292-436 t/ha)
- For tropical forests, volume scattering dominates both C-
and L-band SAR data. The magnitude of the cross-polarized
returns is controlled by the volume, structure and moisture
content of the canopy.
- Volume scatter is larger for L-band than C-band. At C-
band frequencies the canopy is dense enough to promote single-
bounce scattering. At L-band wavelengths the signals penetrate
deeper into the canopy promoting volume scatter.
- Flooded forest returns are dominated by double-bounce
scatter.
- Single-bounce scatter is typical of old forest clearings.
- Recently cleared areas produce unique polarimetric
returns: single-bounce, double-bounce and volume scattering
contribute almost equally to total backscatter.
- Landsat TM data separate deforested areas from forest
better than SIR-C data, primarily because SIR-C does not
separate older regrowth well from the forest class.
- SIR-C data provide better information on the residual
woody biomass of deforested areas than Landsat TM data.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
45
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
- Single-date, C-band SAR data (e.g. ERS-1 and -2 or
RADARSAT) have very limited potential for deforestation studies.
- JERS-1 SAR data acquired during the rainy season
(February) underestimated deforestation by more than 100%
because forest fallow and undisturbed forest had similar brightness
values. JERS-1 data from the dry season (October) showed better
contrast between forest and clearings, but most areas of regrowth
were not well separated from intact forest.
- At least two polarizations are required at L-band (preferably
HH and HV) to separate regrowth with good accuracy.
- Polarimetric information provides the highest regeneration
mapping accuracy (overall 91%).
- The combined use of optical and radar imagery provides the
most reliable form of landcover mapping, without requiring data
from the same year (Table 4).
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
46
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Classification of Polarimetric C- and L-band SAR Data,
with and without Landsat TM Imagery,
to Map Deforestation and Secondary Regrowth
adapted from Rignot, E., Salas, W.A. and Skole, D.L. 1997. Mapping Deforestation and Secondary Growth
in Rondonia, Brazil, Using Imaging Radar and Thematic Mapper Data. Remote Sensing of
Environment. 59: 167-179.
SIR-C L-band quad-pol and C-band quad-pol
MAP classifier
(Combined Kappa Coefficient = 91)
Classification Category
Truth Class OW FDF CC INIR S F Kappa
Open water (OW) 198 0 25 2 0 2 87
Flooded dead forest (FDF) 0 5525 0 54 160 15 95
Clearing (CC) 78 0 14648 138 13 80 97
[no woody biomass]
Initial regrowth (INIR) 0 0 17 6656 1 2480 68
Recent clearings (S) 0 0 0 111 3451 42 95
[with high woody biomass]
Primary forest (F) 0 0 0 0 0 11529 100
SIR-C L-band quad-pol and C-band quad-pol (MAP classifier)
Combined Using Logical Operators With
Landsat TM (ISODATA classifier)
(Combined Kappa Coefficient = 93)
Classification Category
Truth Class OW FDF CC INIR INTR S F Kappa
Open water (OW) 227 0 0 0 0 0 2 100
Flooded dead forest (FDF) 153 5525 0 30 2 34 12 95
Clearing (CC) 86 0 14640 138 17 30 46 97
[no woody biomass]
Initial regrowth (INIR) 1 0 17 6451 864 339 131 79
Intermediate regrowth (INTR) 0 0 0 205 922 28 196 67
Recent clearings (S) 0 0 0 111 0 3458 35 96
[with high woody biomass]
Primary forest (F) 5 0 0 0 0 0 11524 100
Table 4
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
47
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Kux, H.J.H, et al. 1998. Evaluation of Radarsat for Land Use
and Land Cover Dynamics in the Southwestern Brazilian
Amazon State of Acre. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing.
24(4): 350-359.
- Acre State, Brazil; RADARSAT, Standard mode, C-HH
calibrated in terms of g = s
o
/ cos q
inc
, incident angles 30
o
-49
o
,
resampled to 10 m pixel spacing.
- There is no significant difference in backscatter between
open forest with bamboo and closed forest. Closed-canopy forest
presents a nearly invariant C-HH backscatter with time.
- The backscatter of non-forested areas is less than that of
forested areas. Pasture and regenerating pasture exhibited the
lowest backscatter, while overgrown pasture exhibited intermediate
backscatter.
- C-HH backscatter is not a reliable indicator of degree of
regeneration within the early stages of this process. Backscatter
variation within a given pasture class is larger than the mean
between-class differences. These variations are probably due to
differences in surface and near-surface moisture contents.
- All cover types exhibited higher relative backscatter on days
of precipitation due to a moist canopy (see Figure 17).
- Variations in the multitemporal backscatter from cleared
areas are considerably larger than those from the forest class.
- Burned forest exhibits the largest temporal variation of any
cover type.
- The multitemporal contrast between deforested areas and
the primary forest was variable. The greatest contrast was observed
on an afternoon overpass (no dew, which can increase the
backscatter from pastures) at the end of the dry season when no rain
was recorded in the previous 24 hours (hence, moisture variations
were minimized).
- Multitemporal C-HH data can be reliably used to detect and
map deforestation. The ideal two-date combination would be to
obtain one image under very dry conditions and a second image
following a recent rainfall.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
48
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Malcolm, J.R. et al. 1998. Use of RADARSAT SAR Data for
Sustainable Management of Natural Resources: A Test Case in
the Kayapo Indigenous Area, Para, Brazil. Canadian Journal
of Remote Sensing. 24(4): 360-366.
- Kayapo Indigenous Area, Para State, Brazil;
RADARSAT, Standard Beam at 25 m x 28 m resolution with
incident angles 20
o
-49
o
and Fine Mode at 9-11 m x 9 m resolution
with incident angles 37
o
-48
o
.
- This study sought to identify 1) small canopy openings
from logging activities and 2) environmental gradients such as
floodplain forest to upland forest or forest to cerrado.
- No evidence of logging roads or log-loading areas within
mahogony groves was evident in the RADARSAT imagery. In
this study area, tree crowns averaged about 10 m in diameter
while the graded logging roads averaged 9.1 m wide and the
skidder trails averaged only 4 m wide (Figure 18 provides an
example (from Southeast Asia) of the fine-grain nature of these
types of forest disturbances).
- Recent, large (i.e. tens of meters across) forest clearings
were discernible, but older agricultural areas were not evident.
- The general consensus among those who have studied C-
band SAR data of tropical forests is that it is off little use in
distinguishing among vegetation types or biomass classes, with
the exception of delineating bare ground or very recently cut
areas.
- Small, natural cerrado "islands" were not discernible.
- At C-band, the confusion potential for biomass variation
being confounded with topographic variation in the backscatter
signal is great.
- They successfully distinguished floodplain forest from
upland forest, in part based on differences in mean backscatter,
but primarily on the basis of backscatter graininess (Figure 19).
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
49
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Figure 18. STAR-1, airborne X-HH SAR imagery at 6 m resolution of a coastal swamp forest in
Southeast Asia. Top image was acquired in 1989; the bottom image was acquired in 1991. Note
the land use / cover changes: forest clearing for a plantation near the center of the imagery and
selective logging activities in the lower left of the image. (Imagery from Intera Information
Technologies, Ltd., Canada).
from: Leckie, D.G. and Ranson, K.J. 1998. Forestry Applications Using Imaging Radar. in F.M. Henderson and A.J. Lewis, eds. Principles
and Applications of Imaging Radar. NY: Wiley and Sons, pp. 435-509.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
50
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
19
84
82
80
78
76
C
V

[
A
B
S

(
l
a
g
1
)
]
29 30 31 32 33 34
Mean Pixel Value
Floodplain Forest Site
Upland Forest Site
Forest Association Mapping Using
Radarsat Backscatter graininess
adapted from Malcolm, J.R. et al. 1998. Use of Radarsat SAR Data for Sustainable Management
of Natural Resources: A Test Case in the Kayapo Indiginous Area, Para,
Brazil. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. 24: 360-366.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
51
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
van der Sanden, J.J. and Hoekmen, D.H. 1999. Potential of
Airborne Radar to Support the Assessment of Land Cover in a
Tropical Rain Forest Environment. Remote Sensing of
Environment. 68: 26-40.
- Guyana and Colombia; 1992 South American Radar
Experiment (SAREX-92) = CCRS SAR: C-band, HH and HV plus
X-band, HH and HV with a spatial resolution of 4.8 m x 6.1 m ;
1993 AIRSAR South American Deployment = AIRSAR: C-, L- and
P-band, fully polarimetric with a spatial resolution of 6.7 m x 12.1
m; both SAR systems operated at incident angles of ca. 20
o
-65
o
.
- This study employed a fairly detailed, eight-class legend:
- Mixed forest (645 t / ha)
- Wallaba forest (460 t / ha)
- Xeric mixed forest (240 t / ha)
- Low swamp forest n/a
- Mora forest (575 t / ha)
- Logged-over forest --
- Secondary forest (40 t / ha) [15 years old]
- Nonforest --
- Texture, not backscatter magnitude, is the most important
source of information for identifying tropical land cover types in
high-frequency, high-resolution SAR imagery (Figure 20).
- L-band and P-band data have comparable capabilities to
discriminate nonforest from forest classes. Based on a single L- or
P-band combination, 65%-80% of the nonforest points were
correctly classified. Nonforest is not generally confused with the
other classes, except secondary forest.
- P-band VH and L-band VH are able to classify secondary
forest with 90% accuracy.
- Overall, P-band is generally better than L-band for
classifying forest types and P-TP and circular polarized P-band
combinations yield better results than P-HH or P-HV.
- P-band combinations classified logged-over forest more
accurately than did the L-band combinations. P-VH and P-LL
yielded the best results (>= 83% correct).
- Primary forest types are the most difficult to classify.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
52
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
0.2
0.0
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
-10 -7.5 -5 -2.5 0 2.5 5
Gamma (dB) [relative scale]
Low Swamp
Wallaba
Mixed
Mora
Logged-
over
Xeric Mixed
CCRS SAR
X-HH
Low
Swamp
Wallaba
Mixed
Mora
Logged-
over
Xeric Mixed
0.2
0.0
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
Grey-level Co-occurrence --
Correlation, displacement = 1 pixel
CCRS SAR
X-HH
Low Swamp
Wallaba
Mixed
Mora
Logged-over
Xeric
Mixed
0.2
0.0
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
0 10 20 30 40 50
Grey-level Co-occurrence --
Contrast, displacement = 5 pixel
CCRS SAR
X-HH
0.2
0.0
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
-8 -6 -4 -2 -0 2
g (dB)
Low Swamp
Wallaba
Mixed
Mora
Logged-
over
Xeric Mixed
Secondary
Forest
Non-Forest
NASA/JPL
AIRSAR
C-band VV
0.2
0.0
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
-16 -14 -12 -10 -8 -6
g (dB)
-18 -20
Low
Swamp
Wallaba
Mixed
Mora
Logged-
over
Xeric Mixed
Secondary
Forest
Non-Forest
NASA/JPL
AIRSAR
P-band RR
NASA/JPL
AIRSAR
L-band VV
0.2
0.0
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
-16 -14 -12 -10 -8 -6 -4 -2
g (dB)
Low
Swamp
Wallaba
Mixed
Mora
Logged-
over
Xeric Mixed
Secondary
Forest
Non-Forest
Importance of SAR Texture
For Tropical Forest Mapping
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
adapted from van der Sanden, J.J. and Hoekman, D.H. 1999. Potential of Airborne Radar to Support the Assessment of Land Cover in a Tropical Rain Forest
Environment. Remote Sensing of Environment. 68: 26-40.
20
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
53
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
- The best performing two-channel combination of C-RR
and P-LL yielded an overall classification accuracy of 73%.
- The best performing three-channel combination of C-LL,
P-VH and P-TP gave an overall classification accuracy of 88%.
- Combinations including linear, cross-polarized or circular
like-polarized channels yielded better results than other
combinations. This illustrates the importance of canopy
architecture for forest type identification, since backscatter with
such polarizations results from diffuse scattering in the canopy.
- Regardless of frequency band, the HH-HV phase
difference (PPD) yields a poor classification result.
7.1.3 Relating SAR Data to Tropical Forest Biomass.
The problem of relating SAR data to tropical forest biomass is
twofold. First, the biomass density of the Primary forest is so
large that backscatter differences are nil beyond about 100 t / ha
biomass densities. Secondly, with respect to mapping clearings in
the forest and their regeneration, many regenerating pastures have
large enough biomass densities to produce backscatter equivalent
to that from the surrounding Primary forest. The biomass
relationship between the Primary forest and abandoned pastures is
shown in Figure 21. An example of the backscatter confusion
from these types of land covers is given in Figure 22 which shows
a SIR-A SAR image (L-HH, 40 m x 40 m resolution, incident
angle = 50
o
). Several large cattle ranching areas within the
tropical forest can be seen. Recent forest clearings or maintained
pastures (i.e. little or no woody biomass) presents a very dark
backscatter return in contrast to the medium-bright greytone
return from undisturbed forest. Note the enhanced, bright return
from the closed forest canopy over the stream courses (double
bounce). Also of interest are the various shades of grey
(increasing backscatter) associated with regeneration vegetation in
old clearings of differing age.
Foody, G.M. et al. 1997. Observations on the
relationship between SIR-C radar backscatter and the biomass
of regenerating tropical forests. International Journal of
Remote Sensing. 18(3): 687-694 observed that:
- 90 km north of Manaus, Para State, Brazil; SIR-C C- and
L-band, HH, HV and VV with a spatial resolution of about 25 m
x 25 m, incident angle ca. 26
o
.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
54
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Forest and Pasture Plant Mass
adapted from Uhl,C., Buschbacher, R. and Serrao, E.A.S. 1988. Abandoned pastures in eastern
Amazonia. I. Patterns of plant succession. Journal of Ecology. 76: 663-681.
Live
Biomass
Prostrate
Trunks
Standing
Dead Trees
Litter
N
e
c
r
o
m
a
s
s
s
t
a
n
d

1
s
t
a
n
d

2
Forest Light
use
Moderate
use
Heavy
use
Abandoned pasture
T
o
t
a
l

l
i
v
e

a
n
d

d
e
a
d

a
b
o
v
e
-
g
r
o
u
n
d

p
l
a
n
t

m
a
s
s

(
t

/

h
a
)
360
280
200
120
40
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
SIR-A SAR Image of Forest and Pasture
Cover Types, Para, Brazil
21
22
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
55
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
- They found no significant relationship between SAR
backscatter in the six channels and forest biomass which ranged
from 64 to 141 tons / hectare.
- The various backscatter channel ratios increased the
correlation strength with biomass. The strongest correlation
observed was with the L-HV / L-HH ratio which produced an
r = 0.64 at the 95% level of confidence.
Yanasse, C. C.F. et al. 1997. Exploratory Study of the
Relationship bewteen Tropical Forest Regeneration Stages and
SIR-C L and C Data. Remote Sensing of Environment. 59: 180-
190.
- Tapajos National Forest, Para State, Brazil.
SIR-C C- and L-band, HH and HV
- The sensitivity of microwave to biomass saturates after a
certain level is reached.
- The biomass dependence of microwave backscatter varies as
a function of radar wavelength and polarization.
- The saturation point is higher for longer wavelengths and
the HV polarization is the most sensitive to biomass.
- This study used a seven-class regeneration mapping scheme:
- Recent activities (bare soil and pasture)
- 0 - 2 year old regeneration
- 2 - 4 year old regeneration
- 4 -6 year old regeneration
- 6 - 8 year old regeneration
- >= 9 year old regeneration
- Primary forest
- Some discrimination between forest and nonforest arfeas is
possible with L-HV and, to a lesser extent, with L-HH. C-band,
regardless of polarization, is not useful for such discrimination.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
56
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
- Classifying regeneration age using only coefficient of
variation values (a measure of texture) would probably not be as
accurate as using the large-area mean value. This conclusion is
contrary to the results reported by [Yanasse, C.C.F. et al. 1993.
Statistical analysis of SAREX data over Tapajos -- Brazil. in
SAREX-92 South American Radar Experiment, Paris, 6-8 Dec.,
1993, Workshop Proceedings, ESA WPP-76. Paris: ESA, March
1994, pp. 25-40] and by [van der Sanden, J.J. and Hoekman, D.H.
1999. Potential of Airborne Radar to Support the Assessment of
Land Cover in a Tropical Rain Forest Environment. Remote
Sensing of Environment. 68: 26-40]
- The variation between the global mean values of Primary
forest and Bare soil/Pasture is about 5 dB for L-HV, 2 dB for L-
HH and less than 0.5 dB for either polarization of C-band (Figure
23).
- There appears to be no mean backscatter difference
between the 4 - 6 year old and the 6 - 8 year old regeneration age
classes.
- For L-HV, there is a two-fold decrease in CV (a measure
related to texture) between the Bare soil/Pasture class and the 4- 6
year old regrowth class. There are only slight differences in the
CV associated with the 4 - 6 year old, 6 - 8 year old, >= 9 year old
and Primary forest classes (Figure 23).
Luckman, A. et al. 1997. A Study of the Relationship
between Radar Backscatter and Regenerating Tropical Forest
Biomass for Spaceborne SAR Instruments. Remote Sensing of
Environment. 60: 1-13.
- Tapajos region, Para State, Brazil; ERS-1, JERS-1 and
SIR-C.
- Backscatter at L-band shows a greater variation with
vegetation type than at C-band.
- L-band HV backscatter responds slightly more to
vegetation differences than L-band HH.
- C-band backscatter shows more variation with vegetation
type during the dry season (December image) than during the wet
season (July image).
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
57
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
- 4
- 6
- 8
- 16
- 14
- 12
- 10
M
e
a
n

b
a
c
k
s
c
a
t
t
e
r

(
d
B
)
L-HH
L-HV
C-HH
C-HV
Recent
activity
0-2 yr
old
2-4 yr
old
4-6 yr
old
6-8 yr
old
>=9 yr
old
Primary
forest
Regeneration stages
Mean Backscatter & CV vs
Regeneration Stage
C
o
e
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
t

o
f

v
a
r
i
a
t
i
o
n
L
-
H
H
L
-
H
V
C
-H
H
C-HV
Recent
activity
0-2 yr
old
2-4 yr
old
4-6 yr
old
6-8 yr
old
>=9 yr
old
Primary
forest
Regeneration stages
0.30
0.40
0.50
0.60
0.70
0.80
adapted from Yanasse, C.C.F. et al. 1997. Exploratory Study of the Relationship between Tropical
Forest Regeneration Stages and SIR-C L and C Data. Remote Sensing of
Environment. 59: 180-190.
23
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
58
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
- L-band is more appropriate than C-band because the
longer wavelength penetrates farther into the vegetation canopy,
better discriminating forest areas from those of lower biomass
density.
- The apparent disappearance of pasture areas in the C-band
imagery between the dry season (when it was detectable) and the
wet season (not detectable) is probably due to the increased
backscatter from the moist ground.
- C-band presents no useful relationship between biomass
density and backscatter. The threshold of maximum retrievable
biomass (90% of maximum) is only about 22 tons / hectare,
making it responsive to only very young (less than five years ?)
forest regeneration (Figure 24).
- L-HH backscatter presented a useful relationship to
biomass density up to about 60 tons / ha. L-HV backscatter
saturated at about 50 tons / ha (Figure 24).
Luckman, A et al. 1998. Tropical Forest Biomass
Density Estimation Using JERS-1 SAR: Seasonal Variation,
Confidence Limits, and Application to Image Mosaics. Remote
Sensing of Environment. 63: 126-139.
- Tapajos region, Para State and Manaus region, Amazonas
State, Brazil; JERS-1.
- Mature tropical forest canopies present very stable
backscattering properties, regardless of time or season [not
including dew or rain events as variables].
- L-HH backscatter appears to saturate at about 60 tons / ha
biomass, but the biomass retrieval limit, which is tolerant of both
speckle and image texture, is only 31 tons / ha.
- A quantized biomass retrieval scheme was proposed
which parsed the backscatter range into bins of limited ranges of
biomass density. The size of the bins should be constant in the
logarithmic (dB) scale and equal to the confidence interval
calculated for the worst-case texture and speckle, based on 1 ha
samples. Figure 25 and Table 5 present this approach.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
59
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
s vs Above-ground Biomass
0
adapted from Luckman, A. et al. 1997. A Study of the Relationship between Radar Backscatter
and Regenerating Tropical Forest Biomass for Spaceborne SAR Instruments.
Remote Sensing of Environment. 60: 1-13.
-12
-10
-8
-6
-4
s


(
d
B
)
0
0 100 200 300 400
Above-ground biomass (tons / ha)
ERS-1 C-VV
(dry season)
variance envelope
at 3x the standard
error of the mean at
each site
-22
-20
-18
-16
-14
-12
-10
-8
s


(
d
B
)
0
0 100 200 300 400
Above-ground biomass (tons / ha)
JERS-1 L-HH
SIR-C L-HH
variance envelopes
at 3x the standard
error of the mean at
each site
SIR-C L-HV
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
24
-12
-11
-10
-9
-8
-7
s


(
d
B
)
0
1 2 10 6 13 31 100 100
Above-ground Biomass (tons / ha)
saturation
at - 7.7
1.2 dB
interval
Error bar at twice the
standard error of the
mean backscatter
JERS-1 L-HH
JERS-1 s vs Biomass
0
adapted from Luckman, A. et al. 1998. Tropical Forest Biomass Density Estimation Using
JERS-1 SAR: Seasonal Variation, Confidence Limits and Application to Image
Mosaics. Remote Sensing of Environment. 63: 126-139.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
25
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
60
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Biomass Density and Backscatter
Thresholds for the Quantized Retrieval Scheme
Image Lower s
0
Upper s
0
Tone Threshold Threshold Typical Land Cover Biomass
Black Noise floor -11.9 dB Inland water n/a
-11.9 dB -10.7 dB Pasture and Crops n/a
-10.7 dB - 9.5 dB Young regrowth 6-13 t/ha
- 9.5 dB - 8.3 dB Established
regeneration 13-31 t/ha
- 8.3 dB - 7.1 dB Old regeneration
to Primary Forest > 31 t/ha
White - 7.1 dB Maximum Flooded forest and
Urban Areas n/a
adapted from Luckman A. et al. 1998. Tropical Forest Biomass Density Estimation
Using JERS-1 SAR: Seasonal Variation, Confidence Limits and Application
to Image Mosaics. Remote Sensing of Environment. 63: 126-139
Table 5
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
61
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Numerous investigators have commented on the enhanced
backscatter from a forest canopy where it is above standing water or
saturated soils (Figures 26 and 27). Figure 28 shows several good
examples of this phenomenon. This SIR-B, L-HH image in
southern Colombia shows a tropical forest canopy in the left portion
of the image and a grassland on the right part of the scene. Note the
double-bounce, enhanced backscatter from the forest canopy were it
closes over rivers. The floodplains of all the rivers in the scene are
forested and present strong backscatter which presents extreme
contrast with the low backscatter from the grasslands (penetrated by
the long wavelength L-band).
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
62
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Energy Reflected
Away From
Sensor
Energy Scattered
With Enhanced
Return
Energy
Scattered and
Absorbed Within
Vegetation Canopy
L-band
23.5 cm
C-band
5.4 cm
X-band
3.0 cm
1 GHz
2 GHz
4 GHz
8 GHz
12.5 GHz
W
a
v
e
l
e
n
g
t
h
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
Vegetation Type over a Water Surface
GRASSES HERBACEOUS TIMBER
Enhanced Backscatter from
Vegetation Over Water
adapted from Ormsby, J.P. et al. 1985. Detection of Lowland Flooding Using Active Microwave
Systems. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing. 51(3): 317-328.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
27
adapted from Carver, K.R. et al. 1987. Synthethic aperture radar instrument
panel report. Vol. IIf, Earth Observing System Reports. Greenbelt, Maryland:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. 233p.
Enhanced Backscatter From Arboreal
Canopy Over Water or Saturated Soil
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
Smaller Dielectric
Constant
Larger Dielectric
Constant
Weaker Return Stronger Return
26
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
63
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
28
L-HH SAR Image of
Tropical Forest and Grassland
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
64
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
7.2 Agricultural Applications of Imaging Radar
7.2.1 Overview. The following brief summary is
abstracted from the expansive review provided by:
Brisco, B. and Brown, R.J. 1998. Agricultural
Applications With Radar. in F.M. Henderson and A.J. Lewis,
eds. Principles and Applications of Imaging Radar. NY: Wiley
and Sons, pp. 381-406.
- Lower SAR frequencies (i.e. longer wavelengths) tend to
penetrate through most crops. At these wavelengths, soils
properties are more influential in governing the backscatter from
agricultural fields.
- Higher frequencies (i.e. shorter wavelengths) interact more
with the vegetation and thus contain more information about
canopy parameters.
- Crop type classification (up to 90% correct) has been
demonstrated with multitemporal SAR data, but increased soil
moisture usually diminishes the classification accuracy.
- Crop condition monitoring (i.e. vigor, stress, etc.) has not
been successfully demonstrated, but crop growth monitoring has
been.
7.2.2 Relating SAR Data to Crop Biomass. The
following research summary is abstracted from: Paloscia, S.
1998. An Empirical Approach To Estimating Leaf Area Index
from Multifrequency SAR Data. International Journal of
Remote Sensing. 19(2): 359-364.
- Montespertoli, Italy; AIRSAR, fully polarimetric P-, L-
and C-band, 12.2 m x 6.6 m spatial resolution with incident
angles from 35
o
-45
o
; SIR-C, fully polarimetric L- and C-band, 25
m x 20 m spatial resolution at incident angles of 35
o
-45
o
.
- Plant constituents (leaves, stems, trunks, etc.) affect
backscatter in a different way according to both their dimensions
and the observing wavelength. For each frequency, a main source
of scattering can be identified (e.g. L-band backscatter is mostly
influenced by the return from large leaves while C-band
backscatter is significantly influenced by small leaves).
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
65
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
- For bare soil, s
o
HV
is generally very low and s
o
VV
is greater
than s
o
HH
.
- On vegetation, s
o
HV
is generally higher (due to the
contribution of inclined and relatively large cylindrical scattering
elements) and s
o
VV
becomes very similar to s
o
HH
.
- If double-bounce occurs, originated by vertical structures
(e.g. trunks at P-band or stalks in corn or sunflowers at L-band)
over a relatively smooth soil, s
o
HH
can be even greater than s
o
VV
.
- Herbaceous vegetation is essentially transparent at P-band.
- L-band SAR data are capable of identifying agricultural
crops, like sunflower and corn, when they are well-developed and
characterized by relatively large scattering elements (large leaves
and stems).
- The best sensitivity to crop growth was noted at the L-band,
using both s
o
HH
/ s
o
VV
and s
o
HV
.
- The strongest relationship (r
2
= 0.74) between backscatter
and LAI was found at L-band for the broadleaf crops (e.g. corn,
sunflower or sorghum). This relationship appears to be asymptotic,
just as it is in the optical wavelengths.
- A useful parameter for investigating variations of s
o
with
increasing dimensions of leaves and stems is the Normalized
Volumetric Leaf Area Index (NVLAI, in m
3
m
-3
). NVLAI = (LAI)
x (Leaf Thickness, in m) x (the wavenumber: k = 2p / l, in m
-1
).
- In a comparison between the NVLAI and the s
o
HV
value at
P-, L- and C-bands (q = 35
o
), an r
2
= 0.76 was achieved (Figure 29).
- The SAR-computed NVLAI was compared with ground-
measured NVLAI and generated a strong correlation r
2
= 0.76
(Figure 29).
7.2.3 Other Aspects of SAR Backscatter from Crops.
Figures 30 through 36 present other aspects which can affect the
backscatter from crops, such as canopy moisture content, SAR
system polarization and the crop row direction with respect to the
range domain of the SAR.
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
66
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Backscatter vs NVLAI
0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.10
0.02
0.00
0.00
0.04
0.06
0.08
0.10
N
V
L
A
I

(
e
s
t
i
m
a
t
e
d
)
NVLAI (measured)
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F F
F
F
F
F
F
F
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
C
C
W
W W
W
W
W
W
F
V
V
V
V
S
S
S
S
M
VF
F
F = sunflower
C = corn
A = alfalfa
W = wheat
M = meadows
S = sorghum
V = vineyards
C
L
P
C
C
C
C
C
C C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L L
L
L
L
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
L
PP
P
P
P
P
P
0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.10 0.00
- 30
- 25
- 20
- 15
- 10
NVLAI
s



(
d
B
)
oH
V
L = L-band
C = C-band
P = P-band
adapted from Paloscia, S. 1998. An Empirical Approach to Estimating Leaf Area Index from
Multifrequency SAR Data. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 19: 359-364.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing & GIS, Michigan State University C 1999
NVLAI = (LAI in m
2
m
-2
) * (leaf thickness in m) * (wave number [k= 2p / l in m
-1
])
29
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
67
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
log Moisture Content by Volume
b
a
c
k
s
c
a
t
t
e
r

c
o
e
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
t


s


(
d
B
)
o
-14
-12
-10
-8
-6
-4
-2
2.4 2.6 2.8
3.0
3.2 3.4 3.6 3.8 4.0
adapted from Ulaby, F.T. and T.F. Bush. 1976. Corn growth as monitored by radar. IEEE Trans.
Ant. Prop. AP-24, pp. 819-828.
1 mm 1 cm 10 cm 1 m
Twigs Leaves Branches
L X C
Trunks
adapted from Carver, K.R. et al. 1987. Synthethic aperture radar instrument
panel report. Vol. IIf, Earth Observing System Reports. Greenbelt, Maryland:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. 233p.
Corn Canopy Backscatter
vs Moisture Content
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
Size Distribution of Canopy
Scattering Elements
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
30
31
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
68
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
0 1 2 4 5 6
-14
3
-12
-10
-8
-6
Leaf Area Index LAI (m m )
2 -2
B
a
c
k
s
c
a
t
t
e
r
i
n
g


C
o
e
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
t


s


(
d
B
)
o
Sorghum Canopy Backscatter vs
Leaf Area Index (LAI)
adapted from Ulaby, F.T. et al. 1986. From Theory To Applications. Vol. III, Microwave Remote Sensing
-- Active and Passive. Dedham, Massachusetts: Artech House, Inc., pp. 1065-2162.
frequency: 13.0 GHz
VV polarization
q = 50 degrees
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
32
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
69
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Corn Canopy Backscatter vs
Leaf Area Index (LAI)
0
5
4
3
2
1
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.05
0.00
0.25
frequency: 13.0 GHz
VV polarization
q = 50 degrees
150 170 190 210 230 250
Julian Date (1980)
B
a
c
k
s
c
a
t
t
e
r

C
o
e
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
t


s
o
L
e
a
f

A
r
e
a

I
n
d
e
x


L
A
I


(
m


m


)
2
-
2
left
scale
right
scale
Wheat Canopy Backscatter vs
LAI and Polarization
32
24
16
8
0
40
37
60
84
94
98
99
1 2 4 6 8 10 12
L-band C-band X-band
frequency (GHz)
Polarization
H
V
56
o
Pi
Pt
L = 10 log (Pi/Pt)
adapted from Allen, C.T. and Ulaby, F.T. 1984. Modelling the polarization dependence of the attenuation
in vegetation canopies. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS'84)
Digest. Strasburg, France, August 27-30, 1984.
L
A
I

=

8
L
A
I =
8
L
A
I

=

4
%

L
o
s
s
L
o
s
s

F
a
c
t
o
r
,


L



(
d
B
)
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
adapted from Ulaby, F.T. et al. 1984. Relating the mocrowave backscattering coefficient to leaf area
index. Remote Sensing of Environ. v.14 , pp. 113-133.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
33
34
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
70
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Canopy Backscatter vs
Circular Row Direction
Look
F
l
i
g
h
t
D
i
r
e
c
t
i
o
n
Direction
Azimuth
angle
near-
to rows
(f ~ 90 )
~
o
Azimuth angle f (degrees)
10 50 90 50 10
12
20
28
36
44
N
o
m
i
n
a
l

b
a
c
k
s
c
a
t
t
e
r
Azimuth
angle
near-
to rows
(f ~ 0 )
~
o
SEASAT L-band SAR
1.28 GHz (23.4 cm)
HH-polarization
23 incidence angle
o
adapted from Blanchard, A.J. and Chang, A.T.C. 1983. Estimation of soil moisture from SEASAT
SAR data. Water Resources Bulletin, v. 19, pp. 803 - 810.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
Canopy Backscatter vs
Rectangular Row Direction
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
Wheat
stubble
Sorghum
Direction of Flight
R
a
d
a
r

L
o
o
k


D
i
r
e
c
t
i
o
n
L-band, 10m x 10m
VV - polarization
Rows orthogonal
to look direction
R
o
w
s

p
a
r
a
l
l
e
l
t
o

l
o
o
k

d
i
r
e
c
t
i
o
n
adapted from Ulaby, F.T. et al. 1986. From Theory To Applications. Vol III, Microwave Remote
Sensing -- Active and Passive. Dedham, Massachusetts: Artech House, Inc., pp. 1065-2162.
35
36
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
71
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
q Dielectric constant of soils is DIRECTLY
PROPORTIONAL to its MOISTURE
CONTENT
q Backscatter strength from soils is DIRECTLY
PROPORTIONAL to its MOISTURE CONTENT
w The positive relationship between
backscatter intensity and soil moisture
content is present even with a vegetative
cover. However, the presence of
vegatation is a source of error for
microwave soil water measurement,
especially where both bare and vegetated
fields occur intermixed in the imagery
q Backscatter strength from soils is a function of:
w Surface scattering geometry
(specular <--> diffuse)
w Depression angle of radar since most soils
are near-specular
w Cultivation row structure and orientation
relative to the range domain of the radar
q Penetration depth of soils by radar is a function
of
w Moisture content
(moist = limited depth; dry = greater depth)
w Wavelength
(longer l penetrate more deeply)
q Variations in backscatter strength from regolith
may be related to its ORIGIN or AGE
8.0 Radar
Backscatter
From
Soils
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
72
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
5
4
3
2
1
5
4
3
2
1
18 GHz
1.4 GHz
40
30
20
10
0
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
Volumetric Moisture m
v
D
i
e
l
e
c
t
r
i
c


C
o
n
s
t
a
n
t


e
'
Dielectric Constant of Soils
adapted from Ulaby, F.T. et al. 1986. From Theory To Applications. Vol III, Microwave Remote
Sensing -- Active and Passive. Dedham, Massachusetts: Artech House, Inc., pp. 1065 - 2162.
Backscatter vs Soil Moisture Content
for Bare Soils
Soil Moisture Content of Top 5-cm Layer (% of Field Capacity)
25 50 75 100 125 150 0
18
12
6
0
-6
-12
-18
-24
B
a
c
k
s
c
a
t
t
e
r

(
d
B
)
freq. = 4.5 GHz
l = 6.7 cm
HH polarization
q = 10
o
2
r = 0.85
11 fields with different soil types
and surface roughnesses
Multiple data points
1974
1975
1977
adapted from Ulaby, F.T. et al. 1982. Radar Remote Sensing and Surface Scattering and Emission
Theory. Vol. II, Microwave Remote Sensing. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing
Company, pp.457 - 1064.
Soil Type Sand Silt Clay
% % %
1 sandy loam 51.5 35.0 13.5
2 loam 42.0 49.5 8.5
3 silt loam 30.6 55.9 13.5
4 silt loam 17.2 63.8 19.0
5 silty clay 5.0 47.6 47.4
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
37
38
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
73
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
The bright returns from right half of image are due to increased soil moisture
after a rain storm. The diagonal bright streaks are swaths of moist soil
marking the ground tracks of several individual storm cells.
39
Seasat SAR image over agricultural land
near Ames, Iowa, USA
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
74
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Backscatter vs Soil Moisture Content
for Vegetated Fields
Soil Moisture Content of Top 5-cm Layer (% of Field Capacity)
25 50 75 100 125 150 0
18
12
6
0
-6
-12
-18
-24
B
a
c
k
s
c
a
t
t
e
r

(
d
B
)
Corn
Soybeans
Milo
Wheat
Multiple data points
adapted from Ulaby, F.T. et al. 1981. Effects of vegetation cover on the radar sensitivity to soil
moisture. Lawrence, Kansas: Remote Sensing Laboratory Technical Report 460-10.
freq. = 4.5 GHz
l = 6.7 cm
HH polarization
q = 10
o
2
r = 0.92
Backscatter vs Soil Moisture Content
for Bare vs Vegetated Soils
adapted from Ulaby, F.T. et al. 1982. Radar Remote Sensing and Surface Scattering and Emission
Theory. Vol. II, Microwave Remote Sensing. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing
Company, pp.457 - 1064; and Ulaby, F.T. et al. 1981. Effects of vegetation cover on the radar sensitivity
to soil moisture. Lawrence, Kansas: Remote Sensing Laboratory Technical Report 460-10.
Soil Moisture Content of Top 5-cm Layer (% of Field Capacity)
25 50 75 100 125 150 0
12
6
0
-6
-12
-18
-24
B
a
c
k
s
c
a
t
t
e
r

(
d
B
)
freq. = 4.5 GHz
l = 6.7 cm
HH polarization
q = 10
o
Bare soils
Vegetated soils
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
40
41
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Soil Moisture and Surface Roughness
vs
Scattering Coefficient for Bare Soils
adapted from Ulaby, F.T. et al. 1978. Microwave backscatter dependence on surface roughness, soil
moisture, and soil texture: Part II -- Bare Soil. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Electron., GE-16, pp. 286 - 295.
rms corr.
height
coef.
4.1
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
-35
-25
-15
-5
Soil Moisture Content (g cm )
-3
S
c
a
t
t
e
r
i
n
g

C
o
e
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
t


s



(
d
B
)
o
freq. = 1.5 GHz
l = 20 cm
HH polarization
angle of incid. = 20
o
Angle of Incidence vs Scattering
Coefficient for Bare Soils
adapted from Ulaby, F.T. et al. 1978. Microwave backscatter dependence on surface roughness, soil
moisture, and soil texture: Part II -- Bare Soil. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Electron., GE-16, pp. 286 - 295.
0 10 20 30
Angle of Incidence q (degrees)
-30
-20
-10
0
10
20
S
c
a
t
t
e
r
i
n
g

C
o
e
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
t


s



(
d
B
)
o
0 10 20 30
Angle of Incidence q (degrees)
-30
-20
-10
0
10
20
S
c
a
t
t
e
r
i
n
g

C
o
e
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
t


s



(
d
B
)
o
Soil
Moisture
g cm in
top 1 cm
-3
rms
height
(cm)
4.1
2.2
3.0
1.8
1.1
0.40
0.35
0.38
0.39
0.34
Freq. = 1.1 GHz
l = 27 cm
Freq. = 7.25 GHz
l = 4 cm
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
42
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Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
76
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Radar Penetration Depth of Soil
vs Moisture Content
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
P
e
n
e
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

D
e
p
t
h


(
m
e
t
e
r
s
)
10
Volumetric Moisture Content (g cm )
-3
-3
10
-2
10
-1
1
adapted from Ulaby, F.T. et al. 1982. Radar Remote Sensing and Surface Scattering and Emission
Theory. Vol. II, Microwave Remote Sensing. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing
Company, pp.457 - 1064.
Soil Type: LOAM
1.3 GHz
l = 23 cm
4.0 GHz
l = 7.5 cm
10.0 GHz
l = 3 cm
Fault Displacement Detection
Using Multiparameter SAR
From Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 1986. Shuttle Imaging Radar-C Science Plan. JPL Publication 86-29.
Pasadena, California: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. 158 p.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
B
a
c
k
s
c
a
t
t
e
r
44
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Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
77
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Age Discrimination of Lava Flows
Using Multiparameter SAR
From Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 1986. Shuttle Imaging Radar-C Science Plan. JPL Publication 86-29.
Pasadena, California: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. 158 p.
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
46
Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
78
c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
9.0 Radar
Backscatter
From
Water
9.1 Dielectric Constant of Water
q Dielectric constant of water is very high compared to other
earth-surface materials
q Dielectric constant of water (Figure 47) is dependent on:
w Temperature -- at wavelengths greater than
10-15 cm, the dielectric constant of both fresh and
sea water is greater at 0
o
C than at 20
o
C
w Wavelength -- at wavelengths less than 10 cm,
dielectric constant of both fresh and sea water
decreases rapidly
( e ' = 76 - 79 @ l = 10 cm)
( e ' = 15 - 25 @ l = 1 cm)
w Salinity -- at wavelengths greater than 3-5 cm,
fresh water has a greater dielectric constant than
sea water
9.2 Backscatter Response From Water Features
The following summary is taken verbatim from:
Lewis, A.J. 1998. Geomorphic and Hydrologic Applications of
Active Microwave Remote Sensing. in F.M. Henderson and A.J.
Lewis, eds. Principles and Applications of Imaging Radar. NY:
Wiley and Sons, pp. 567-629.
Radar imagery has been demonstrated to be
potentially useful for the identification, mapping and
measurement of hydrologic phenomena such as
streams, lakes, runoff, extent of flood cover, water
levels, coastal wetlands and snow field mapping.
Analysis of these features makes it possible to
derive information on water flow, water storage and
changes in storage as basic inputs to understanding
and predicting the behavior of hydrologic systems at
a particular location.
Most surface water features are detectable
on radar imagery because of the contrast in return
between the smooth water surface and the rough
land surface. This high contrast ratio is based on a
low return from the water surface and high return
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
Fresh Water
0 C
o
20 C
o
0 C
o
20 C
o
Sea Water
100
80
60
40
20
0
D
i
e
l
e
c
t
r
i
c

C
o
n
s
t
a
n
t


(
e
'
)
Frequency
(GHz)
0.001 0.01 0.1 1 10 100
Wavelength
(cm)
30 3 0.3 300 30 m
30 km
1 5 10 15
adapted from Paris, J.F. 1969. Microwave radiometry and its application to marine meteorology and
oceanography. College Station, Texas: Texas A & M University, Department of Oceanography.
Dielectric Constant of
Fresh Water and Sea Water
David P. Lusch, Ph.D., Center For Remote Sensing, Michigan State University C 1996
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Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing - Center for Remote Sensing and GIS, Michigan State University
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
from the rougher land (vegetated). Obviously, target
and system parameters that affect radar return will
influence detection of surface water. Some influencing
parameters are roughness characteristics of the land
and water, changes in the dielectric constant, incident
angle and wavelength. Surface roughness, and
therefore the radar backscatter and the land / water
tonal contrast are related to: 1) the actual roughness
characteristic of the land and water; 2) the wavelength
of the system; and 3) incident angle. Although the
relationship of these and other parameters is complex,
in general a decrease in the land / water contrast will
occur with: 1) a decrease in surface roughness
contrast; 2) an increase in incident angle; and 3) an
increase in system wavelength.
The occurrence of low return areas (radar
shadows, open sand dunes, bare ground and airport
runways) adjacent to water bodies reduces
detectability. The latter three low return areas are due
primarily to surface roughness whereas radar
shadowing depends on look angle, look direction and
terrain backslope. Extensive radar shadowing is
especially problematic in mountainous terrain and is
aggravated by imaging at high look angles. Any object,
aquatic or terrestrial, imaged within a radar shadow id
undetectable because no information -- no radar
backscatter -- is returned within the shadowed area.
The occurrence of radar layover, an extreme case of
relief displacement, is especially prominent in
mountainous areas imaged at low look angles and may
confuse feature recognition. This loss of information
would be important in identifying narrow water bodies
bounded by high banks or trees and oriented parallel to
the flightline, such as canals.
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10.1 ERS-1 and -2 and ENVISAT
ERS-1, -2 ENVISAT
Country Europe Europe
Agency ESA ESA
Spacecraft ERS-1, ERS-2 ENVISAT
Launch date Jul 91, Apr 95 Nov 00
Design life 2-3 yrs 5 yrs
Band C C
Wavelength 5.7 cm 5.7 cm
Frequency 5.3 GHz 5.3 Ghz
Polarization VV VV + HH
Incident angle 23
o
20
o -
50
o
Range resolution 26 m ~ 25 m
Azimuth resolution 28 m ~ 25 m
Looks 6 ~ 4
Swath width 100 km 100 km (500 km)
Recorder No Yes
Altitude ~ 780 km ~ 700 km
Repeat cycle 3 days ?
10.0 Satellite SAR
Systems
ERS-1, -2
ENVISAT
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c 1999 David P. Lusch, Ph.D.
10.2 JERS-1
Country Japan
Agency MITI / NASDA
Spacecraft JERS-1
Launch date Feb 92
Design life 2 yrs
Band L
Wavelength 23.5 cm
Frequency 1.275 GHz
Polarization HH
Incident angle 39
o
Range resolution 18 m
Azimuth resolution 18 m
Looks 3
Swath width 75 km
Recorder Yes
Altitude 568
Repeat cycle 44 days
JERS-1
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10.3 RADARSAT-1 and -2
Radarsat-1 Radarsat-2
Country Canada Canada
Agency CSA CSA / MDA
Spacecraft Radarsat-1 Radarsat-2
Launch date Nov 95 1st Q 01
Design life 5 yrs 5 yrs
Band C C
Wavelength 5.7 cm 5.7 cm
Frequency 5.3 GHz 5.3 GHz
Polarization HH Fully polarimetric
Incident angle <20
o
- >50
o
<20
o
- >50
o
Range resolution 10 - 100 m 3 - 100 m
Azimuth resolution 9 - 100 m 3 - 100 m
Looks 1 - 8 ?
Swath width 10 - 500 km 10 - 500 km
Recorder Yes Yes
Altitude ~ 800 km ~ 800 km
Repeat cycle 24 days 24 days
Radarsat-1
Radarsat-2
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11.0 SIVAM Airborne
SAR
11.1 SIVAM Remote Sensing Aircraft (RSA)
- Suite of three Embraer 145 aircraft
- Each aircraft includes:
- A Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
- A Multispectral Sensor (MSS)
- A Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) Sensor
- Two Optical Cameras
- RSA will support flights from 900 m to 11,300 m
11.2 SIVAM RSA SAR
- X-band (9.60 GHz) and L-band (1.28 GHz)
- X-HH
L-HH, L-VH, L-HV and L-VV
- Resolution:
- StripSAR multilook mode
- 3 m x 3 m at 4 looks
- 6 m x 6 m at 8 looks
- 18 m x 18m at 16 looks
- StripSAR single look complex
- L-band: 0.95 m x 6 m; 0.95 m x 18 m
- X-band: 0.8 m x 3 m; 0.8 m x 6m;
0.8 m x 18 m
- Interferometric mode (InSAR)
- 0.8 m x 3 m; 5 m x 5 m
- SpotSAR
- 1.8 m x 1.8 m; 0.8 m x 1.8 m
- Wide-Area Surveillance (WAS)
- 6 m x 6 m; 18 m x 18 m