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This paper presents a study on the polarimetric characterisation of coniferous forest stands in the Black Forest, using experimental data acquired in the frame of the Maestrol campaign by the NASA JPL AIRSAR radar. The stands are defined as a function of the trees' age and the terrain slope, which has an important influence on the radar return. The characterisation is performed by extracting a number of polarimetric quantities of interest from the experimental data including: (i) the complex covariance matrix of the polarimetric feature vector x = [HH HV VV](T); (ii) the Bayes polarimetric distance; (iii) the polarimetric texture; (iv) an indicator of the dominating scattering component. Firstly there is a description of the methodology for the processing of the data for the derivation of the polarimetric quantities. This is followed by discussion of some of the results including some considerations based on modelling work performed in cooperation with the University of Texas at Arlington. The emphasis is mainly on aspects related to the terrain slope influence. Class separability is also examined, since this work was intended to prepare the ground for a polarimetric classification of the Freiburg forest.

Additional information

Authors: DE GRANDI G, JRC Ispra (IT);LAVALLE C, JRC Ispra (IT);SIEBER A J, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 1992 Microwave Signature Conference, Innsbruck (AT), July 1-3, 1992
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 36906 ORA
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