Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


A processing technique for polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data has been developed which produces profiles of terrain slopes and elevations in the azimuthal direction. The technique estimates the average shift in polarimetric orientation of backscatter caused by azimuthal tilts of the scattering plane. Initial tests of this technique have been made for forested areas near Villingen/Schwenningen in Baden-Wurttemburg (Germany). Using P-band data, slope and elevation profile have been developed for forest scattering conditions prevalent in the Black Forest region near Villingen/Schwenningen. These initial studies have shown promising results. The radar measured slope (and derived elevation) profiles have low rms errors and high correlation values when compared with a stereo photograph digital elevation map (DEM) for the area. The algorithm is capable of adaptively transitioning from forested areas to regions with open terrain. Subsequent tests of the algorithm have been conducted using polarimetric SAR L-band data for a mountainous, non forested, region in the Mojave Desert where an accurate DEM also was available. Complete elevation and slope mapping of the terrain in two dimensions is possible using this technique when azimuthal elevation profiles are produced throughout the range extent of the SAR image.

Additional information

Authors: SCHULER D L, Naval Research Laboratory;LEE T S, Naval Research Laboratory;DE GRANDI G, JRC Ispra, (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: IEEE TGARS - Transaction on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
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