A computationally efficient hybrid framework for polarimetric calibration of Quad-Pol SAR data

A. Maiti, S. Kumar, V. Tolpekin, S. Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PolSAR) calibration is an essential preprocessing step that must be performed to ensure that the data quality is adequate. This, in turn, helps to minimize the propagation of errors in any further data processing or information extraction. Crosstalk and channel imbalance are two major distortions found to be present in the uncalibrated polarimetric SAR data. The PolSAR calibration mainly aims to reduce these two distortions revealing the true scattering pattern of the targets. In this regard, Quegan's algorithm and Ainsworth algorithm are two widely used algorithms for the PolSAR calibration. In this study, the accuracy and efficiency of these two algorithms have been thoroughly compared using suitable metrics. It has been shown that the Ainsworth algorithm performs better than Quegan's in terms of accuracy at the cost of poor computational efficiency. The data quality metrics also highlight the better calibration accuracy of the Ainsworth algorithm. The issue of higher computational complexity has been effectively addressed by coupling both of these algorithms. Evidently, the computational cost has been reduced in the case of the proposed algorithm. The polarization orientation angle (POA) shift is another distortion caused by the topographic variations present in the target scene. Therefore, correction of POA shift has been incorporated in this research by coupling it with the PolSAR calibration. Subsequently, the improvement in the scattering has been observed. In essence, the proposed algorithm coupled with the correction of POA shift rectifies the major polarimetric distortions with adequate accuracy and computational efficiency. © 2021. The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020EA001447
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalEarth and Space Science
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Calibration
  • Channel imbalance
  • Crosstalk
  • PolSAR
  • Accuracy assessment
  • Algorithm
  • Computer simulation
  • Correction
  • Data processing
  • Data quality
  • Error analysis
  • Satellite data
  • Synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
  • Topography


Dive into the research topics of 'A computationally efficient hybrid framework for polarimetric calibration of Quad-Pol SAR data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this