Model based target scattering decomposition of polarimetric SAR tomography

H. Aghababaei, Mahmood reza Sahebi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


When dealing with forest scenario, target scattering separation using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) tomography is a challenging task for the application of biophysical parameter retrieval approaches. One important and widely popular solution used to investigate the scattering mechanism separation based on multipolarimetric multibaseline (MPMB) SAR data is the sum of Kronecker products (SKPs), which provides the basis for decomposition of the data into ground-only and canopy-only contributions. In this paper, we investigate the possibility of characterizing multiple scattering mechanisms using the SKPs of covariance matrix. In particular, we present a method for characterization of forest structure using MPMB data that adapt SKP with the generalized volume description and the physical model of interferometric cross correlation as the sum of scattering contributions. According to the Freeman-Durden model, the method expresses the estimated covariance matrix in terms of the Kronecker product of polarimetric and interferometric coherence matrices corresponding to direct, double-bounce, and random-volume scattering mechanisms. The proposed method is tested with simulated and P-band MB data acquired by ONERA over a tropical forest in French Guiana in the frame of the European Space Agency's campaign TROPISAR. Comparison of the retrieved height of trees with a LiDAR-based canopy model as a reference showed that the proposed method has the potential to decrease root-mean-square error of forest height by up to 3.9 m with respect to SKP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)972-983
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE transactions on geoscience and remote sensing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes




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