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Compact polarimetry overview and applications assessment

Charbonneau, F.T., Brisco, B., Raney, R.K., McNairn, H., Liu, C., Vachon, P.W., Shang, J., DeAbreu, R., Champagne, C., Merzouki, A., Geldsetzer, T. (2010). Compact polarimetry overview and applications assessment, 36 S298-S315.


A synthetic aperture radar (SAR) with hybrid-polarity (CL-pol) architecture transmits circular polarization and receives two orthogonal, mutually coherent linear polarizations, which is one manifestation of compact polarimetry. The resulting radar is relatively simple to implement and has unique self-calibration features and low susceptibility to noise. It also enables maintenance of a larger swath coverage than fully polarimetric SAR systems. A research team composed of various departments of the Government of Canada evaluated this compact polarimetry mode configuration for application to soil moisture estimation, crop identification, ship detection, and sea-ice classification. This paper presents an overview of compact polarimetry, the approach developed for evaluation, and preliminary results for applications important to the Government of Canada. The implications of the results are also discussed with respect to future SAR missions such as the Canadian RADARSAT Constellation Mission, the American DESDynI, and India’s RISAT. © 2010, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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