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Proceedings Paper

Comparison of C-band and Ku-band scatterometry for medium-resolution tropical forest inventory
Author(s): Perry J. Hardin; David G. Long
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Paper Abstract

Since 1978, AVHRR imagery from NOAA polar orbiters has provided coverage of tropical regions at this desirable resolution, but much of the imagery is plagued with heavy cloud cover typical of equatorial regions. Clearly a medium resolution radar sensor would be a useful addition to AVHRR, but none are planned to fly in the future. In contrast, scatterometers are an important radar component of many future earth remote sensing systems, but the inherent resolution of these instruments is too low (approximately equals 50 km) for monitoring earth's land surfaces. However, a recently developed image reconstruction technique can increase the spatial resolution of scatterometer data to levels (approximately equals 4 to 14 km) approaching AVHRR global area coverage (approximately equals 4 km). When reconstructed, scatterometer data may prove to be an important asset in evaluating equatorial land cover. In this paper, the authors compare the utility of reconstructed Seasat scatterometer (SASS), Ku-band microwave data to reconstructed ERS-1 C-band scatterometer imagery for discrimination and monitoring of tropical vegetation formations. In comparative classification experiments conducted on reconstructed images of Brasil, the ERS-1 C-band imagery was slightly superior to its reconstructed SASS Ku-band counterpart for discriminating between several equatorial land cover classes. A classification accuracy approaching .90 was achieved when the two scatterometer images were combined with an AVHRR normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) image. The success of these experiments indicates that further research into reconstructed image applications to tropical forest monitoring is warranted.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 August 1993
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1941, Ground Sensing, (31 August 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.154690
Show Author Affiliations
Perry J. Hardin, Brigham Young Univ. (United States)
David G. Long, Brigham Young Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1941:
Ground Sensing
Hatem N. Nasr, Editor(s)

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