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Proceedings Paper

Forest canopy height estimation using double-frequency repeat pass interferometry
Author(s): Kleanthis Karamvasis; Vassilia Karathanassi
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Paper Abstract

In recent years, many efforts have been made in order to assess forest stand parameters from remote sensing data, as a mean to estimate the above-ground carbon stock of forests in the context of the Kyoto protocol. Synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) techniques have gained traction in last decade as a viable technology for vegetation parameter estimation. Many works have shown that forest canopy height, which is a critical parameter for quantifying the terrestrial carbon cycle, can be estimated with InSAR. However, research is still needed to understand further the interaction of SAR signals with forest canopy and to develop an operational method for forestry applications. This work discusses the use of repeat pass interferometry with ALOS PALSAR (L band) HH polarized and COSMO Skymed (X band) HH polarized acquisitions over the Taxiarchis forest (Chalkidiki, Greece), in order to produce accurate digital elevation models (DEMs) and estimate canopy height with interferometric processing. The effect of wavelength-dependent penetration depth into the canopy is known to be strong, and could potentially lead to forest canopy height mapping using dual-wavelength SAR interferometry at X- and L-band. The method is based on scattering phase center separation at different wavelengths. It involves the generation of a terrain elevation model underneath the forest canopy from repeat-pass L-band InSAR data as well as the generation of a canopy surface elevation model from repeat pass X-band InSAR data. The terrain model is then used to remove the terrain component from the repeat pass interferometric X-band elevation model, so as to enable the forest canopy height estimation. The canopy height results were compared to a field survey with 6.9 m root mean square error (RMSE). The effects of vegetation characteristics, SAR incidence angle and view geometry, and terrain slope on the accuracy of the results have also been studied in this work.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 June 2015
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9535, Third International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2015), 95350G (19 June 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2192581
Show Author Affiliations
Kleanthis Karamvasis, National Technical Univ. of Athens (Greece)
Vassilia Karathanassi, National Technical Univ. of Athens (Greece)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9535:
Third International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2015)
Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis; Kyriacos Themistocleous; Silas Michaelides; Giorgos Papadavid, Editor(s)

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