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Proceedings Paper

SWE retrieval by exploiting COSMO-SkyMed X-band SAR imagery and ground data through a machine learning approach
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Paper Abstract

The main objective of this work is to estimate Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) by jointly exploiting the information derived from X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery acquired by the Italian Space Agency COSMO-SkyMed satellite constellation in StripMap HIMAGE mode and manual SWE ground measurements. The idea is to verify the sensitivity of the backscattering coefficient at X-band to the SWE and, by means of a Support Vector Regression (SVR) algorithm, to estimate the SWE for the South Tyrol region, north-eastern Italy. The regressor is trained by exploiting about 1,000 simulated backscattering coefficients corresponding to different snowpack conditions, obtained with a theoretical model based on the Dense Media Radiative Transfer theory - Quasi-crystalline approximation Mie scattering of Sticky spheres (DMRT-QMS). Then, the performance is evaluated on the backscattering values derived from COSMO-SkyMed satellite images and using the corresponding ground measurements of SWE as references. The results show a correlation coefficient equal to 0.6, a bias of 10.5 mm and a RMSE of 51.8 mm between estimated SWE values and ground measurements. The limited performance could be related to the DMRT-QMS theoretical model used for the simulations that results to be very sensitive to snow grain size and may have generated a training dataset only partially representative of satellite derived backscattering coefficients used for testing the algorithm.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 October 2019
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 11154, Active and Passive Microwave Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring III, 111540M (8 October 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2550824
Show Author Affiliations
Ludovica De Gregorio, EURAC Research (Italy)
Univ. of Trento (Italy)
Francesca Cigna, Italian Space Agency (Italy)
Giovanni Cuozzo, EURAC Research (Italy)
Alexander Jacob, EURAC Research (Italy)
Simonetta Paloscia, CNR-IFAC (Italy)
Simone Pettinato, CNR-IFAC (Italy)
Emanuele Santi, CNR-IFAC (Italy)
Deodato Tapete, Italian Space Agency (Italy)
Lorenzo Bruzzone, Univ. of Trento (Italy)
Claudia Notarnicola, EURAC Research (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11154:
Active and Passive Microwave Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring III
Fabio Bovenga; Claudia Notarnicola; Nazzareno Pierdicca; Emanuele Santi, Editor(s)

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