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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(7), 5995-6019; doi:10.3390/rs6075995

Potential of X-Band Images from High-Resolution Satellite SAR Sensors to Assess Growth and Yield in Paddy Rice

1
National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan
2
Aomori-ITC Agricultural Research Institute, Kuroishi 036-0522, Japan
3
Department of Geography, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 April 2014 / Revised: 13 May 2014 / Accepted: 5 June 2014 / Published: 27 June 2014
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Abstract

The comprehensive relationship of backscattering coefficient (σ0) values from two current X-band SAR sensors (COSMO-SkyMed and TerraSAR-X) with canopy biophysical variables were investigated using the SAR images acquired at VV polarization and shallow incidence angles. The difference and consistency of the two sensors were also examined. The chrono-sequential change of σ0 in rice paddies during the transplanting season revealed that σ0 reached the value of nearby water surfaces a day before transplanting, and increased significantly just after transplanting event (3 dB). Despite a clear systematic shift (6.6 dB) between the two sensors, the differences in σ0 between target surfaces and water surfaces in each image were comparable in both sensors. Accordingly, an image-based approach using the “water-point” was proposed. It would be useful especially when absolute σ0 values are not consistent between sensors and/or images. Among the various canopy variables, the panicle biomass was found to be best correlated with X-band σ0. X-band SAR would be promising for direct assessments of rice grain yields at regional scales from space, whereas it would have limited capability to assess the whole-canopy variables only during the very early growth stages. The results provide a clear insight on the potential capability of X-band SAR sensors for rice monitoring. View Full-Text
Keywords: backscattering; COSMO-SkyMed; grain yield; microwave; paddy rice; synthetic aperture radar (SAR); TerraSAR-X; X-band backscattering; COSMO-SkyMed; grain yield; microwave; paddy rice; synthetic aperture radar (SAR); TerraSAR-X; X-band
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Inoue, Y.; Sakaiya, E.; Wang, C. Potential of X-Band Images from High-Resolution Satellite SAR Sensors to Assess Growth and Yield in Paddy Rice. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 5995-6019.

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