Remote Sens.2016, 8(7), 611; doi:10.3390/rs8070611 (registering DOI) - published 22 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: As a sensitive indicator of climate change, mountain glacier dynamics are of great concern, but the ice motion pattern of an entire glacier surface cannot be accurately and efficiently generated by the use of only phase-based or intensity-based methods with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery. To derive the ice movement of the whole glacier surface with a high accuracy, an integrated approach combining differential interferometric SAR (D-InSAR), multi-aperture interferometry (MAI), and a pixel-tracking (PT) method is proposed, which could fully exploit the phase and intensity information recorded by the SAR sensor. The Chongce Glacier surface flow field is estimated with the proposed integrated approach. Compared with the traditional SAR-based methods, the proposed approach can determine the ice motion over a widely varying range of ice velocities with a relatively high accuracy. Its capability is proved by the detailed ice displacement pattern with the average accuracy of 0.2 m covering the entire Chongce Glacier surface, which shows a maximum ice movement of 4.9 m over 46 days. Furthermore, it is shown that the ice is in a quiescent state in the downstream part of the glacier. Therefore, the integrated approach presented in this paper could present us with a novel way to comprehensively and accurately understand glacier dynamics by overcoming the incoherence phenomenon, and has great potential for glaciology study.
Remote Sens.2016, 8(7), 613; doi:10.3390/rs8070613 (registering DOI) - published 22 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: With the upcoming availability of the next generation of high quality orbiting hyperspectral sensors, a major step toward improved regional soil mapping and monitoring and delivery of quantitative soil maps is expected. This study focuses on the determination of the prediction accuracy of spectral models for the mapping of common soil properties based on upcoming EnMAP (Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program) satellite data using semi-operational soil models. Iron oxide (Fed), clay, and soil organic carbon (SOC) content are predicted in test areas in Spain and Luxembourg based on a semi-automatic Partial-Least-Square (PLS) regression approach using airborne hyperspectral, simulated EnMAP, and soil chemical datasets. A variance contribution analysis, accounting for errors in the dependent variables, is used alongside classical error measurements. Results show that EnMAP allows predicting iron oxide, clay, and SOC with an R2 between 0.53 and 0.67 compared to Hyperspectral Mapper (HyMap)/Airborne Hyperspectral System (AHS) imagery with an R2 between 0.64 and 0.74. Although a slight decrease in soil prediction accuracy is observed at the spaceborne scale compared to the airborne scale, the decrease in accuracy is still reasonable. Furthermore, spatial distribution is coherent between the HyMap/AHS mapping and simulated EnMAP mapping as shown with a spatial structure analysis with a systematically lower semivariance at the EnMAP scale.
Remote Sens.2016, 8(7), 608; doi:10.3390/rs8070608 - published 21 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Satellite-derived precipitation can be a potential source of forcing data for assessing water availability and managing water supply in mountainous regions of East Asia. This study investigates the hydrological utility of satellite-derived precipitation and uncertainties attributed to error propagation of satellite products in hydrological modeling. To this end, four satellite precipitation products (tropical rainfall measuring mission (TRMM) multi-satellite precipitation analysis (TMPA) version 6 (TMPAv6) and version 7 (TMPAv7), the global satellite mapping of precipitation (GSMaP), and the climate prediction center (CPC) morphing technique (CMORPH)) were integrated into a physically-based hydrologic model for the mountainous region of South Korea. The satellite precipitation products displayed different levels of accuracy when compared to the intra- and inter-annual variations of ground-gauged precipitation. As compared to the GSMaP and CMORPH products, superior performances were seen when the TMPA products were used within streamflow simulations. Significant dry (negative) biases in the GSMaP and CMORPH products led to large underestimates of streamflow during wet-summer seasons. Although the TMPA products displayed a good level of performance for hydrologic modeling, there were some over/underestimates of precipitation by satellites during the winter season that were induced by snow accumulation and snowmelt processes. These differences resulted in streamflow simulation uncertainties during the winter and spring seasons. This study highlights the crucial need to understand hydrological uncertainties from satellite-derived precipitation for improved water resource management and planning in mountainous basins. Furthermore, it is suggested that a reliable snowfall detection algorithm is necessary for the new global precipitation measurement (GPM) mission.
Remote Sens.2016, 8(7), 612; doi:10.3390/rs8070612 - published 21 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The absolute radiometric calibration of a satellite sensor is the critical factor that ensures the usefulness of the acquired data for quantitative applications on remote sensing. This work presents the results of the first cross-calibration of the sensor on board the Sistema Satelital de Observación de la Tierra (SSOT) Chilean satellite or Air Force Satellite FASat-C. RapidEye-MSI was chosen as the reference sensor, and a simultaneous Nadir Overpass Approach (SNO) was applied. The biases caused by differences in the spectral responses of both instruments were compensated through an adjustment factor derived from EO-1 Hyperion data. Through this method, the variations affecting the radiometric response of New AstroSat Optical Modular Instrument (NAOMI-1), have been corrected based on collections over the Frenchman Flat calibration site. The results of a preliminary evaluation of the pre-flight and updated coefficients have shown a significant improvement in the accuracy of at-sensor radiances and TOA reflectances: an average agreement of 2.63% (RMSE) was achieved for the multispectral bands of both instruments. This research will provide a basis for the continuity of calibration and validation tasks of future Chilean space missions.
Remote Sens.2016, 8(7), 607; doi:10.3390/rs8070607 - published 20 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this paper, we consider retrieving individual wave components in a multi-directional sea wave model. To solve this problem, a currently and commonly used method is three-dimensional discrete Fourier transform (3D DFT) on the radar image sequence. However, the uniform frequency and the uniform wavenumber in a wavenumber frequency domain can not always strictly satisfy the dispersion relation, and the spectral leakage in both temporal and spatial domains exists due to the limited analysis area selected from an image sequence. As a result, the DFT method incurs undesirable error performance in retrieving directional wave components. By deeply investigating the data structure of the multi-directional sea wave model, we obtain a new and decomposable matrix representation for processing the wave components. Then, a novel successive cancellation method is proposed to efficiently and effectively extract individual wave components, whose frequency and wavenumber rigorously satisfy the liner dispersion relation. Thus, it avoids spectral leakage in the spatial domain. The algorithm is evaluated by using linear synthetic wave image sequences. The validity of the proposed novel algorithm is verified by comparing the retrieved parameters of amplitude, phase, and direction of the individual wave components with the simulated parameters as well as those obtained by using the 3D DFT method. In addition, the reconstructed sea field using the retrieved wave components is also compared with the simulated remote sensing images as well as those attained using the inverse 3D DFT method. All the simulation results demonstrate that our proposed algorithm is more effective and has better performance for retrieving individual wave components from the spatio-temporal remote sensing image sequences than the 3D DFT method.
Remote Sens.2016, 8(7), 609; doi:10.3390/rs8070609 - published 20 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Radar backscatter from forest canopies is related to forest cover, canopy structure and aboveground biomass (AGB). The S-band frequency (3.1–3.3 GHz) lies between the longer L-band (1–2 GHz) and the shorter C-band (5–6 GHz) and has been insufficiently studied for forest applications due to limited data availability. In anticipation of the British built NovaSAR-S satellite mission, this study evaluates the benefits of polarimetric S-band SAR for forest biophysical properties. To understand the scattering mechanisms in forest canopies at S-band the Michigan Microwave Canopy Scattering (MIMICS-I) radiative transfer model was used. S-band backscatter was found to have high sensitivity to the forest canopy characteristics across all polarisations and incidence angles. This sensitivity originates from ground/trunk interaction as the dominant scattering mechanism related to broadleaved species for co-polarised mode and specific incidence angles. The study was carried out in the temperate mixed forest at Savernake Forest and Wytham Woods in southern England, where airborne S-band SAR imagery and field data are available from the recent AirSAR campaign. Field data from the test sites revealed wide ranges of forest parameters, including average canopy height (6–23 m), diameter at breast-height (7–42 cm), basal area (0.2–56 m2/ha), stem density (20–350 trees/ha) and woody biomass density (31–520 t/ha). S-band backscatter-biomass relationships suggest increasing backscatter sensitivity to forest AGB with least error between 90.63 and 99.39 t/ha and coefficient of determination (r2) between 0.42 and 0.47 for the co-polarised channel at 0.25 ha resolution. The conclusion is that S-band SAR data such as from NovaSAR-S is suitable for monitoring forest aboveground biomass less than 100 t/ha at 25 m resolution in low to medium incidence angle range.