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Sensors 2018, 18(2), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020403

Polarimetric Calibration and Quality Assessment of the GF-3 Satellite Images

1
State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
2
School of Remote Sensing and Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue First Experiences with Chinese Gaofen-3 SAR Sensor)
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Abstract

The GaoFen-3 (GF-3) satellite is the first fully polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite designed for civil use in China. The satellite operates in the C-band and has 12 imaging modes for various applications. Three fully polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) imaging modes are provided with a resolution of up to 8 m. Although polarimetric calibration (PolCAL) of the SAR system is periodically undertaken, there is still some residual distortion in the images. In order to assess the polarimetric accuracy of this satellite and improve the image quality, we analyzed the polarimetric distortion errors and performed a PolCAL experiment based on scattering properties and corner reflectors. The experiment indicates that the GF-3 images can meet the satellite’s polarimetric accuracy requirements, i.e., a channel imbalance of 0.5 dB in amplitude and ±10 degrees in phase and a crosstalk accuracy of −35 dB. However, some images still contain residual polarimetric distortion. The experiment also shows that the residual errors of the GF-3 standard images can be diminished after further PolCAL, with a channel imbalance of 0.26 dB in amplitude and ±0.2 degrees in phase and a crosstalk accuracy of −42 dB. View Full-Text
Keywords: polarimetric calibration; PolSAR; GaoFen-3; image quality; reflection symmetry polarimetric calibration; PolSAR; GaoFen-3; image quality; reflection symmetry
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Chang, Y.; Li, P.; Yang, J.; Zhao, J.; Zhao, L.; Shi, L. Polarimetric Calibration and Quality Assessment of the GF-3 Satellite Images. Sensors 2018, 18, 403.

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