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SodSAR: A Tower-Based 1–10 GHz SAR System for Snow, Soil and Vegetation Studies

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Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palménin Aukio 1, 00560 Helsinki, Finland
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Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques FHR, Fraunhoferstraße 20, 53343 Wachtberg, Germany
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Harp Technologies Ltd., Tekniikantie 14, 02150 Espoo, Finland
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Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, Aalto University, Maarintie 8, 02150 Espoo, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(22), 6702; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20226702
Received: 19 October 2020 / Revised: 13 November 2020 / Accepted: 19 November 2020 / Published: 23 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
We introduce SodSAR, a fully polarimetric tower-based wide frequency (1–10 GHz) range Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) aimed at snow, soil and vegetation studies. The instrument is located in the Arctic Space Centre of the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Sodankylä, Finland. The system is based on a Vector Network Analyzer (VNA)-operated scatterometer mounted on a rail allowing the formation of SAR images, including interferometric pairs separated by a temporal baseline. We present the description of the radar, the applied SAR focusing technique, the radar calibration and measurement stability analysis. Measured stability of the backscattering intensity over a three-month period was observed to be better than 0.5 dB, when measuring a target with a known radar cross section. Deviations of the estimated target range were in the order of a few cm over the same period, indicating also good stability of the measured phase. Interforometric SAR (InSAR) capabilities are also discussed, and as a example, the coherence of subsequent SAR acquisitions over the observed boreal forest stand are analyzed over increasing temporal baselines. The analysis shows good conservation of coherence in particular at L-band, while higher frequencies are susceptible to loss of coherence in particular for dense vegetation. The potential of the instrument for satellite calibration and validation activities is also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: SodSAR; synthetic aperture radar; InSAR; boreal forest; vector network analyzer; scatterometer; radiometric calibration; temporal coherence SodSAR; synthetic aperture radar; InSAR; boreal forest; vector network analyzer; scatterometer; radiometric calibration; temporal coherence
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jorge Ruiz, J.; Vehmas, R.; Lemmetyinen, J.; Uusitalo, J.; Lahtinen, J.; Lehtinen, K.; Kontu, A.; Rautiainen, K.; Tarvainen, R.; Pulliainen, J.; Praks, J. SodSAR: A Tower-Based 1–10 GHz SAR System for Snow, Soil and Vegetation Studies. Sensors 2020, 20, 6702. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20226702

AMA Style

Jorge Ruiz J, Vehmas R, Lemmetyinen J, Uusitalo J, Lahtinen J, Lehtinen K, Kontu A, Rautiainen K, Tarvainen R, Pulliainen J, Praks J. SodSAR: A Tower-Based 1–10 GHz SAR System for Snow, Soil and Vegetation Studies. Sensors. 2020; 20(22):6702. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20226702

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jorge Ruiz, Jorge, Risto Vehmas, Juha Lemmetyinen, Josu Uusitalo, Janne Lahtinen, Kari Lehtinen, Anna Kontu, Kimmo Rautiainen, Riku Tarvainen, Jouni Pulliainen, and Jaan Praks. 2020. "SodSAR: A Tower-Based 1–10 GHz SAR System for Snow, Soil and Vegetation Studies" Sensors 20, no. 22: 6702. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20226702

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