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Open AccessArticle

Simplified Normalization of C-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar Data for Terrestrial Applications in High Latitude Environments

ZAMG—Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Hohe Warte 38, 1190 Vienna, Austria
b.geos, Industriestrasse 1, 2100 Korneuburg, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 551;
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) applications often require normalization to a common incidence angle. Angular signatures of radar backscatter depend on surface roughness and vegetation cover, and thus differ, from location to location. Comprehensive reference datasets are therefore required in heterogeneous landscapes. Multiple acquisitions from overlapping orbits with sufficient incidence angle range are processed in order to obtain parameters of the location specific normalization function. We propose a simpler method for C-band data, using single scenes only. It requires stable dielectric properties (no variations of liquid water content). This method is therefore applicable for frozen conditions. Winter C-band data have been shown of high value for a number of applications in high latitudes before. In this paper we explore the relationship of incidence angle and Sentinel-1 backscatter across the tundra to boreal transition zone. A linear relationship (coefficient of determination R 2 = 0.64) can be found between backscatter and incidence angle dependence (slope of normalization function) as determined by multiple acquisitions on a pixel by pixel basis for typical land cover classes in these regions. This allows a simplified normalization and thus reduced processing effort for applications over larger areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: synthetic aperture radar; normalization; tundra; frozen soil synthetic aperture radar; normalization; tundra; frozen soil
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Widhalm, B.; Bartsch, A.; Goler, R. Simplified Normalization of C-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar Data for Terrestrial Applications in High Latitude Environments. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 551.

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