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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(7), 655;

Ground Truth of Passive Microwave Radiative Transfer on Vegetated Land Surfaces

Department of Civil Enginneering, the University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
Data Assimilation Research Team, RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science, Kobe 650-0047, Japan
Meteorological Research Institute, Japan Meteorological Agency, Tsukuba 305-0052, Japan
Earth Observation Research Centor, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba 305-8505, Japan
International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM), Tsukuba 305-8516, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard Gloaguen
Received: 15 May 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Geology, Geomorphology and Hydrology)
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In this paper, we implemented the in-situ observation of surface soil moisture (SSM), vegetation water content (VWC), and microwave brightness temperatures. By analyzing this in-situ observation dataset and the numerical simulation, we investigated the source of the uncertainty of the current algorithms for Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth observation system (AMSR-E) and AMSR2 to retrieve SSM and vegetation dynamics. Our findings are: (1) the microwave radiative transfer at C-band and X-band is not strongly affected by the shape of vegetation and the existing algorithm can be applied to a wide variety of plant types; (2) the diversity of surface soil roughness significantly affects the indices which are used by the current algorithms and addressing the uncertainty of surface soil roughness is necessary to improve the retrieval algorithms; (3) At C-band, SSM of the homogeneous vegetated land surfaces can be detected only when their VWC is less than approximately 0.25 (kg/m2); (4) the state-of-the-art Radiative Transfer Model (RTM) can predict our observed dataset although we have some biases in simulating brightness temperatures at a higher frequency. The new in-situ observation dataset produced by this study can be the guideline for both developers and users of passive microwave land observations to consider the uncertainties of their products. View Full-Text
Keywords: passive microwave observation; surface soil moisture; vegetation water content; radiative transfer model passive microwave observation; surface soil moisture; vegetation water content; radiative transfer model

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sawada, Y.; Tsutsui, H.; Koike, T. Ground Truth of Passive Microwave Radiative Transfer on Vegetated Land Surfaces. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 655.

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