Exploiting polarimetric TerraSAR-X data for sea clutter characterization
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Rights accessOpen Access
This paper presents a detailed characterization of sea/ocean clutter returns at X-band, imaged by TerraSAR-X (TSX) mission from the radiometric, statistical, and polarimetric standpoints. Different TSX data takes, covering the typical spaceborne incidence angle region (20 degrees-45 degrees), are analyzed: dual-polarized (dual-pol) and experimental quad-polarized (quad-pol) data have been used. The thermal noise of the receiver for quad-pol data turns out to be an important limitation in the sea characterization from TSX, particularly at high incidence angles (above 36 degrees), where low signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) can impair the proper data distribution fitting and the polarimetric backscattering description. Statistical analysis shows large deviation from Gaussianity, indicating presence of texture, mainly in the small incidence region (20 degrees-36 degrees), with favorable SNR conditions. The different polarimetric features revealed contribution of nonpolarized scattering, related to the presence of breaking waves. This paper also proposes and evaluates an extension of the well-known X-Bragg model, named X2-Bragg (extended-extended Bragg), which properly accounts for the impact of thermal noise and sea clutter temporal decorrelation, due to the dual receive antenna (DRA) acquisition mode. Such additional decorrelation sources, if not properly analyzed and accounted for in the physical-based model description, could lead to an incorrect interpretation of the polarimetric properties and the related erroneous geophysical parametric inversion from the real data. In this sense, the X2-Bragg proves its fitting to the experimental data, quantifying accordingly the presence of nonpolarized scattering in terms of the roughness parameter beta(1).
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CitationMakhoul, E., Lopez, C., Broquetas, A. Exploiting polarimetric TerraSAR-X data for sea clutter characterization. "IEEE transactions on geoscience and remote sensing", 01 Gener 2016, vol. 54, núm. 1, p. 358-372.