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Assessment of Atmospheric Propagation Effects in SAR Images

Danklmayer, Andreas and Döring, Björn and Schwerdt, Marco and Chandra, Madhu (2009) Assessment of Atmospheric Propagation Effects in SAR Images. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 47 (10), pp. 3507-3518. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society. ISSN 0196-2892.

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TerraSAR-X, the first civil German synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite, was successfully launched on June 15th 2007. After 4.5 days the first processed image was obtained. The overall quality of the image was outstanding, however, suspicious features could be identified which showed precipitation related signatures. These rain-cell signatures are thoroughly investigated and the physical background of the related propagation effects are provided. In addition rain cell signatures from former missions like SIR-C/X and SRTM are provided for comparison. During the commissioning phase of TerraSAR-X, a total of 12000 scenes were investigated for potential propagation effects and about 100 scenes revealed atmospheric effects to a visible extent. Some of the particularly interesting events were selected and are discussed in greater detail. An interesting case of a data acquisition over New York will be presented which shows typical rain-cell signatures and the SAR image will be compared with weatherradar data acquired nearly simultaneously (within the same minute). By comparing the images it can be clearly shown that reflectivities in the weather radar image of 50 dBZ may cause visible artefacts in SAR images. Furthermore, in this contribution we discuss the influence of the atmosphere (troposphere) on the external calibration (XCAL) of TerraSAR-X. By acquiring simultaneous weather-radar data over the test-site and the SAR-acquisition it was possible to flag affected SAR images and to exclude them from the procedure to derive the absolute calibration constant. Thus, it was possible to decrease the 1 σ uncertainty of the absolute calibration factor by 0.15 dB.

Document Type:Article
Title:Assessment of Atmospheric Propagation Effects in SAR Images
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Danklmayer, AndreasUNSPECIFIED
Schwerdt, MarcoUNSPECIFIED
Chandra, MadhuChemnitz University of Technology
Date:October 2009
Journal or Publication Title:IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 3507-3518
Publisher:IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society
Series Name:IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Keywords:Synthetic Aperture Radar, rain, attenuation, propagation, TerraSAR-X
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben SAR-Expert-Support-Lab (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Microwaves and Radar Institute > Radar Concepts
Microwaves and Radar Institute
Microwaves and Radar Institute > Spaceborne SAR Systems
Deposited By: Dr.-Ing. Andreas Danklmayer
Deposited On:31 Mar 2009
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 20:31

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