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The BIOMASS Level 2 Prototype Processor: Design and Experimental Results of Above-Ground Biomass Estimation

Banda, Francesco and Giudici, Davide and Le Toan, Thuy and Mariotti, Mauro and Papathanassiou, Konstantinos and Quegan, Shaun and Riembauer, Guido and Scipal, Klaus and Soja, Maciej J. and Tebaldini, Stefano and Ulander, Lars and Villard, Ludovic (2020) The BIOMASS Level 2 Prototype Processor: Design and Experimental Results of Above-Ground Biomass Estimation. Remote Sensing, 12 (6), p. 985. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/rs12060985. ISSN 2072-4292.

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/12/6/985


BIOMASS is ESA’s seventh Earth Explorer mission, scheduled for launch in 2022. The satellite will be the first P-band SAR sensor in space and will be operated in fully polarimetric interferometric and tomographic modes. The mission aim is to map forest above-ground biomass (AGB), forest height (FH) and severe forest disturbance (FD) globally with a particular focus on tropical forests. This paper presents the algorithms developed to estimate these biophysical parameters from the BIOMASS level 1 SAR measurements and their implementation in the BIOMASS level 2 prototype processor with a focus on the AGB product. The AGB product retrieval uses a physically-based inversion model, using ground-canceled level 1 data as input. The FH product retrieval applies a classical PolInSAR inversion, based on the Random Volume over Ground Model (RVOG). The FD product will provide an indication of where significant changes occurred within the forest, based on the statistical properties of SAR data. We test the AGB retrieval using modified airborne P-Band data from the AfriSAR and TropiSAR campaigns together with reference data from LiDAR-based AGB maps and plot-based ground measurements. For AGB estimation based on data from a single heading, comparison with reference data yields relative Root Mean Square Difference (RMSD) values mostly between 20% and 30%. Combining different headings in the estimation process significantly improves the AGB retrieval to slightly less than 20%. The experimental results indicate that the implemented retrieval scheme provides robust results that are within mission requirements.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/139499/
Document Type:Article
Title:The BIOMASS Level 2 Prototype Processor: Design and Experimental Results of Above-Ground Biomass Estimation
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Banda, FrancescoAresysUNSPECIFIED
Giudici, DavideAresysUNSPECIFIED
Le Toan, ThuyCesbio, CNES, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Papathanassiou, KonstantinosUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Quegan, ShaunUniversity of SheffieldUNSPECIFIED
Riembauer, GuidoESA, ESTEC, Noordwijk, NetherlandsUNSPECIFIED
Scipal, KlausESA, ESTEC, Noordwijk, NetherlandsUNSPECIFIED
Soja, Maciej J.MJ Soja ConsultingUNSPECIFIED
Ulander, LarsChalmers University SwedenUNSPECIFIED
Villard, LudovicCesbio, CNES, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Date:19 March 2020
Journal or Publication Title:Remote Sensing
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.3390/rs12060985
Page Range:p. 985
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Series Name:Remote Sensing
Keywords:BIOMASS, SAR, polarimetry, tomography, interferometry, forest height, forest disturbance, earth explorer, DTM
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Security-relevant Earth Observation
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Microwaves and Radar Institute > Radar Concepts
Deposited By: Radzuweit, Sibylle
Deposited On:14 Dec 2020 10:07
Last Modified:14 Dec 2020 10:07

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