Signatures of ERS-Envisat Interferometric SAR Coherence and Phase of Short Vegetation: An Analysis in the Case of Maize Fields
Journal article, 2010
Interferometric observations between the European Remote Sensing, ERS-2, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and the Envisat Advanced SAR (ASAR) are unique since they are characterized by a short repeat-pass interval (28 min) and a perpendicular baseline of approximately 2 km. In vegetated areas, this configuration should preserve from strong temporal decorrelation and enhance the sensitivity of coherence and SAR interferometric (InSAR) phase to volumes with small heights. This assumption could be tested with the data acquired during the dedicated ERS-Envisat Tandem mission on October 15, 2007, over the Seeland region, Switzerland. Five maize fields and one sunflower field presented lower coherence and offsets of the interferometric phase, i.e. height, with respect to neighboring bare fields. To gain understanding on the interferometric signatures, the interferometric water cloud model was used to simulate coherence and InSAR height for the maize fields. Both the coherence and the InSAR height present clear dependence upon vegetation height and exhibit strong consistency. Simulations showed that the modeled coherence and InSAR height are most sensitive to the two-way attenuation and the temporal coherence of the vegetation. The best correspondence between the observed and modeled InSAR parameters was obtained with two-way attenuation values between 2 and 4 dB/m (corresponding to an extinction between 1 and 2 dB/m) and high temporal coherence of the vegetation (above 0.6), with this being due to the very stable conditions of the weather during the 28-min interval between image acquisitions.
cloud model (IWCM)