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Multifrequency and polarimetric SAR observations on alpine glaciers

  • Helmut Rott (a1) and Robert E. Davis (a2)

Abstract

The glacier-covered test site Rofental in the Austrian Alps was surveyed by the AIRSAR of the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory in August 1989 and June 1991. A few days after the AIRSAR survey in 1989 Landsat TM and SPOT images were acquired, which provide the opportunity to compare visible and radar data. Field activities during the SAR surveys included measurements of dielectrical, structural, and surface roughness properties and the deployment of corner reflectors. After polarimetric and radiometric calibration of the SAR data, polarimetric signatures of the main target types, snow, glacier ice and moraines, were derived. Pronounced effects of surface roughness were observed at C- and L-band for artificially roughened snow surfaces. Parallel AIRSAR swaths of the 1991 survey provide the basis for studies of incidence angle effects. Due to the increasing penetration depth, the unpolarized backscattering components of the wet snow areas increase from the C- to the P-band. The multifrequency backscattering properties of the various surfaces offer the best means for target discrimination.

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References

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Multifrequency and polarimetric SAR observations on alpine glaciers

  • Helmut Rott (a1) and Robert E. Davis (a2)

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