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Estimation of the Degree of Polarization for Hybrid/Compact and Linear Dual-Pol SAR Intensity Images: Principles and Applications

Abstract : Analysis and comparison of linear and hybrid/compact dual-polarization (dual-pol) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery have gained a wholly new importance in the last few years, in particular, with the advent of new spaceborne SARs such as the Japanese ALOS PALSAR, the Canadian RADARSAT-2, and the German TerraSAR-X. Compact polarimetry, hybrid dual-pol, and quad-pol modes are newly promoted in the literature for future SAR missions. In this paper, we investigate and compare different hybrid/compact and linear dual-pol modes in terms of the estimation of the degree of polarization (DoP). The DoP has long been recognized as one of the most important parameters characterizing a partially polarized electromagnetic wave. It can be effectively used to characterize the information content of SAR data. We study and compare the information content of the intensity data provided by different hybrid/compact and linear dual-pol SAR modes. For this purpose, we derive the joint distribution of multilook SAR intensity images. We use this distribution to derive the maximum likelihood and moment-based estimators of the DoP in hybrid/compact and linear dual-pol modes.We evaluate and compare the performance of these estimators for different modes on both synthetic and real data, which are acquired by RADARSAT-2 spaceborne and NASA/JPL airborne SAR systems, over various terrain types such as urban, vegetation, and ocean.
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Réza Shirvany, Marie Chabert, Jean-yves Tourneret. Estimation of the Degree of Polarization for Hybrid/Compact and Linear Dual-Pol SAR Intensity Images: Principles and Applications. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2013, vol. 51, pp.539-551. ⟨10.1109/TGRS.2012.2202242⟩. ⟨hal-00778713⟩

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