Remote Sensing: Assessment of RISAT-1 and Radarsat-2 for Sea Ice Observations from a Hybrid-Polarity Perspective (Open Access)

Congratulations to Martine Espeseth, Camilla Brekke and Malin Johansson with the article titled “Assessment of RISAT-1 and Radarsat-2 for Sea Ice Observations from a Hybrid-Polarity Perspective”, published as an Open Access paper in the journal Remote Sensing.


Utilizing several Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) missions will provide a data set with higher temporal resolution. It is of great importance to understand the difference between various available sensors and polarization modes and to consider how to homogenize the data sets for a following combined analysis. In this study, a uniform and consistent analysis across different SAR missions is carried out. Three pairs of overlapping hybrid- and full-polarimetric C-band SAR scenes from the Radar Imaging Satellite-1 (RISAT-1) and Radarsat-2 satellites are used. The overlapping Radarsat-2 and RISAT-1 scenes are taken close in time, with a relatively similar incidence angle covering sea ice in the Fram Strait and Northeast Greenland in September 2015. The main objective of this study is to identify the similarities and dissimilarities between a simulated and a real hybrid-polarity (HP) SAR system. The similarities and dissimilarities between the two sensors are evaluated using 13 HP features. The results indicate a similar separability between the sea ice types identified within the real HP system in RISAT-1 and the simulated HP system from Radarsat-2. The HP features that are sensitive to surface scattering and depolarization due to volume scattering showed great potential for separating various sea ice types. A subset of features (the second parameter in the Stokes vector, the ratio between the HP intensity coefficients, and the αs angle) were affected by the non-circularity property of the transmitted wave in the simulated HP system across all the scene pairs. Overall, the best features, showing high separability between various sea ice types and which are invariant to the non-circularity property of the transmitted wave, are the intensity coefficients from the right-hand circular transmit and the linear horizontal receive channel and the right-hand circular on both the transmit and the receive channel, and the first parameter in the Stokes vector.


Espeseth, M. M., Brekke, C., Johansson, A.M. (2017): Assessment of RISAT-1 and Radarsat-2 for sea ice observations from a hybrid-polarity perspective. Remote Sensing, 2017, 9(11), 1088; doi: 10.3390/rs9111088 (open access)

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