Polarimetric interferometry is performed using two polarimetric SAR images acquired from slightly different directions. The study of these data sets permits us to retrieve information related to the 3-D structure of forest or other natural volume scatterers, such as underlying topography, forest height and to estimate forest biomass – a quantitative estimate of the entire amount of organic material in a particular forest habitat.
Workshop participants saw the first POLinSAR in-orbit results from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS). Launched on 24 January 2006, ALOS is supported as an ESA Third Party Mission.
"POLinSAR allows us to estimate key environmental parameters that are needed today. For instance, it allows us to make estimations of forest biomass on a global scale," said Konstantinos Papathanassiou, a researcher with the Radar and Microwaves Institute at German Aerospace Centre (DLR). "The conclusions from these global estimates may also be important for climate change modellers and decision makers."
The capability of radar to penetrate ground cover and 'see' the underlying terrain, coupled with POLinSAR techniques to detect forest canopies, make it possible to classify trees and estimate their height using SAR imagery. This may sound of interest only to a narrow band of scientists, until one realizes that determining the types and heights of trees in a forest are critical ingredients in determining its biomass.
In turn, forest’s biomass, together with how it changes over time, are key elements in determining an area’s capacity to act as a carbon sink, soaking up carbon-based gases and cleansing the atmosphere of major types of pollution blamed for the greenhouse effect and global warming. Producing accurate forest biomass estimates, and how they are changing over time, are a critical challenge to environmental scientists to whom national governments are turning for help in meeting their international obligations to stabilise greenhouse-gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.
Also at the workshop, ESA provided additional interactive training opportunities for the POLSARPRO tool developed by the University of Rennes 1, France, which includes a wide-ranging tutorial in Polarimetry and Polarimetric Interferometry. To date, some 700 registered users from 62 countries worldwide are using the tool.
Over the last 2 years, ESA has trained some 250 scientists to exploit Polarimetric airborne/spaceborne SAR data for science and applications development using in particular the POLSARPRO software and educational tool.
"POLinSAR is the starting point of future applications because we are at the point where new satellites will be launched, such as Germany’s TerraSAR-X and Canada’s Radarsat-2, that can provide polarimetry and interferometry," said Prof. Eric Pottier, head of the Radar Polarimetry Group at the University of Rennes. "Processing this kind of data will open many new application doors, so it is very important to train young students now to be able to handle this kind of data."
Mariangela D'Acunto | alfa
Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut
Species Richness – a false friend? Scientists want to improve biodiversity assessments
01.08.2017 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences