Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ESA POLinSAR 2007: Imaging forests in 3-D

30.01.2007
More than 140 scientists and researchers from 22 countries have attended the weeklong POLinSAR 2007 workshop, “Science and Applications of SAR Polarimetry and Polarimetric Interferometry,” hosted at ESRIN, ESA’s Earth Observation centre in Frascati, Italy, to hear the first space borne results and to attend interactive training sessions.

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
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMA7LSMTWE_planet_0.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>