Determining Land-Surface Parameters from the ERS Wind Scatterometer

I.H. Woodhouse, D.H. Hoekman

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62 Citations (Scopus)


The ERS-1 wind scatterometer (WSC) has a resolution cell of about 50 km but provides a high repetition rate (less than four days) and makes measurements at multiple incidence angles. In order to retrieve quantitative geophysical parameters over land surfaces using this instrument, a method is presented that applies a mixed-target modeling approach to estimate subpixel fractional vegetation cover at a regional scale. The model represents the footprint area as a combination of part dense, homogeneous vegetation and part bare soil (with homogeneous roughness and dielectric properties). Inversion of this model is then carried out using a retrieval procedure that incorporates a priori information in a quantitative manner The method is applied to the estimation of fractional cover over an area in Africa using WSC data from 1992 to 1995. Retrieved parameters are also compared to ground measurements made in the area during the 1992 HAPEX-Sahel campaign. The procedure illustrates the applicability of WSC data for measuring geophysical parameters over land and offers the potential of deriving a physically-based alternative to empirical indices for estimating regionally-variable parameters
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-140
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • soil water
  • remote sensing


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