Forest Applications

K.P. Papathanassiou*, S.R. Cloude, M. Pardini, M.J. Quiñones, D. Hoekman, L. Ferro-Famil, D. Goodenough, H. Chen, S. Tebaldini, M. Neumann, L.M.H. Ulander, M.J. Soja

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The application of polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to forest observation for mapping, classification and parameter estimation (especially biomass) has a relatively long history. The radar penetration through forest volume, and hence the multi-layer nature of scattering models, make fully polarimetric data the observation space enabling a robust and full inversion of such models. A critical advance came with the introduction of polarimetric SAR interferometry, where polarimetry provides the parameter diversity, while the interferometric baseline proves a user-defined entropy control as well as spatial separation of scattering components, together with their location in the third dimension (height). Finally, the availability of multiple baselines leads to the full 3-D imaging of forest volumes through TomoSAR, the quality of which is again greatly enhanced by the inclusion of polarimetry. The objective of this Chapter is to review applications of SAR polarimetry, polarimetric interferometry and tomography to forest mapping and classification, height estimation, 3-D structure characterization and biomass estimation. This review includes not only models and algorithms, but it also contains a large number of experimental results in different test sites and forest types, and from airborne and space borne SAR data at different frequencies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRemote Sensing and Digital Image Processing
Subtitle of host publicationPolarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar
EditorsIrena Hajnsek, Yves-Louis Desnos
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages59
ISBN (Electronic)9783030565046
ISBN (Print)9783030565022
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2021

Publication series

NameRemote Sensing and Digital Image Processing
ISSN (Print)1567-3200
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1842


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