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Summary of Proposal LAN2156

TitlePotential of TerraSAR-X for agriculture monitoring
Investigator Hütt, Christoph - University of Cologne, Departement of Geography, GIS and Remote Sensing Group
Team Member
Prof. Bareth, Georg - University of Cologne, Institute of Geography
Dipl.Geogr. Hütt, Christoph - University of Cologne, Institute of Geography
SummaryThe 2 objectives are to improve Land Use classifications and to evaluate methods to retrieve cropparameters from TerraSAR-X data. Furthermore of special interest in such a datarich environment is: which dates and acquisition modes deliver the neededinformation. Theanalysis includes the inspection of the backscattering coefficients and ratiosof the different polarization channels. A more sophisticated analysis includesthe calculation of eigenvalues (entropy, alpha) and the elements of the CoherencyMatrix (C11, C12, C22 in case of dual pol). With this analysis, the signal canbe precisely related to the backscattering mechanisms on the ground. Throughoutthe vegetation cycle, these mechanisms will change a lot. Whereas the signal isdominated by surface scattering from the bare soil in the beginning of theseason, more volume scattering will appear with the emergence of the plants.After the closing of the canopy at a later stage, the signal will contain morecontribution from the surface of the plant. Together with the position of the signalwithin the entropy-alpha plane a relation with the BBCH (phonologicaldevelopment of the plant) can be developed. A sensitivity to the biomass of thesignal has already been shown by our working group (KOPPE et al. 2012), but theresults have to be further evaluated. A transfer of the methods to this studysite and to the TerraSAR-X sensor could provide exactly this and show the effectivenessof TerraSAR-X in this scenario. This measurement of the spatio-temporalvariability of the biomass, combined with the information from sensors thatmeasure the infrared and red parts of the spectrum, which yield informationabout the amount of photosynthesis of the plant, a model for preciselyestimating the NNI within the field can be developed. The TerraSAR-X data couldthen be used to develop a product, or define the data requirements for aproduct, that is related to the estimation of biomass of agricultural fields.In the field of renewable energy production or in the domain of precision agriculture, this is avery valuable parameter and until now not accurately measurable at the neededspatio-temporal accuracy, resolution and extent. Data requirements anddeliverables No new TerraSAR-X acquisitions will be needed asthere are already many Stripmap scenes in either HH or HH/VV Polarization inthe Eoweb catalogue. For the time period of the growing season 2013 already 21acquisitions. The project is a chance to show the synergetic use of the same acquisitionsfor different purposes.Funding:As this project is embedded in the alreadyon-going projects CRC / TR32 ( and, numerous field campaigns are already secured. Therequired hard- and software-infrastructure as well as licenses of establishedGIS- and remote sensing software like ArcGIS, Envi, Erdas Imagine for the dataprocessing are available at the institute. Especially the knowledge obtained fromthe “2nd advanced course of Radar Polarimetry” from 21th-25th January 2013, atESA-ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, is a superb starting point. Theoreticalbackground knowledge on radar remote sensing applications as well as practicalanalysis skills with available software packages were acquired.

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