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Summary of Proposal LAN2963

TitleSARfields - Determination of soil moisture in agricultural areas from SAR and InSAR processing
Investigator Born, Katrin - Spatial Business Integration GmbH, R and D
Team Member
Dr. Falorni, Giacomo - TRE Canada Inc., N/A
MSc. Novali, Fabrizio - TRE, N/A
Dr. Iannacone, Jean Pascal - TRE Canada, N/A
SummaryThe objective of this project, planned from 01.05.2015 until 30.04.2017, is to advance the identification and analysis of soil moisture effects in InSAR processing over agricultural areas using X-band (TerraSAR-X) and C-band (Radarsat) data. This is supported by using time series of the amplitude signal of the X- and C-band data sets for retrieving soil and crop changes during the growing season. Optical satellite images are planned to assist the interpretation of the radar data derived information, in-situ measurements for its validation. The project is proposed to DLR following the AO of BMWi ”Development of new applications, products and services in an integrative use of X- and C-band SARdata" and is planned to be conducted in cooperation with TRE Canada Inc.,Vancouver. The cooperation of SBI as a specialist in EO-based products for agricultural applications and TRE Canada Inc. as an expert on radar data processing is pursued with the aim to provide operational services based on soil moisture information in the future. This exploitation of the project results focus on the agricultural market which has to respond to a growing population and the risks of crop failures due to climate change and therefore requires more and better information products on soil moisture conditions. The objectives are as follows: ·To investigate interferometric phase artefacts introduced by soil moisture variations as identified from advanced InSAR processing of X- and C-band data; ·To separate the contribution of soil moisture to the SAR phase and amplitude signals by: oAnalyzing signal phase variations and comparing the signal response for the C-band and X-band data stacks; oAnalyzing signal amplitude variations by performing change detection analyses on stacks of SAR data to identify variations between the C- and X-band data. ·To use optical data to improve the soil moisture observation by SAR data and in-situ soil moisture data for validation. ·To enhance InSAR processing by characterizing phase response to variations in soil moisture content. ·To study the commercial potential of this enhanced InSAR processing method and to study the commercial potential of using the derived soil moisture information for improved agricultural monitoring products A test site in Rheinland-Pfalz is selected to carry out this project due to the pilot customer involved in the project is operating a farm in this area. TerraSAR-X (and RADARSAT) data stacks from archive (12.05.2013 – 01.05.2015) are planned to be used for a preliminary study for the development of the co-acquired C- and X-band data stack analytical procedures. New data collected during the project period between the 01.05.2015 until the 31.12.2016 are planned to provide a significant amount of SAR data for allowing statistically significant analyse sof the effects of soil moisture through two growing seasons. TerraSAR-X and RADARSAT data with similar parameters, including pixel resolution, orbit geometry and beam angle are requested. It should be noted that the longer the stacks the more accurate the InSAR method. Optical satellite images will be acquired from free data providers, i.e. from Landsat andSentinel-2a, and data from commercial sources will be programmed for critically identified time periods in the monitoring cycle. These data will be used to collect additional crop information and for validation of ground conditions. The in-situ measurements will comprise soil moisture measurements in agricultural fields in real-time to the X- and C-band image acquisitions as well as permanently during the whole growing seasons. Additional ground truth will be acquired, i.e. crop cover and soil roughness, and used for comparing with the results achieved from the SAR data and the optical satellite images analyses.The results of the project will be delivered in 4 reports presenting the activities, results and challenges of the project in the previous 6 months.

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