Polarimetric SAR Interferometry (Pol-InSAR) is today an established remote sensing technique that allows the investigation of the 3D structure of natural volume scatterers.
Pol-InSAR acquisition geometry: Scattering matrix recorded from two different observation anglesHow does Pol-InSAR work?
Interferometric observables are highly sensitive to the spatial variability of vertical structure parameters and allow accurate 3D localisation of the scattering center. On the other hand, scattering polarimetry is sensitive to the shape, orientation and dielectric properties of scatterers and allows the identification and/or separation of scattering mechanisms of natural media.
In Pol-InSAR both techniques are coherently combined to provide sensitivity to the vertical distribution of scattering mechanisms. Hence, it becomes possible to investigate the 3D structure of volume scatterers and to extract information about the underlying scattering processes using only a single frequency polarimetric radar sensor.
With the E-SAR sensor, the DLR operates the sensor that demonstrated for the first time airborne polarimetric repeat pass interferometry at L- and P-band - booting the development of Pol-InSAR technology in Europe and world-wide.
In future, Pol-InSAR techniques will be faced with the potential and the challenges arising from an extended observation space provided from multi-baseline, multi-frequency, bi- and multi-static sensor configurations forcing the evolution of quantitative measurement and information product generation in SAR remote sensing.
Important Pol-InSAR links