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The effect of leaf geometry on the microwave backscatter from leaves

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An understanding of microwave backscatter from canopies is required in the development of methods to derive biophysical variables from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. Physically based microwave backscatter models of canopies rely upon simulating the average scatter properties of plant components accurately. This work compares the Radar Cross Section (RCS) of idealized shapes (i.e. curved plates, rectangular plates, elliptical discs) used in the currently available radiative transfer simulations with the observed scatter from real leaves at a frequency of 10GHz using VV polarization. This preliminary work suggests that these simple representations do not characterize leaves adequately. Effects associated with the surface roughness of leaves are observed tobe particularly important.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 20, 2000

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