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Stop, look and listen: auditory perception analogies for radar remote sensing

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As active microwave instruments become more advanced and the application of radar images more prolific there is an ever present need for a wider audience to appreciate the workings and subtleties of radar remote sensing systems. Many problems associated with the use and interpretation of such data are a consequence of users failing to properly conceptualise the radar system and the manner in which it gathers information about the target. This paper attempts to provide a conceptual framework for radar systems based on an auditory perception analogy that should allow for a clearer appreciation of the subtle differences between passive optical and active microwave systems. Through a comparison between how eyes and ears function, and by looking at their very different means of gathering information, a few of the difficult concepts that are important in gaining a deeper understanding of radar image production are discussed.

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: Department of Water Resources, Wageningen Agricultural University, Nieuwe Kanaal 11, 6709 PA Wageningen, The Netherlands

Publication date: October 15, 2000

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