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A study of land cover classification using polarimetric SAR parameters

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Classification of the Earth's surface constitutes an important application of polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data; in turn, it may represent an efficient way for investigating their different representations. The polarimetric parameters most frequently taken into account for classification have been the incoherent ones. A similar use of coherent methods appears to have been scarcely considered and remained neglected. In this contribution, we wish to address this issue, testing and comparing a wide range of polarimetric SAR parameters, coherent and incoherent. Another original aspect of this work is the study of the dependence of the classification results on the varying size of averaging windows of pixels. Such an analysis will permit us to evaluate the importance of speckle reduction and to prove if the chosen polarimetric parameters describe only point-like physical properties of the targets or if they also contain 'extended', local information. The goal is to provide an objective estimate of the quality of the classification of polarimetric parameters and afford their comparison, an exercise hitherto unavailable in the literature in common knowledge.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01431160601075541

Affiliations: Signal and Image Centre (SIC) - Royal Military Academy (RMA), 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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