Polarimetric features of oyster farm observed by AIRSAR and JERS-1

Seung Kuk Lee, Sang Hoon Hong, Sang Wan Kim, Yoshio Yamaguchi, Joong Sun Won

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


The polarimetric features of an oyster farm in a coastal area are analyzed to verify the applicability of radar polarimetry and interferometry. L-band Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) data and Japan Earth Resources Satellite (JERS-1) data are used to examine the unique structure of an oyster farm located in South Korea. A specific feature of the oyster farm is the presence of numerous arrays of structures of various orientations that consist of exercise-bar-shaped poles protruding above sea level. This paper demonstrates that tide level is strongly correlated with the double-bounce scattering power from the vertical pole structures. This phenomenon is also verified by laboratory measurements using a network analyzer. In the laboratory experiment, double-bounce scattering and total power showed increasing trends with increased height of the vertical poles. Single-bounce scattering is sensitive to the orientation of horizontal poles relative to antenna orientation. HH-polarization is the most effective technique for imaging oyster farms from L-band polarimetric AIRSAR data. The authors were able to use a three-component decomposition of the AIRSAR data to distinguish an exposed tidal flat from a submerged tidal flat. The characteristics of the exposed tidal flat are similar to those of the carbon sponge in the laboratory test, except that the double-bounce scattering power is slightly greater in the real-world example. The single-bounce scattering component in AIRSAR data is generally greater than that in laboratory measurements because of sea-surface conditions and oyster growth. When the horizontal pole was aligned normal to the radar look direction, single-bounce scattering was greater than the double-bounce scattering, even under water-covered conditions. While a difference in tide height of 10 cm contributed approximately 3.0 dB in the laboratory experiment, a difference in tide height of 20 cm contributed to only approximately 1.7 dB in the JERS-1 SAR image intensity. JERS-1 SAR image intensity for areas dominated by double- and single-bounce scattering was 0.78 and 0.56, respectively. Results confirm that polarimetric SAR data are useful in selecting areas dominated by double-bounce scattering in oyster farms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2728-2735
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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