Polarimetric Analyses for Sea-Ice

Polarimetric SAR data can be used to create a variety of output products including multi-polarization intensity images as well as polarimetric parameters. Images acquired with the various combinations of polarizations on transmit and receive can be displayed on single channels or in various combinations including ratios and false colour composites. Figure 9-14 shows images acquired in each of the three linear polarizations as single channel intensity images and combined into a false colour composite. The imaged areas is in the Labrador Sea off the coast of Newfoundland with ice and open water.

Figure 9-14
Figure 9-14. C-band false colour composite and single channel intensity images from SIR-C for an ice infested region of the Labrador Sea off the coast of newfoundland. The data were acquired on April 18, 1994 with incidence angles ranging from 26 to 31 degrees. (from Scheuchl et al 2001c)

The complex data can also be used to generate polarimetric signatures as well as polarimetric parameters which can be used to aid in interpretation and understanding of the scattering mechanisms. Polarimetric discriminants can also be generated and used for classification purposes. The following material illustrates these approaches for sea ice applications.