Airborne L- and C-band scatterometer data, taken over both vegetation-covered and bare fields, were systematically analyzed and theoretically reproduced, using a recently developed model for calculating radar backscattering coefficients of rough soil surfaces. The results show that the model can reproduce the observed angular variations of radar backscattering coefficient quite well via a least-squares fit method. Best fits to the data provide estimates of the statistical properties of the surface roughness, which is characterized by two parameters: the standard deviation of surface height, and the surface correlation length. In addition, the processes of vegetation attenuation and volume scattering require two canopy parameters, the canopy optical thickness and a volume scattering factor. Canopy parameter values for individual vegetation types, including alfalfa, milo and corn, were also determined from the best-fit results. The uncertainties in the scatterometer data were also explored.
COMMUNICATIONS AND RADAR