As Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) system performance and experience in SAR signature evaluation increase, quantitative analysis becomes more and more important. Such analyses require an absolute radiometric calibration of the complete SAR system. To keep the expenditure on calibration of future multichannel and multisensor remote sensing systems (e.g., X-SAR/SIR-C) within a tolerable level, data from different tracks and different sensors (channels) must be cross calibrated. The 1989 joint E-SAR/DC-8 SAR calibration campaign gave a first opportunity for such an experiment, including cross sensor and cross track calibration. A basic requirement for successful cross calibration is the stability of the SAR systems. The calibration parameters derived from different tracks and the polarimetric properties of the uncalibrated data are used to describe this stability. Quality criteria for a successful cross calibration are the agreement of alpha degree values and the consistency of radar cross sections of equally sized corner reflectors. Channel imbalance and cross talk provide additional quality in case of the polarimetric DC-8 SAR.
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing (ISSN 0196-2892); 31; 1; p. 237-245.