Microwave polarimetric scatterometer as a tool for monitoring topsoil moisture

Angelo C. D'alessio, Claudia Notarnicola, Francesco Posa, Giuseppe Calbi, Domenico Casarano, Antonio Mongelli, Vincenzo Sabatelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Microwave remote sensing is a good tool for topsoil moisture monitoring due to the large difference between dielectric properties of dry soil and water. The aim of this work is to exploit microwave remote sensing techniques to collect data on soil water content of large areas rapidly and without direct soil samples analysis. To this purpose, a frequency modulated-continuous wave C-band microwave polarimetric radar has been built. The device has two transmitting channels that illuminate the soil with orthogonal linearly polarized electromagnetic waves. Two receiving channels detect the linearly polarized waves backscattered from the same target. This scatterometer can measure the module of the soil electromagnetic scattering matrix elements. The knowledge of this matrix permits the computation of all the possible polarization combinations of backscattering normalized Radar Cross Section (RCS) through a polarization synthesis approach. A Fourier analysis of this signal extracts the scattering matrix values of "different-in-range" resolution cells. The height and the incidence angle of this microwave sensor can be varied within large intervals; this allows the measurements of the RCS in various configurations that should give insights on soil moisture parameter extraction under different conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300 - 309
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2001


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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