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This paper describes a novel, simple and efficient approach to estimate forest height over a wide region utilizing spaceborne repeat-pass InSAR correlation magnitude data at L-band. We start from a semi-empirical modification of the RVoG model that characterizes repeat-pass InSAR correlation with large temporal baselines (e.g., 46 days for ALOS) by taking account of the temporal change effect of dielectric fluctuation and random motion of scatterers. By assuming (1) the temporal change parameters and forest backscatter profile/extinction coefficient follow some mean behavior across each inteferogram; (2) there is minimal ground scattering contribution for HV-polarization; and (3) the vertical wavenumber is small, a simplified inversion approach is developed to link the observed HV-polarized InSAR correlation magnitude to forest height and validated using ALOS/PALSAR repeat-pass observations against LVIS lidar heights over the Howland Research Forest in central Maine, US (with RMSE < 4 m at a resolution of 32 hectares). The model parameters derived from this supervised regression are used as the basis for propagating the estimates of forest height to available interferometric pairs for the entire state of Maine, thus creating a state-mosaic map of forest height. The present approach described here serves as an alternative and complementary tool for other PolInSAR inversion techniques when full-polarization data may not be available. This work is also meant to be an observational prototype for NASA’s DESDynI-R (now called NISAR) and JAXA’s ALOS-2 satellite missions.
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Lei, Yang and Siqueira, Paul, "Estimation of Forest Height Using Spaceborne Repeat-Pass L-Band InSAR Correlation Magnitude over the US State of Maine" (2014). Remote Sensing. 1192.