Capabilities of BIOMASS Tomography for Investigating Tropical Forests - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing Year : 2015

Capabilities of BIOMASS Tomography for Investigating Tropical Forests


The objective of this paper is to provide a better understanding of the capabilities of the BIOMASS tomography concerning the retrieval of forest biomass and height in tropical areas. The analysis presented in this paper is carried out on airborne data acquired by Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales (ONERA) over the site of Paracou, French Guiana, during the European Space Agency campaign TropiSAR. This high-resolution data set (125-MHz bandwidth) was reprocessed in order to generate a new data stack consistent with BIOMASS as for the bandwidth (6 MHz) and the azimuth resolution (about 12 m). To do this, two different processing approaches have been considered. One approach consisted of degrading the resolution of the airborne data through the linear filtering of raw data, followed by standard SAR processing. The other approach consisted of recovering the 3-D distribution of the scatterers at a high resolution, which was then reprojected onto the BIOMASS geometry. The latter procedure allows us to obtain a data stack that is the most realistic emulation of BIOMASS imaging capabilities. In both approaches, neither ionospheric disturbances nor temporal decorrelation has been considered. The connection to the forest biomass has been examined in both cases by investigating the correlation between the backscatter at different forest heights and the above-ground biomass (AGB) values from in situ data. As expected, the reduction of the system bandwidth to 6 MHz resulted in significant vertical resolution losses compared with the original airborne data. Nevertheless, it was possible to retrieve the forest height to within an accuracy of better than 4 m, whereas the backscattered power at the volume height (30 m above the ground) exhibited a correlation higher than 0.8 with the in situ data and no bias phenomena over the AGB values ranging from 250 to 450 t/ha.

Dates and versions

hal-03797436 , version 1 (04-10-2022)



Dinh Ho Tong Minh, Stefano Tebaldini, Fabio Rocca, Thuy Le Toan, Ludovic Villard, et al.. Capabilities of BIOMASS Tomography for Investigating Tropical Forests. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2015, 53 (2), pp.965-975. ⟨10.1109/TGRS.2014.2331142⟩. ⟨hal-03797436⟩
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