RADLAB Seminar

New insights into analysis of polarimetric radar data from fundamental physics

Frank AhernTerreVista Earth Imaging

This presentation will start by introducing remote sensing of forests and wetlands using synthetic aperture radara (SAR) data, with examples of radar data over Canada and Latin America.

Next, a general introduction to SAR will be provided, with an emphasis on polarimetry. Polarimetry offers opportunities, but also pitfalls, and one of these pitfalls will be illustrated. We will review the underlying physics of polarimetric backscatter from swamps, leading to an understanding of an issue with polarimetric decompositions. An extensive dataset acquired in 2016 provides confirmation that we are on the right track, but also points up areas where additional modelling efforts are needed.
Frank Ahern received the A.B. degree in physics and mathematics from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA, in 1966, and the Ph.D. degree in astrophysics from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA, in 1972.

He was with the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, as a National Science and Engineering Research Council Fellow from 1972 to 1974. He joined the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS), Ottawa, ON, Canada, as a Research Scientist in 1974, where he remained until 2001. He has authored or co-authored 55 articles in refereed journals, 5 books (as author, editor, or chapter author), and over 120 additional publications. His research interests have included radiometric corrections of Landsat data, optical spectrometry, atmospheric corrections, and development of applications of remote sensing data for rangeland and forestry. He is currently most active in research to improve the application of synthetic aperture radar data for wetland areas.

Dr. Ahern is a member of the Canadian Remote Sensing Society and served as the Editor in Chief of the Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing from 1985 to 1990. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Canadian Remote Sensing Society for 1991.

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