TERENO airborne active and passive microwave remote sensing

Airborne microwave campaigns were conducted in the Rur catchment with the DLR E-/F-SAR system, the PLMR/PLMR2 radiometers, the EMIRAD and the HUT-2D radiometers. From 2012 on, several campaigns are planned with the F-SAR and the PLMR2 onboard the DLR Do228.

TERENO airborne active and passive microwave remote sensing

Passive microwave measurements by PLMR2 on an Enviscope Partenavia

The Polarimetric L-band Microwave Radiometer (PLMR2) was constructed by ProSensing Inc. for IBG 3. This system is referred to as PLMR2 and is to a certain extent identical to the PLMR instrument built for the Monash University, Australia. The instrument enables high-resolution mapping of near-surface soil moisture, land surface salinity and temperature, providing unprecedented details on characteristics critical to our understanding and management of the environment.  DLR’s novel F-SAR is a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) system onboard a DLR Dornier DO 228 aircraft. The sensor is designed to operate fully polarimetrically at X-, C-, S-, L- and P-band. Here, we are focusing on the L-band SAR data acquired in high spatial resolution (range: 1.92m, azimuth: 0.6m).

TERENO airborne active and passive microwave remote sensing

Active microwave measurements by F-SAR on the DLR Do228 (source: DLR)

To overcome the individual limitations of the passive and active approaches, the NASA Soil Moisture Active and Passive (SMAP) mission is combining the two technologies. The approach makes use of a soil moisture product on the coarse scale obtained by the radiometer and an integration of the medium scale radar backscatter for the soil moisture disaggregation. The Rur catchment has already been served as a validation site for the SMOS satellite. Recently, it has been officially selected by NASA as a validation site for SMAP. There is a large potential to validate also further satellite missions, e.g. the Sentinels. Additionally, the HySpex hyperspectral sensor will be flown by DLR in 2012 in the Rur catchment.

Dr. Carsten Montzka
Dr. Heye Bogena
Sayeh Hasan
Normen Hermes

Last Modified: 25.05.2022