Radiometrically Terrain Corrected ALOS PALSAR Data Available from the Alaska Satellite Facility

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Thomas Andrew Logan, Jeremy Nicoll, Jeanne Laurencelle, Kirk Hogenson, Rudiger Gens, Brian Buechler, Ben Barton, William Shreve, Timothy Stern, Lisa Drew and Richard Guritz, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States
The Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Data Center (ASF DAAC) now offers a suite of geometrically and radiometrically terrain corrected data products derived from ALOS PALSAR, processed using the Gamma Remote Sensing software package.

Radiometric terrain correction (RTC) addresses two aspects of the effects of side-looking geometry of SAR imagery. First, the geometric distortions are corrected using the best digital elevation model available for a given region. Second, the radiometry is adjusted in the affected foreshortening and layover regions using the pixel-area integration approach for radiometric normalization. The RTC process provides improved backscatter estimates that can be used as input for applications such as the monitoring of deforestation, land-cover classification, and delineation of wet snow covered areas.

RTC products are distributed at two resolutions. RT1 products with a pixel size of 12.5 m are generated from high-resolution and mid-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs). RT2 products are generated at a 30 m level for all available DEMs. Layover and shadow masks as well as incidence angle maps are available for both product resolutions. Products cover landmasses generally from 60 degrees northern latitude to 59 degrees southern latitude. An exception to the rule is the inclusion of all of North America. Excluded landmasses are Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica, and northern Eurasia. Since scientists are generally interested in quantitative measurements that are referenced to the ground, products are distributed in σ0 power. All RTC products are geocoded to the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) projection, provided in GIS ready GeoTIFF format and downloadable from the ASF DAAC.