Sources of Scattering from Vegetation Canopies at 10 GHz


High-resolution backscatter measurements were made at X-band, with vertical polarization, and incidence angles of 30° and 50°, for winter wheat, soybeans, and corn during the summer of 1984. Plants were observed both under natural conditions and with partial-to-complete defoliation. The resolution volume of the measurement system is better than 20 × 20 × 11.25 cm3 within the entire range of measurements. Results are presented as a radar image, which also provides information on the spatial distribution of the (attenuated) scattering inside the canopy observed under natural conditions. Measured results indicate that: 1) for the full-grown wheat plants, heads are the dominant scatterers at the early heading stage and the ground is the dominant scatterer at the later growth stages; 2) for the soybeans, returns are mostly from the upper 30-cm portion of the plants, and leaves and stems dominate the radar signal at 30° and 50° incidence angles, respectively; 3) for the corn plants, leaves are the single dominant scatterers at both angles of incidence; and 4) ground returns are relatively unimportant as they are highly attenuated by the vegetation cover.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Microwaves - Scattering; Remote Sensing - Imaging Techniques; Vegetation Mapping; Radar Imaging

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 1985 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 1985