ECOSAR I - Biophysical characterisation of tropical ecosystems by spaceborne synthetic aperture radar remote sensing

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Context and objectives

Installing a land use policy aiming at long term sustainability needs to be based on a sound knowledge of the impact of policy measures in the specific environmental, economic and sociologic context of the region at stake. Adapting the management practices of the natural resources to support a growing population pressure and at the same time guarantee long-term environmental stability, has become a high priority task in the tropical regions.
Remote sensing techniques can contribute significantly to the assessment of the current status of the environment, evolution monitoring and management control, and to environmental impact evaluation. The launch in the early nineties of the operational satellite borne Synthetic Aperture radar (SAR) sensors has improved the image availability over tropical regions. These active imaging systems operating in the microwave domain allow for the acquisition of earth observation data day and night regardless of atmospheric conditions.
The project seeks to work out an adapted rationale for interpreting SAR image data over tropical vegetation based on the formulation of the physical interaction of the incident wave with the target and its relevant characteristics.
By providing a physical basis to the development of the image interpretation techniques for mapping and quantitative information extraction, a method is aimed for that can be repeated under different situations in time and space.

Project outcome

Expected scientific results

Project leader(s): VITO - Remote Sensing - Teledetectie en aardobservatieprocessen
Location: Region:
  • Logone floodplain

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