Context and objectives
The aim of this research is to explore the potentialities of the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) with respect to the discrimination between different types and degradation levels of tropical forests.
Expected scientific results
The classification of SAR images is considered under different points of view. Some trials, based on well-known optical methods, show the necessity of a more specific approach. A thorough study of the speckle leads to investigate segmentation methods without eliminating it first. An inversion may then be tried, in order to associate a set of relevant vegetation parameters with each of the so found homogenous areas. A sensibility analysis, based on an electromagnetic model of forest covers, confirms that the C-band is not very appropriate to the study of tropical forests and leads to limit the potentialities of the inversion to the discrimination of rather dense forest, degraded forest and non-forest.