The line integral approach to radarclinometry

Earth, Moon and Planets

DOI: 10.1007/BF00115938



Radarclinometry, the invention of which has been previously reported, is a technique for deriving a topographic map from a single radar image by using the dependence upon terrain-surface orientation of the integrated signal of an individual image pixel. The radiometric calibration required for precise operation and testing does not yet exist, but the imminence of important applications justifies parallel, rather than serial, development of radarclinometry and radiometrically calibrated radar. The present investigation reports three developmental advances: (1) The solid angle of integration of back-scattered specific intensity constituting a pixel signal is more accurately accounted for in its dependence on surface orientation than in previous work. (2) The local curvature hypothesis, which removes the requirement of a ground-truth profile as a boundary condition and enables the formulation of the theory in terms of a line integral, has been expanded to include the three possibilities of Local Cylindricity, Local Biaxial Ellipsoidal Hyperbolicity, and Least-Squares Local Sphericity. (3) The theory is integrated in the cross-ground-range direction, which is ill-conditioned compared to the ground-range direction, whereas the original formulation was based on enforced isotropy in the two-dimensional power spectrum of the topography. It was found necessary to prohibit the hypothesis of Local Biaxial Ellipsoidal Hyperbolicity in the cross-range stepping, for reasons not completely clear. Variation in the proportioning between curvature assumptions had produced topographic maps that are in good mutual agreement but not realistic in appearance. They are severely banded parallel to the ground-range direction, most especially at small radar zenith angles. Numerical experimentation with the falsification of topography through incorrect decalibration as performed on a Gaussian hill suggests that the banding and its exaggeration at high radar incidence angles could easily be due to our lack of radiometric calibration. ?? 1987 D. Reidel Publishing Company.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
The line integral approach to radarclinometry
Series title:
Earth, Moon and Planets
Year Published:
Publisher location:
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Larger Work Type:
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Earth, Moon and Planets
First page:
Last page: