Using radar imagery for crop discrimination: a statistical and conditional probability study

Remote Sensing of Environment
By: , and 



A number of the constraints with which remote sensing must contend in crop studies are outlined. They include sensor, identification accuracy, and congruencing constraints; the nature of the answers demanded of the sensor system; and the complex temporal variances of crops in large areas. Attention is then focused on several methods which may be used in the statistical analysis of multidimensional remote sensing data.

Crop discrimination for radar K-band imagery is investigated by three methods. The first one uses a Bayes decision rule, the second a nearest-neighbor spatial conditional probability approach, and the third the standard statistical techniques of cluster analysis and principal axes representation.

Results indicate that crop type and percent of cover significantly affect the strength of the radar return signal. Sugar beets, corn, and very bare ground are easily distinguishable, sorghum, alfalfa, and young wheat are harder to distinguish. Distinguishability will be improved if the imagery is examined in time sequence so that changes between times of planning, maturation, and harvest provide additional discriminant tools. A comparison between radar and photography indicates that radar performed surprisingly well in crop discrimination in western Kansas and warrants further study.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Using radar imagery for crop discrimination: a statistical and conditional probability study
Series title Remote Sensing of Environment
DOI 10.1016/S0034-4257(70)80015-3
Volume 1
Issue 2
Year Published 1970
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location New York, NY
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 12 p.
First page 131
Last page 142
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