Dual-polarized, X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery was obtained from an altitude of 60,000 feet over a test area near Camden, South Carolina on June 30, 1980. The objective of this study was to determine, qualitatively, the value of the SAR imagery for identifying various forest cover types. In analyzing the HH and HV polarization images, particular attention was given to the tonal and textural characteristics of the cover types involved.

The analysis of the dual-polarized SAR imagery has shown that certain forest cover features are more easily identified in one polarization than the other, while some features look very similar in both polarizations. In general, the results for this data set have shown that the overall tonal contrast between features was greater on the HH image. Neither polarization was consistently better for identifying the various forest cover types examined. These results suggest the usefulness of a dual-polarized SAR system for mapping forest cover.

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