Disaggregation of low-resolution L-band radiometry using C-band radar data

C. Rudiger, C.-Hsu Su, D. Ryu, W. Wagner

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13 Citations (Scopus)


For Earth observation data to be useful for a wide range of land surface applications, a kilometer or finer resolution is required. Unfortunately, passive microwave observations at low microwave frequencies (1-10 GHz), already providing important information on soil moisture and vegetation dynamics, are generally only available at a resolution of tens of kilometers. This letter presents a new downscaling method relating L-band radiometer and C-band radar observations for downscaling purposes. The data were obtained from two extensive airborne field experiments across a 80 000-km2 catchment in south-eastern Australia and coinciding Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar acquisitions, performed during the Austral summer and spring of 2010. The novel approach of this study is in the downscaling of coarse-scale emissivities as observed by the radiometer with a new interpretation of the change detection methodology for the radar signal to relate the spatiotemporal changes of those two types of observations at 1 km. It is shown that, for most land surface conditions, a good spatial representation at high resolution is achieved, without considering land surface specific parameterizations, which is promising for using very high resolution radar data from the Sentinel-1 platform for downscaling of passive microwave data from current missions, such as National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Soil Moisture Active Passive and European Space Agency's SMOS.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7533477
Pages (from-to)1425-1429
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR)
  • Downscaling
  • Microwave radiometry
  • Remote sensing
  • Sentinel-1
  • Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP)

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