Measurement of ionospheric scintillation parameters from SAR images using corner reflectors

Chris Mannix, David Belcher*, P.S. Cannon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
206 Downloads (Pure)


Space-based low-frequency (L-band and below) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) isaffected by the ionosphere. In particular, the phase scintillation causes the sidelobesto rise in a manner that can be predicted by an analytical theory of the point spreadfunction (PSF).In this paper, the results of an experiment, in which a 5 m corner reflector onAscension Island, was repeatedly imaged by PALSAR-2 in the spotlight mode aredescribed. Many examples of the effect of scintillation on the SAR PSF wereobtained, and all fit the theoretical model. This theoretical model of the PSF has thenbeen used to determine two ionospheric turbulence parameters, p and CkL, from theSAR PSF. The values obtained have been compared with those obtained fromsimultaneous GPS measurements. Although the comparison shows that the twomeasures are strongly correlated, the differing spatial and temporal scales of SARand GPS make exact comparison difficult.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6695-6702
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number12
Early online date10 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Ionosphere
  • ionospheric electromagnetic propagation
  • synthetic aperture radar


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