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Land use and land cover classification in the Amazon using polarimetric data

Grant number: 07/02139-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2007
Effective date (End): May 31, 2009
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences
Principal researcher:Corina da Costa Freitas
Grantee:Rogério Galante Negri
Home Institution: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovações (Brasil). São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil


The Brazilian Amazon covers an area of 5 millions square kilometers, concentrates a large portion of the biodiversity, and plays an important role for the biochemical cycles of the Earth Systems. However, this region suffers an intense process of deforestation. This fact requires a systematic data acquisition in order to evaluate the current state of this important ecosystem. In this context, radar remote sensing can be considered an important monitoring tool. The fact that microwaves almost do not suffer from atmospheric interference, allows a constant climate independent image data acquisition. This is particularly important in areas of tropical forest, like Amazônia, where the cloud covering is intense during most part of the year. Moreover, the way radar signals interacts with the forest allows a relation with biophysical forest parameters, and the discrimination of some land cover patterns, including deforestation. Polarimetry is a new field of innovation in the SAR technology, which explores the polarized nature of the electromagnetic waves to extract additional information of the targets, many times critical for certain tasks. From the amplitude and phase between polarizations, statistical parameters and other object dependent electrical attributes can be extracted, allowing the quantitative characterization of the scattering properties of the observed targets. The additional information offered by the polarimetric systems can improve the capability of discriminating different land cover patterns. In this way, the objective of this project is to analyze the potential of the polarimetric radar images from ALOS/PALSAR, recently launched, for the classification of the land use and land cover in Amazônia, which is a basis for more complete and complex studies of the evolution of this ecosystem, patrimony of the humanity, so seriously endangered.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
NEGRI, ROGERIO GALANTE; DUTRA, LUCIANO VIEIRA; FREITAS, CORINA DA COSTA; LU, DENGSHENG. Exploring the Capability of ALOS PALSAR L-Band Fully Polarimetric Data for Land Cover Classification in Tropical Environments. IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN APPLIED EARTH OBSERVATIONS AND REMOTE SENSING, v. 9, n. 12, 1, SI, p. 5369-5384, . (07/02139-5, 14/14830-8)

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