Paddy-Rice Monitoring Using TanDEM-X

Rossi C., Erten E.

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, vol.53, no.2, pp.900-910, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 53 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/tgrs.2014.2330377
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.900-910
  • Keywords: Agriculture, digital elevation model (DEM), paddy-rice monitoring, polarimetry, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry, TanDEM-X, INTERFEROMETRIC COHERENCE, SAR RESPONSE, GENERATION, RETRIEVAL, MULTIFREQUENCY, BACKSCATTER, STATISTICS, VEGETATION, SCATTERING
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper evaluates the potential of spaceborne bistatic interferometric synthetic aperture radar images for the monitoring of biophysical variables in wetlands, with a special interest on paddy rice. The assessment is made during the rice cultivation period, from transplanting to harvesting time (May to October) for fields around Gala lake (Turkey), one of the largest and most productive paddy rice planting area in the country. Detailed ground truth measurements describing biophysical parameters are collected in a dedicated campaign. A stack of 16 dual-pol TanDEM-X images is used for the generation of 32 digital elevation models (DEMs) over the studied area. The quality of the data allows the use of the interferometric phase as a state variable capable to estimate crop heights for almost all the growing stages. The early vegetative rice stage, which is characterized by flooded fields, cannot be represented by the interferometric phase due to a low signal-to-noise ratio but can be easily detected by amplitude and interferometric coherence thresholding. A study on the impact of the polarization in the signal backscatter is also performed. An analysis of the differences between HH and VV DEMs shows the varying signal penetration for the two polarizations at different growing stages. The validation with reference data demonstrates the capability to establish a direct relationship between interferometric phase and rice growth. The very high coherence of TanDEM-X data yields elevation estimates with root-mean-square error in a decimetric level, supporting temporal change analysis on a field-by-field basis.