Land cover-based optimal deconvolution of PALS L-band
microwave brightness temperatures

Ashutosh S. Limayea, William L. Crosson, Charles A. Laymon, Eni G. Njoku

An optimal deconvolution (ODC) technique has been developed to estimate microwave brightness temperatures of agricultural fields using microwave radiometer observations. The technique is applied to airborne measurements taken by the Passive and Active L and S band (PALS) sensor in Iowa during Soil Moisture Experiments in 2002 (SMEX02). Agricultural fields in the study area were predominantly soybeans and corn. The brightness temperatures of corn and soybeans were observed to be significantly different because of large differences in vegetation biomass. PALS observations have significant over-sampling; observations were made about 100 m apart and the sensor footprint extends to about 400 m. Conventionally, observations of this type are averaged to produce smooth spatial data fields of brightness temperatures. However, the conventional approach is in contrast to reality in which the brightness temperatures are in fact strongly dependent on land cover, which is characterized by sharp boundaries. In this study, we mathematically deconvolve the observations into brightness temperature at the field scale (500–800 m) using the sensor antenna response function. The result is more accurate spatial representation of field-scale brightness temperatures, which may in turn lead to more accurate soil moisture retrieval.

Technical Contact: Dr. Bill Crosson (bill.crosson@msfc.nasa.gov)
Responsible Official: Dr. James L. Smoot (James.L.Smoot@nasa.gov)
Page Curator: Diane Samuelson (diane.samuelson@nasa.gov)