ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECT OF INCIDENCE ANGLE AND MOISTURE CONTENT ON THE PENETRATION DEPTH OF L- AND S-BAND SAR SIGNALS INTO THE GROUND SURFACE
Keywords: Soil moisture, Penetration depth, Volumetric moisture content, Soil texture, Incidence angle, SAR
Abstract. We study the functional relationship between the dielectric constant of soil-water mixture and penetration depth of microwave signals into the ground at different frequency (L&S) band and incidence angles. Penetration depth of microwave signals into the ground depends on the incidence angle and wavelength of radar pulses and also on the soil properties such as moisture content and textural composition. It has been observed that the longer wavelengths have higher penetration in the soil but the penetration capability decreases with increasing dielectric behaviour of the soil. Moisture content in the soil can significantly increase its dielectric constant. Various empirical models have been proposed that evaluate the dielectric behaviour of soil-water mixture as a function of moisture content and texture of the soil. In this analysis we have used two such empirical models, the Dobson model and the Hallikainen model, to calculate the penetration depth at L- and C-band in soil and compared their results. We found that both of these models give different penetration depth and show different sensitivity towards the soil composition. Hallikainen model is more sensitive to soil composition as compared to Dobson model. Finally, we explore the penetration depth at different incidence angle for the proposed L- and S-band sensor of upcoming NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission by using Hallikainen empirical model. We found that the soil penetration depth of SAR signals into the ground decreases with the increase in soil moisture content, incident angle and frequency.