SAR POLARIMETRY: TOWARDS THE ULTIMATE CHARACTERIZATION OF TARGETS
Polarization diversity has been uncommon in spaceborne SAR of the last century. Most civilian systems were designed to transmit a single waveform in terms of polarization, such as the ERS-1 and ERS-2 satellites (vertical linear polarization), or RADARSAT-1 and JERS (horizontal linear polarization). New space missions however all include experimental polarimetric modes to various extents. For the first time, ASAR/ENVISAT (launched in March 2002) was given a limited polarization diversity. The current situation has changed rapidly with the launch of full polarimetry payloads (RADARSAT-2, TERRASAR-X and ALOS), using C band, X band and L band respectively.