## ABSTRACT

In 1997, Cloude and Pottier proposed a method for extracting average parameters from experimental data using a smoothing algorithm based on second-order statistics [10]. This method does not rely on the assumption of a particular underlying statistical distribution and so is free from the physical constraints imposed by such multivariate models. An eigenvector analysis of the 3 × 3 coherency
T
_{3} matrix is used since it provides a basis invariant description of the scatterer with a specific decomposition into types of scattering processes (the eigenvectors) and their relative magnitudes (the eigenvalues). This original method, based on an eigenvalue analysis of the coherency
T
_{3} matrix, employs a three-level Bernoulli statistical model to generate estimates of the average target scattering matrix parameters. This alternative statistical model sets out with the assumption that there is always a dominant ‘‘average’’ scattering mechanism in each cell and then undertakes the task of finding the parameters of this average component [10].