Analysis of the Regional Ionosphere at Low Latitudes in Support of the Biomass ESA Mission

Lucilla Alfonsi, Gabriella Povero, Luca Spogli, Claudio Cesaroni, Biagio Forte, Cathryn N. Mitchell, Robert Burston, Sreeja Vadakke Veettil, Marcio Aquino, Virginia Klausner, Marcio T.A.H. Muella, Michael Pezzopane, Alessandra Giuntini, Ingrid Hunstad, Giorgiana De Franceschi, Elvira Musico, Marco Pini, Vinh La The, Hieu Tran Trung, Asnawi Husin & 6 others Sri Ekawati, Charisma Victoria de la Cruz-Cayapan, Mardina Abdullah, Noridawaty Mat Daud, Le Huy Minh, Nicolas Floury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Biomass is a spaceborn polarimetric P-band (435 MHz) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) in a dawn-dusk low Earth orbit. Its principal objective is to measure biomass content and change in all the Earth's forests. The ionosphere introduces the Faraday rotation on every pulse emitted by low-frequency SAR and scintillations when the pulse traverses a region of plasma irregularities, consequently impacting the quality of the imaging. Some of these effects are due to total electron content (TEC) and its gradients along the propagation path. Therefore, an accurate assessment of the ionospheric morphology and dynamics is necessary to properly understand the impact on image quality, especially in the equatorial and tropical regions. To this scope, we have conducted an in-depth investigation of the significant noise budget introduced by the two crests of the equatorial ionospheric anomaly (EIA) over Brazil and Southeast Asia. This paper is characterized by a novel approach to conceive a SAR-oriented ionospheric assessment, aimed at detecting and identifying spatial and temporal TEC gradients, including scintillation effects and traveling ionospheric disturbances, by means of Global Navigation Satellite Systems ground-based monitoring stations. The novelty of this approach resides in the customization of the information about the impact of the ionosphere on SAR imaging as derived by local dense networks of ground instruments operating during the passes of Biomass spacecraft. The results identify the EIA crests as the regions hosting the bulk of irregularities potentially causing degradation on SAR imaging. Interesting insights about the local characteristics of low-latitudes ionosphere are also highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Jun 2018

Fingerprint

Ionosphere
Synthetic aperture radar
ionosphere
synthetic aperture radar
Biomass
biomass
Radar imaging
Scintillation
Earth (planet)
anomaly
Faraday effect
GNSS
Electrons
tropical region
Image quality
Spacecraft
Navigation
Orbits
spacecraft
analysis

Keywords

  • Biomass
  • Equatorial ionospheric anomaly (EIA)
  • Global navigation satellite system
  • Ionosphere
  • ionospheric climatology
  • ionospheric impact on synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
  • Magnetosphere
  • Plasmas
  • Receivers
  • Synthetic aperture radar
  • total electron content (TEC) gradients.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Analysis of the Regional Ionosphere at Low Latitudes in Support of the Biomass ESA Mission. / Alfonsi, Lucilla; Povero, Gabriella; Spogli, Luca; Cesaroni, Claudio; Forte, Biagio; Mitchell, Cathryn N.; Burston, Robert; Veettil, Sreeja Vadakke; Aquino, Marcio; Klausner, Virginia; Muella, Marcio T.A.H.; Pezzopane, Michael; Giuntini, Alessandra; Hunstad, Ingrid; De Franceschi, Giorgiana; Musico, Elvira; Pini, Marco; La The, Vinh; Tran Trung, Hieu; Husin, Asnawi; Ekawati, Sri; de la Cruz-Cayapan, Charisma Victoria; Abdullah, Mardina; Mat Daud, Noridawaty; Minh, Le Huy; Floury, Nicolas.

In: IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 21.06.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alfonsi, L, Povero, G, Spogli, L, Cesaroni, C, Forte, B, Mitchell, CN, Burston, R, Veettil, SV, Aquino, M, Klausner, V, Muella, MTAH, Pezzopane, M, Giuntini, A, Hunstad, I, De Franceschi, G, Musico, E, Pini, M, La The, V, Tran Trung, H, Husin, A, Ekawati, S, de la Cruz-Cayapan, CV, Abdullah, M, Mat Daud, N, Minh, LH & Floury, N 2018, 'Analysis of the Regional Ionosphere at Low Latitudes in Support of the Biomass ESA Mission', IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. https://doi.org/10.1109/TGRS.2018.2838321
Alfonsi, Lucilla ; Povero, Gabriella ; Spogli, Luca ; Cesaroni, Claudio ; Forte, Biagio ; Mitchell, Cathryn N. ; Burston, Robert ; Veettil, Sreeja Vadakke ; Aquino, Marcio ; Klausner, Virginia ; Muella, Marcio T.A.H. ; Pezzopane, Michael ; Giuntini, Alessandra ; Hunstad, Ingrid ; De Franceschi, Giorgiana ; Musico, Elvira ; Pini, Marco ; La The, Vinh ; Tran Trung, Hieu ; Husin, Asnawi ; Ekawati, Sri ; de la Cruz-Cayapan, Charisma Victoria ; Abdullah, Mardina ; Mat Daud, Noridawaty ; Minh, Le Huy ; Floury, Nicolas. / Analysis of the Regional Ionosphere at Low Latitudes in Support of the Biomass ESA Mission. In: IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 2018.
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AU - Alfonsi, Lucilla

AU - Povero, Gabriella

AU - Spogli, Luca

AU - Cesaroni, Claudio

AU - Forte, Biagio

AU - Mitchell, Cathryn N.

AU - Burston, Robert

AU - Veettil, Sreeja Vadakke

AU - Aquino, Marcio

AU - Klausner, Virginia

AU - Muella, Marcio T.A.H.

AU - Pezzopane, Michael

AU - Giuntini, Alessandra

AU - Hunstad, Ingrid

AU - De Franceschi, Giorgiana

AU - Musico, Elvira

AU - Pini, Marco

AU - La The, Vinh

AU - Tran Trung, Hieu

AU - Husin, Asnawi

AU - Ekawati, Sri

AU - de la Cruz-Cayapan, Charisma Victoria

AU - Abdullah, Mardina

AU - Mat Daud, Noridawaty

AU - Minh, Le Huy

AU - Floury, Nicolas

PY - 2018/6/21

Y1 - 2018/6/21

N2 - Biomass is a spaceborn polarimetric P-band (435 MHz) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) in a dawn-dusk low Earth orbit. Its principal objective is to measure biomass content and change in all the Earth's forests. The ionosphere introduces the Faraday rotation on every pulse emitted by low-frequency SAR and scintillations when the pulse traverses a region of plasma irregularities, consequently impacting the quality of the imaging. Some of these effects are due to total electron content (TEC) and its gradients along the propagation path. Therefore, an accurate assessment of the ionospheric morphology and dynamics is necessary to properly understand the impact on image quality, especially in the equatorial and tropical regions. To this scope, we have conducted an in-depth investigation of the significant noise budget introduced by the two crests of the equatorial ionospheric anomaly (EIA) over Brazil and Southeast Asia. This paper is characterized by a novel approach to conceive a SAR-oriented ionospheric assessment, aimed at detecting and identifying spatial and temporal TEC gradients, including scintillation effects and traveling ionospheric disturbances, by means of Global Navigation Satellite Systems ground-based monitoring stations. The novelty of this approach resides in the customization of the information about the impact of the ionosphere on SAR imaging as derived by local dense networks of ground instruments operating during the passes of Biomass spacecraft. The results identify the EIA crests as the regions hosting the bulk of irregularities potentially causing degradation on SAR imaging. Interesting insights about the local characteristics of low-latitudes ionosphere are also highlighted.

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