Estimating Signal-to-Clutter Ratio of InSAR Corner Reflectors From SAR Time Series

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The estimation of Signal-to-Clutter Ratio (SCR) of a radar point target, such as a corner reflector, is an essential step for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry and positioning, as it influences the phase measurement variance as well as the absolute positioning precision. The standard method to estimate the SCR of a point target relies on the debatable assumption of spatial ergodicity, using the clutter of the surrounding as representative of the clutter at the point target. Here, we estimate the SCR of a corner reflector using a time series of SAR measurements, i.e.,\ assuming temporal ergodicity. This assumption is often more realistic, particularly in a complex environment, in the presence of other point scatterers, and for small-sized reflectors. Empirical results on a corner reflector network, using Sentinel-1 SAR measurements, show that the temporal method yields a less biased and more precise estimate of the average SCR. A second experiment shows that the InSAR phase variance as well as positioning precision, predicted using SCR estimated by the temporal estimation method, is closer to the truth.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Corner reflector (CR)
  • InSAR phase variance
  • SAR interferometry (InSAR)
  • SAR positioning
  • radar-cross-section (RCS)
  • signal-to-clutter ratio (SCR)
  • synthetic aperture radar (SAR)


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