Modeling and reconstruction of time series of passive microwave data by Discrete Fourier Transform guided filtering and Harmonic Analysis

Haolu Shang, Li Jia*, Massimo Menenti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Daily time series of microwave radiometer data obtained in one-orbit direction are full of observation gaps due to satellite configuration and errors from spatial sampling. Such time series carry information about the surface signal including surface emittance and vegetation attenuation, and the atmospheric signal including atmosphere emittance and atmospheric attenuation. To extract the surface signal from this noisy time series, the Time Series Analysis Procedure (TSAP) was developed, based on the properties of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT). TSAP includes two stages: (1) identify the spectral features of observation gaps and errors and remove them with a modified boxcar filter; and (2) identify the spectral features of the surface signal and reconstruct it with the Harmonic Analysis of Time Series (HANTS) algorithm. Polarization Difference Brightness Temperature (PDBT) at 37 GHz data were used to illustrate the problems, to explain the implementation of TSAP and to validate this method, due to the PDBT sensitivity to the water content both at the land surface and in the atmosphere. We carried out a case study on a limited heterogeneous crop land and lake area, where the power spectrum of the PDBT time series showed that the harmonic components associated with observation gaps and errors have periods ≤8 days. After applying the modified boxcar filter with a length of 10 days, the RMSD between raw and filtered time series was above 11 K, mainly related to the power reduction in the frequency range associated with observation gaps and errors. Noise reduction is beneficial when applying PDBT observations to monitor wet areas and open water, since the PDBT range between dryland and open water is about 20 K. The spectral features of the atmospheric signal can be revealed by time series analysis of rain-gauge data, since the PDBT at 37 GHz is mainly attenuated by hydrometeors that yield precipitation. Thus, the spectral features of the surface signal were identified in the PDBT time series with the help of the rain-gauge data. HANTS reconstructed the upper envelope of the signal, i.e., correcting for atmospheric influence, while retaining the spectral features of the surface signal. To evaluate the impact of TSAP on retrieval accuracy, the fraction of Water Saturated Surface (WSS) in the region of Poyang Lake was retrieved with 37 GHz observations. The retrievals were evaluated against estimations of the lake area obtained with MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) data. The Relative RMSE on WSS was 39.5% with unfiltered data and 23% after applying TSAP, i.e., using the estimated surface signal only.

Original languageEnglish
Article number970
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Data process
  • Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT)
  • Filter design
  • Harmonic Analysis
  • Microwave radiometer data


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