International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology, Vol. 8 (2018) No. 4, DOI:10.18517/ijaseit.8.4.5797

Advances in Radar Remote Sensing of Agricultural Crops: A Review

Thota Sivasankar, Dheeraj Kumar, Hari Shanker Srivastava, Parul Patel


There are enormous advantages of a review article in the field of an emerging technology like radar remote sensing applications in agriculture. This paper aims to report select recent advancements in the field of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) remote sensing of agricultural crops. In order to make the paper comprehensive and more meaningful for the readers, an attempt has also been made to include discussion on various technologies of SAR sensors used for remote sensing of agricultural crops viz. basic SAR sensor, SAR interferometry (InSAR), SAR polarimetry (PolSAR) and polarimetric interferometry SAR (PolInSAR). The paper covers all the methodologies used for various agricultural applications like empirical based models, machine learning based models and radiative transfer theorem based models. Thorough literature review of more than 100 research papers indicates that SAR polarimetry can be used effectively for crop inventory and biophysical parameters estimation such are leaf area index, plant water content and biomass but shown less sensitivity towards plant height as compared to SAR interferometry. Polarimetric SAR Interferometry is preferable for taking the advantage of both SAR polarimetry and SAR interferometry. Numerous studies based upon multi-parametric SAR indicate that optimum selection of SAR sensor parameters enhances SAR sensitivity as a whole for various agricultural applications. It has been observed that researchers are widely using three models such are empirical, machine learning and radiative transfer theorem based models. Machine learning based models are identified as better approach for crop monitoring using radar remote sensing data. It is expected that the review article will not only generate interest amongst the readers to explore and exploit radar remote sensing for various agricultural applications but also provide a ready reference to the researchers working in this field.


biophysical parameters retrieval; crop inventory; Synthetic aperture radar (SAR); Synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR); SAR polarimetry (PolSAR); Polarimetric SAR interferometry (PolInSAR)

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