Identification of major backscattering sources in trees and shrubs at 10 GHz

R. Zoughi*, Lin-Kun Wu, R. K. Moore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A short-range very-fine-resolution FM-CW radar scatterometer has been used to identify the primary contributors to 10-GHz radar backscatter from pine, pin oak, American sycamore and sugar maple trees, and from creeping juniper shrubs. This system provided a range resolution of 11 cm and gave a 16-cm diameter illumination area at the target range of about 4 m. For a pine tree, the needles caused the strongest backscatter as well as the strongest attenuation in the radar signal. Cones, although insignificant contributors to the total backscatter, were more important for backscattering than for attenuation. For the rest of the trees, leaves were the strongest cause of backscattering and attenuation. However, in the absence of leaves, the petioles, small twigs, and branches gave relatively strong backscatter. For American sycamore and sugar maple trees, the fruits did not affect the total backscatter unless they were packed in clusters. For creeping juniper the backscattered energy and attenuation in the radar signal were mainly due to the top two layers of the evergreen scales. The contribution of the tree trunks was not determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-290
Number of pages22
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1986

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