CV-580 Polarimetric SAR Data Processing Software: A User's Guide to COASP and CHASP


  1. Potter, T.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Ottawa, Ottawa ONT (CAN);Terry M. Potter Consulting, St. Limoges, ON
For several years, DRDC Ottawa has been acquiring and processing airborne polarimetric radar imagery from the Environment Canada Convair-580 aircraft. This guide describes how to use the various software packages to take polarimetric signal data from an 8-mm mammoth tape and create useful end-products for further analysis. This process uses software written for DRDC and software originally written by CCRS. They are combined into a logical data flow and there are several shell scripts that speed up the processing. A directory structure is described to make the greatest use of these shell scripts. The processing begins by describing how to get the signal data off the tape, and then separating the image data from the noise data and downloading 4 different polarization channels. The data are checked and the noise data evaluated. Other required data sources include inertial navigation data from the aircraft and a differentially processed GPS data set. These are processed and checked with quality control software. Then the main processor, COASP is run to process the noise and then produce an image over a calibration site. This is followed by collection of data from the available calibration devices, data quality assessment, and use of a program that produces the calibration parameters. All the calibration parameters are then verified. Once an image is produced, a program called CHASP is used for a detailed analysis of moving ocean targets. CHASP consists of two main software packag

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Polarimetric SAR;Polarimetric SAR image data
Report Number
DRDC-OTTAWA-CR-2007-188 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Aug 2007
Number of Pages

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