Toward Operational Compensation of Ionospheric Effects in SAR Interferograms: The Split-Spectrum Method
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
The differential ionospheric path delay is a major error source in L-band interferograms. It is superimposed to topography and ground deformation signals, hindering the measurement of geophysical processes. In this paper, we proceed toward the realization of an operational processor to compensate the ionospheric effects in interferograms. The processor should be robust and accurate to meet the scientific requirements for the measurement of geophysical processes, and it should be applicable on a
... global scale. An implementation of the split-spectrum method, which will be one element of the processor, is presented in detail, and its performance is analyzed. The method is based on the dispersive nature of the ionosphere and separates the ionospheric component of the interferometric phase from the nondispersive component related to topography, ground motion, and tropospheric path delay. We tested the method using various Advanced Land Observing Satellite Phased-Array type L-band synthetic aperture radar interferometric pairs with different characteristics: high to low coherence, moving and nonmoving terrains, with and without topography, and different ionosphere states. Ionospheric errors of almost 1 m have been corrected to a centimeter or a millimeter level. The results show how the method is able to systematically compensate the ionospheric phase in interferograms, with the expected accuracy, and can therefore be a valid element of the operational processor. Index Terms-Interferometric synthetic aperture radar(InSAR), ionosphere estimation, split spectrum, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) ionospheric effects.