PolInSAR complex coherence estimation based on covariance matrix similarity test

Si Wei Chen, Xue Song Wang, Motoyuki Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Most polarimetric synthetic aperture radar interferometry (PolInSAR) data processing procedures and their applications are based on the polarimetric complex coherence descriptor. The reliable estimation of the complex coherence requires selecting sufficient homogeneous pixels for generating an unbiased estimator. In this paper, two indicators using only polarimetric and both polarimetric and interferometric information are derived as the similarity measures for complex Wishart distributed PolInSAR covariance matrix, respectively. Using these indicators, a double similarity test scheme, which shows high sensitivity to both polarimetric and interferometric properties, is proposed for similar pixel selection. The full information utilization could characterize the homogeneous pixels more accurately. Furthermore, since the similarity test has the potential to reject the pixels with different populations, it is suitable to be applied in a large searching area (e.g., 15 × 15 window) to accept sufficient homogeneous pixels. Thereby, combining with unbiased estimator, reliable estimation is achieved. The efficiency and advantage of the proposed estimation scheme are demonstrated with the aid of simulated and real PolInSAR data sets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6195004
Pages (from-to)4699-4710
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number11 PART2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Complex coherence estimation
  • Wishart distribution
  • hypothesis test
  • interferometry
  • matrix similarity test
  • polarimetry
  • synthetic aperture radar (SAR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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