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Magellan vertical polarization radar observationsThe Magellan high-gain radar antenna system was designed to transmit and receive signals in a pure linear polarization state. The nominal mapping configuration placed this linear polarization direction parallel to the surface of Venus, providing SAR image data in the HH polarization (horizontal transmit and receive) and radiothermal emission data in the H (horizontal - receive only) polarization. During Magellan's extended mission (cycles 2 and 3), two brief experiments were conducted in which the spacecraft was rotated 90 degrees along the axis of the antenna boresight, producing SAR data in the VV polarization and emission data in the V polarization. This study focuses on the SAR results from the first experiment, which included portions of the highly reflective Beta Regio highlands. Theoretical models of polarimetric backscatter, along with experimental data from terrestrial surfaces, predict VV backscatter cross section values to be higher than HH values for most natural surfaces. Randomly polarized ('depolarized') backscatter from rough surfaces is expected in equal amounts for either incident polarization. Roughness differences will therefore be more pronounced in HH measurements than in VV, because the depolarized random component makes up a proportionately larger fraction of the HH backscatter. In addition, HH cross section values are observed to fall off more rapidly than VV values with increasing incidence angle. Slope-related backscatter differences will, therefore, be more pronounced in HH images. The small perturbation polarimetric scattering model also predicts higher VV to HH ratios for surfaces of high dielectric constant.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Plaut, Jeffrey J. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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