Characterization of Three - Dimensional Rough Fractal Surfaces from Backscattered Radar Data

Georgios Pouraimis, Apostolos Kotopoulis, Evangelos Kallitsis, Panayiotis Frangos


This paper discusses the scattering of electromagnetic (EM) waves from three – dimensional (3D) rough fractal surfaces using the Kirchhoff approximation. In particular, it introduces a novel method to characterize 3D rough fractal surfaces from spectral information of the backscattered EM wave in Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) applications. It represents an important extension of a previous recent paper by the same research group from 2D fractal surfaces to 3D fractal surfaces (the latter representing real – life SAR radar scenes). More specifically, in the present simulation scenarios it is assumed that the radar emits a burst of radar pulses of increasing carrier frequency [therefore a ‘stepped – frequency’ (SF) SAR radar]. By calculating the backscattered EM wave from 3D fractal surfaces as a function of the above radar frequencies (therefore, a ‘spectral method’), it is found here that the slope between the main backscattered lobe and its adjacent side lobes increases with increasing surface fractal dimension (i.e. with increasing surface roughness). In this way a characterization of 3D fractal rough surfaces from backscattered SAR radar data is achieved, as explained in detail in this paper.



Three-dimensional fractal surface; surface fractal dimension; scattering of electromagnetic waves; Kirchhoff approximation; synthetic aperture radar (SAR); backscattering coefficient

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Print ISSN: 1392-1215
Online ISSN: 2029-5731