Private Experts in Remote Sensing

Agriculture: Rice Monitoring in Tha�land


Rice is one of the most important cultivation in the world. It is an essential food for more than one third of mankind, especially in tropical Asia, where persistent cloud cover hinders the acquisition of useful optical imagery from space during the most part of the year.

Spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) such as the European ERS, the Japanese JERS-1, and the Canadian RADARSAT enable to monitor rice growth and to retrieve rice acreage, using the unique temporal signature of rice fields, regardless of the weather conditions.

The multitemporal SAR time series (3 images, represented below in red, green and blue color composition) presented here has been acquired over Tha�land from August to December 1993, by the ERS-1 satellite of the European Space Agency (Original images: courtesy of Dr. J. Aschbacher).

Appropriate PRIVATEERS N.V. processing (image radiometric calibration, speckle filtering and classification method) and know-how (agronomy, radar physics) enables to extract useful information such as land-use, area of rice paddies, etc., from these satellite SAR images. The resulting classification can be used to forecast the rice production, thus getting a valuable economical information, exploitable, either for agriculture management, or on the stock exchange market.


Synergetic Use of Optical and SAR Sensors:



(© PRIVATEERS N.V. 1997)

Much better results can be achieved, using the synergism of optical sensors (Here, the Japanese MOS-1) and SAR sensors (here the European ERS (C-band) and the Japanese JERS-1 (L-band) SAR's). The methodology used to finally obtain this classification derives from PRIVATEERS N.V R&D; carried out in 1996/1997. In this classified image (shown area covers 26x26 km), rice, sugarcane, cassava, sunflower, maize, pineapple, plantations, and forest are identified (for commercial reasons, year and legend are omitted and spatial resolution has been degraded).

PRIVATEERS N.V. Related Publications:


European Leaders for Early Crop Acreage Estimation using Spaceborne SAR Remote Sensing:



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