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Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2018-9
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
28 Mar 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems (GI).
Dielectric characterization of vegetation at L-band using an open-ended coaxial probe
Alex Mavrovic1,2, Alexandre Roy1,2,5, Alain Royer1,2, Filali Bilal3, François Boone4, Christoforos Pappas2,5, and Sonnentag Oliver2,5 1Centre d’Applications et de Recherches en Télédétection, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, J1K 2R1, Canada
2Centre d’Études Nordiques, Université Laval, Québec, Québec, G1V 0A6, Canada
3Terraprobe Geoscience Corp., Vancouver, British Columbia, V3K 6X7, Canada
4Centre de Recherche en Nanofabrication et en Nanocaractérisation, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, J1K 2R1, Canada
5Département de géographie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, H3T 1J4, Canada
Abstract. Decoupling the integrated microwave signal originating from soil and vegetation remains a challenge for all microwave remote sensing applications. To improve satellite and airborne microwave data products in forest environments, a precise and reliable estimation of the relative permittivity (đťśş = 𝜺’ – i 𝜺’’) of the trees is required. We developed an open-ended coaxial probe suitable for in situ permittivity measurements of tree trunks at L-band wavelengths (1–2 GHz). The probe is characterized by uncertainties under 3.3 % for a broad range of permittivities, [2–40] for 𝜺’ and [0.1–20] for 𝜺’’. We quantified the complex number describing the permittivity of seven different tree species in both frozen and thawed states: black spruce, larch, red spruce, balsam fir, red pine, aspen and black cherry. Variability in permittivity is substantial, and can range up to 300 % for some species. Our results show that the permittivity of wood is linked to the freeze/thaw state of the vegetation and that even short winter thaw events lead to an increase in vegetation permittivity. The open-ended coaxial probe proved to be precise enough to capture the diurnal cycle of water storage inside the trunk over the growing season.
Citation: Mavrovic, A., Roy, A., Royer, A., Bilal, F., Boone, F., Pappas, C., and Oliver, S.: Dielectric characterization of vegetation at L-band using an open-ended coaxial probe, Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2018-9, in review, 2018.
Alex Mavrovic et al.
Alex Mavrovic et al.
Alex Mavrovic et al.

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Short summary
To improve microwave satellite and airborne observation products in forest environments, a precise and reliable estimation of the permittivity of the trees is required. We developed a probe suitable to measure permittivity of tree trunks at L-Band in the field. The system is easily transportable in the field, low energy consuming, operational at low temperatures and weatherproof. Permittivity of seven tree species in both frozen and thawed states were measured showing important contrast.
To improve microwave satellite and airborne observation products in forest environments, a...
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