A Methodology to Determine Radio-Frequency Interference in AMSR2 Observations

A.H.A. de Nijs, R.M. Parinussa, R.A.M. de Jeu, J. Schellekens, T.R.H. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A study to determine radio-frequency interference (RFI) in low-frequency passive microwave observations of the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-2 (AMSR2) is performed. RFI detection methods, such as the spectral difference method, have already been applied on microwave satellite sensors. However, these methods may result in false RFI detection, particularly in zones with extreme environmental conditions. To overcome this problem, this paper proposes an approach that uses the additional 7.3-GHz channel of the AMSR2 sensor in a new RFI detection method. This method uses calculated standard errors of estimate to detect RFI contamination in 6.9- and 7.3-GHz observations. It was found that 6.9-GHz observations are mainly contaminated in the USA, India, Japan, and parts of Europe. The 7.3-GHz observations are contaminated in South America, Ukraine, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Russia. The fact that these channels are not affected by RFI in exactly the same regions is useful for studies that prefer C-band brightness temperature observations (e.g., soil moisture retrieval algorithms). Therefore, a decision tree approach was set up to determine RFI and to select reliable brightness temperature observations in the lowest frequency free of any man-made contamination. The result is a reduction of the total contaminated pixels in the 6.9-GHz observations of 66% for horizontal observations and even 85% for vertical observations when 7.3 and 10.7 GHz are used. By linking RFI maps with civilization maps, this paper further shows that RFI sources at the C-band frequency are mainly located in urbanized areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5148-5159
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

PT: J; NR: 19; TC: 0; J9: IEEE T GEOSCI REMOTE; PG: 12; GA: CK4AJ; UT: WOS:000356159000033


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