Why a Shift Toward Equivalent Radar Cross Section (ERCS) is Necessary

Posted on August 17, 2016


As part of my thesis on traceable radiometric calibration of synthetic aperture radars (SARs), I proposed the novel radiometric measurement quantity equivalent radar cross section (ERCS) to address some fundamental problems with the currently used definition radar cross section (RCS). The purpose of the new definition is to facilitate radiometric measurements which are truly comparable across missions, and where the measurement results can become metrologically traceable.

A definition by itself is of little use if it is not adopted by a significantly large group. Hence the proposed ERCS definition is one of the topics to be discussed at the coming workshop of the SAR subgroup of the CEOS Working Group on Calibration and Validation, where recommendations for the larger SAR community may be formulated. The discussion has been started as a Loomio thread.

The Loomio thread gives a summary of what is proposed and what the benefits of adopting ERCS are (see the references for details). The purpose of this post is to add an introductory video on why the shift from RCS to ERCS should be strongly considered.

Video on Why a Shift from RCS to ERCS is Necessary

Why a shift toward ERCS is necessary: A short summary. (Enable subtitles!)

Note that the video only captures part of the reasoning. It captures the part though which is easier explained by images than by words.

Further Reading

  1. CEOS draft recommendation on ERCS (2015).
  2. Björn J. Döring and Marco Schwerdt: The Radiometric Measurement Quantity for SAR Images. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, vol. 51, no. 12, Dec. 2013. Links: 1, 2.
  3. Björn J. Döring, Marco Schwerdt: The SAR Passband Problem: Analytical Model and Possible Practical Solutions. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Oct. 2015. Links: 1, 2.
  4. Björn J. Döring, Philipp Looser, Matthias Jirousek, and Marco Schwerdt: Reference Target Correction Based on Point Target SAR Simulation. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, vol. 50, no. 3, 2012. Links: 1, 2.