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Recently, there has been growing interest in dual-pol systems that transmit one polarization and receive two polarizations. Souyris et al. proposed a DP mode called compact polarimetry (CP) which is able to reduce the complexity, cost, mass, and data rate of a SAR system while attempting to maintain many capabilities of a fully polarimetric system. This paper provides a comparison of the information content of full quad-pol data and the pseudo quad-pol data derived from compact polarimetric SAR modes. A pseudo-covariance matrix can be reconstructed following Souyris’s approach and is shown to be similar to the full polarimetric (FP) covariance matrix. Both the polarimetric signatures based on the kennaugh matrix and the Freeman and Durden decomposition in the context of this compact polarimetry mode are explored. The Freeman and Durden decomposition is used in our study because of its direct relationship to the reflection symmetry. We illustrate our results by using the polarimetric SAR images of Algiers city in Algeria acquired by the RadarSAT2 in C-band.
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