For this research, the Random Forest (RF) classifier was used to evaluate the potential of simulated RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) data for mapping landcover within peatlands. Alfred Bog, a large peatland complex in Southern Ontario, was used as a test case. The goal of this research was to prepare for the launch of the upcoming RCM by evaluating three simulated RCM polarizations for mapping landcover within peatlands. We examined (1) if a lower RCM noise equivalent sigma zero (NESZ) affects classification accuracy, (2) which variables are most important for classification, and (3) whether classification accuracy is affected by the use of simulated RCM data in place of the fully polarimetric RADARSAT-2. Results showed that the two RCM NESZs (−25 dB and −19 dB) and three polarizations (compact polarimetry, HH+HV, and VV+VH) that were evaluated were all able to achieve acceptable classification accuracies when combined with optical data and a digital elevation model (DEM). Optical variables were consistently ranked to be the most important for mapping landcover within peatlands, but the inclusion of SAR variables did increase overall accuracy, indicating that a multi-sensor approach is preferred. There was no significant difference between the RF classifications which included RADARSAT-2 and simulated RCM data. Both medium- and high-resolution compact polarimetry and dual polarimetric RCM data appear to be suitable for mapping landcover within peatlands when combined with optical data and a DEM.

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Journal Remote Sensing
White, Lori, Millard, Koreen, Banks, Sarah, Richardson, M, Pasher, Jon, & Duffe, Jason. (2017). Moving to the RADARSAT Constellation Mission: Comparing Synthesized Compact Polarimetry and Dual Polarimetry Data with Fully Polarimetric RADARSAT-2 Data for Image Classification of Peatlands. Remote Sensing, 9(6), 573–573. doi:10.3390/rs9060573