Two techniques are described for the calibration of ground-based (GB) circularly polarized (CP) full polarimetric radars. The techniques are based on the point target calibration approach that uses various types of canonical reflectors with different orientations. Specifically, the calibration methods for linearly polarized (LP) radar proposed by Wiesbeck et al. and Gau et al. are selected and adapted to CP with suitable reflectors. The applicability of the techniques is examined through C-band scatterometric and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) measurements in an anechoic chamber. For the scatterometric mode, comparisons of calibrated channel imbalances with theoretical values show agreement within ±0.3 dB in amplitude and ±5˚ in phase. The crosstalk between the channels is also reduced by ~5 to 30 dB after calibration. For the SAR mode, calibrated scattering matrix of a vertical wire target exhibits significant elimination of distortions between channel amplitudes and phases. The effect of calibration on target parameter retrieval is also investigated through the Cloud-Pottier eigenvector-based decomposition. Both calibration techniques are shown to yield improved accuracy of entropy-alpha (H-α) distributions and orientation angle (β) values.
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