Owing to its all-day and all-weather imaging capabilities, high-resolution spaceborne synthetic aperture radar has shown great potential for the effective monitoring of wide-area, ultra-high-voltage (UHV) transmission lines. Scattering characteristics of UHV power lines in 3-m-resolution TerraSAR-X images is analyzed in this paper. First the study area and structure of the UHV transmission line are introduced. Then, the data processing method is described, which includes the preprocessing of TerraSAR-X images and target feature extraction. Finally, the scattering characteristics of the UHV power line are analyzed, and the analysis results demonstrate that the UHV power line can be visible in a TerraSAR-X image only when the angle between its extension direction and the azimuth of the sub-satellite ground track is within ±15°. Furthermore, besides the span length, the spatial location of the UHV power line in a TerraSAR-X image is also influenced by the angle between its extension direction and the azimuth of the sub-satellite ground track, as well as by the height difference between adjacent pylons.
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