Lab 1: Microwaves in the Real World

Before You Start:

Before you start this lab, please read Chapter 5 “Microwaves in the Real World” in (Woodhouse, 2006). This chapter provides an excellent summary of a wide range of microwave interactions. Specifically focus your attention to the pages 112 – 149, which summarize the microwave characteristics of a range or real natural surfaces.

Goals of this Lab:

This lab is exposing you to radar remote sensing images of a range of natural surfaces. Images will differ by their sensor wavelength, their signal polarization, and their observation geometry.

The goal of this exercise is to get you thinking about how polarization, frequency and geometry is affecting the radar cross section of a natural surface. You will also use the information learned from the material in Module 1 to perform a physical interpretation of the objects shown in the various images.

Please download the image data from

Please also download the following lab instructions:


Here some additional examples and some further information about how microwaves interact with the real world:

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