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Reflectivity of land clutter



    nrcs = landreflectivity(landtype,graz) returns the normalized radar cross section (nrcs) in meters squared for the specified land clutter type landtype at the grazing angle graz.

    nrcs = landreflectivity(landtype,graz,freq) specifies the transmitted frequency for the NRCS.

    [nrcs,hgtsd,beta0,vegtype] = landreflectivity(___) in addition to the NRCS returns:

    • hgtsd — standard deviation of the surface height

    • beta0 — slope of the land type

    • vegtype — vegetation type


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    Calculate NRCS, surface height standard deviation, land slope, and vegetation type. Specify an urban land type and a grazing angle of 10 degrees.

    graz = 10;
    [nrcs,hgtsd,beta0,vegtype] = landreflectivity("Urban",graz)
    nrcs = 0.0549
    hgtsd = 10
    beta0 = 5.7296
    vegtype = 

    Input Arguments

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    Surface land type, specified as a string of one of the allowed land types.

    Example: landtype = "Urban"

    Grazing angle, specified as a scalar or an N-length row vector of nonnegative grazing angles in degrees. Specifies the grazing angles of the clutter patch relative to the radar.

    Example: graz_angle = 10

    Transmitted frequencies, specified as a scalar or positive M-length vector.

    Example: freq = 7*10e9

    Output Arguments

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    Normalized radar cross section of the surface reflectivity, returned as either an N-length row vector or as an M-by-N matrix in linear units of meters squared. N is the length of the grazing angles graz and M is the length of the frequency vector freq.

    Standard deviation of the surface height, returned as a scalar in meters.

    Slope of the land type β0, returned as a scalar in degrees.

    The vegetation type is a character array determined by the landtype input.

    Land TypeVegetation Type

    Rugged Mountains

    Trees (dense)


    Trees (dense)


    Trees (dense)

    Wooded Hills

    Trees (dense)

    Rolling Hills

    Brush (dense)


    Grass (thin)


    Grass (thin)


    Grass (thin)








    This function assumes a Gaussian clutter model and that the reflectivity of land clutter is mostly independent of wavelength. The Gaussian model may fail to simulate the effects of some natural and most man-made structures, which are generally modeled separately as discrete clutter.


    [1] Barton, David K. Radar Equations for Modern Radar. Norwood, MA: Artech House, 2013.

    Extended Capabilities

    C/C++ Code Generation
    Generate C and C++ code using MATLAB® Coder™.

    Introduced in R2021a