SAR

Overview

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) refers to a technique for producing fine resolution images from an intrinsically resolution-limited radar system. The wavelengths, λ, that are used for radar remote sensing of the earth’s surface are typically in the range of a few to tens of centimeters. At these wavelengths, the energy radiated from a radar antenna of dimension D disperses quickly at a rate that is equivalent to the beam width λ/D of the antenna. For a typical spaceborne SAR configuration with wavelengths of ~10 cm and an antenna of 10 m size, this beam width is 1/100 radians, or about 0.6 degrees. If we are in space observing the Earth 1000 km below, the beam size on the ground is then 1000 λ/D = 10 km. This intrinsic resolution of the radar system is insufficient for many applications and practical solutions for improving the resolution needed to be found.

Learn more: http://nisar.jpl.nasa.gov/technology/sar/

Latest Updates

August 31, 2017
Flood Proxy Map depicting areas of Southeastern Texas that are likely flooded as a result of Hurricane Harvey, shown by light blue pixels.
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created this Flood Proxy Map depicting areas of Southeastern Texas that are likely flooded as a result of Hurricane Harvey, shown by light blue pixels. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar amplitude images from the European Space Agency's (ESA) Sentinel-1 satellite, taken before (August 5, 2017) and after (August 29, 2017) Hurricane Harvey made landfall. The map...
October 30, 2018
ARIA DPM Imagery of Northern Mariana Islands Devastated by Super Typhoon Yutu
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Northern Mariana Islands that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of Super Typhoon Yutu. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The pre-event images were taken before (October 4, 2017...
September 18, 2018
ARIA damage proxy map derived from images taken before (September 02, 2016) and 12 hours after the hurricane's landfall (September 14, 2018 7:06 PM local time).
UPDATE 9/18/18:ARIA damage proxy map derived from images taken before (September 02, 2016) and 12 hours after the hurricane's landfall (September 14, 2018 7:06 PM local time). The ARIA team has created a flood extent map from Sentinel-1 SAR data acquired from Track 4, 12 hours after the landfall of Hurricane Florence. The map was pushed to the FEMA's SFTP server and is available to download from  ...
September 15, 2018
Sentinel 1A overpass of coastal North and South Carolina from 9/14/18. Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA. 
Sentinel 1A overpass of coastal North and South Carolina from 9/14/18. Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2018), processed by ESA.  Mission description: Sentinel 1A/B is a two satellite synthetic aperture radar constellation operated by the European Space Agency. The backscattered microwave energy from the ground can be used to map flooded areas, and estimate wind speeds over the ocean. Both satellites have a 12-day repeat cycle, providing imagery at about 20m resolution every 6...
August 18, 2018
Flood map for Kerala
In the maximum observed flooding map, areas in RED are flooding mapped from Copernicus Sentinel 1 SAR data provided by the European Space Agency. Areas in PURPLE are currently flooded and also flooded in previous years. Areas in BLUE are covered by a reference normal water extent. Areas in LIGHT GRAY are all previously mapped flooding, since 1999. The...
August 19, 2018
ARIA Damage Proxy Map (DPM) comparing JAXA ALOS-2 SAR data from May 13, 2018  vs. August 19, 2018.
ARIA Damage Proxy Map (DPM) comparing JAXA ALOS-2 SAR data from May 13, 2018  vs. August 19, 2018. The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas in the northeastern part of Lombok Island, Indonesia, that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of the major earthquake sequence (including the M6.4 July 29...
August 7, 2018
Satellite-Derived Map of Ground Deformation from Earthquake beneath Lombok, Indonesia
Scientists with the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis project (ARIA), a collaboration between NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data from the European Union’s Copernicus Sentinel-1A and -1B satellites, operated by the European Space Agency, generated a map of the deformation of Earth’s surface caused by the Aug. 5, 2018 magnitude 6.9 earthquake under Lombok island, Indonesia. The deformation map is produced from automated interferometric processing of the SAR...
February 17, 2018
Motion towards satellite (up and west) in radar line-of-sight direction.
Interferogram from modified Copernicus Sentinel-1 SAR data acquired 2018/02/17 and 02/05 shows earthquake fault slip on subduction megathrust beneath coast caused up to 40 cm of uplift of the ground surface. Interferometric SAR (InSAR) analysis was automatically performed by Caltech-JPL ARIA data system. Main image shows motion towards satellite (up and west) in radar line-of-sight direction. Additional images show motion contoured with 9 cm (image 2) and 2.8 cm (image 3) color contours, also known as fringes, displayed in Google Earth. Symbols show preliminary USGS and Mexican seismic...
July 27, 2018
LAOS Dam failure
On July 25, 2018, the Sentinel-1 satellite from the European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus program captured a clear image of the collapsed Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam and resulting floods. The imagery within the map viewer shows a drastic drop in the reservoir level, the impacts of which were felt on villages downstream.  NASA and SERVIR-Mekong processed satellite imagery to estimate the extent of the flooded areas, particularly along the Xe Pian River and village of Sanamxai along the Xe Khong River in Attapeu province. Since the dam failure on July 23, cloudy skies have...
May 26, 2018
ALOS-2 interferogram from June 23rd, 2018 acquisition relative to June 9th, 2018.
The Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2), a Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) satellite, is a follow-on mission from the "DAICHI", which contributed to cartography, regional observation, disaster monitoring, and resource surveys. ALOS-2 will succeed this mission with enhanced capabilities. Specifically, JAXA is conducting research and development activities to improve wide and high-resolution observation technologies developed for DAICHI in order to further fulfill social needs. Each interferometric synthetic aperature radar (InSAR) image, or interferogram, shows the amount...
June 7, 2018
ARIA damage proxy map of Fuego volcano
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas around Fuego volcano, Guatemala, that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of pyroclastic flows and heavy ash spewed by Fuego volcano. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the...
June 11, 2018
JAXA ALOS-2 SARS data
ALOS-2 interferogram comparing data from 1/30/18 vs. 5/8/18.  The above map shows ALOS-2 SAR scenes acquired in January 2018 and May 8, 2018 and shows the early opening of the lower East Rift Zone before May 8. In this first map there is a zone approximately 1.5 km wide where there is little motion of the surface, indicating that the magma injection is primarily around 1-2 km below the surface in this early stage.  In both maps, I overlaid in green...
May 4, 2018
Sentinel 1B 12-day interferogram: April 23, 2018, 4:15 p.m. UTC to May 5, 2018, 4:15 p.m. UTC
Sentinel 1B image from May 5th, 2018. Sentinel 1B 12-day interferogram: April 23, 2018, 4:15 p.m. UTC to May 5, 2018, 4:15 p.m. UTC The ESA Sentinal 1 mission has produced a series of interferograms for the recent volcanic eruption and earthquake that have occurred at the Kilauea volcano on...
December 14, 2017
Damage Proxy Map for Southern California Fire.
Graphic produced December 13, 2017 with imagery acquired 11/28/17 & 12/10/17 The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas in Southern California, including Ventura, that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of wildfires. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images...
October 2, 2017
ARIA Damage Proxy Map of Dominica from Hurricane Maria
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas including Dominica that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of Hurricane Maria (Category 5 at landfall in Dominica on Sept. 18, 2017). The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The images were taken before (Mar. 27, 2017) and after (Sept. 23, 2017) the landfall of...
September 29, 2017
ARIA Damage Proxy Map for Puerto Rico
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Western Puerto Rico that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of Hurricane Maria (Category 4 at landfall in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017). The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-...
September 26, 2017
NASA Damage Map Aids FEMA's Hurricane Maria Rescue Operation in Puerto Rico
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Eastern Puerto Rico that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of Hurricane Maria (a Category 4 hurricane at landfall in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017). The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B satellites,...
September 21, 2017
Sentinel-1 radar map for September 2017 Raboso-Puebla Earthquake in Mexico indicates relatively small permanent ground motions
NASA and its partners are contributing important observations and expertise to the ongoing response to the September 19, 2017, magnitude 7.1 Puebla earthquake in Mexico. This earthquake has caused widespread building damage and triggered landslides throughout the region, including Mexico City. Scientists with the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis project (ARIA), a collaboration between NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, and the California...
September 21, 2017
Mexico City Damage Proxy Map
NASA’s ARIA Damage Proxy Map of the M7.1 Raboso, Mexico, earthquake was created from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite SAR data and is available to download from: http://aria-share.jpl.nasa.gov/events/20170919-M7.1_Raboso_Mexico_EQ/DPM The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this...
September 13, 2017
ARIA Damage Proxy Map v0.5
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Southern Mexico that are likely damaged as a result of the M8.1 September 7, 2017 (near midnight local time, early morning on 8th UTC) Chiapas earthquake, shown by red and yellow pixels. The map is derived from synthetic aperture...

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