2022 Short Course: InSAR Processing and Time-Series Analysis for Geophysical Applications: ISCE, ARIA-Tools, and MintPy

Dates: August 22-26, 2022, with pre-course material August 15-19
Times: This course will take place 4 hours per day, Monday through Friday. Live sessions will take place during Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) (UTC-7) business hours; exact start/end times to be announced. Office hours will be scheduled at the beginning and end of day, PDT business hours.
Venue: Virtual Only

This 5-day course will cover basic & advanced InSAR theory, InSAR processing with the JPL/Caltech InSAR Scientific Computing Environment (ISCE), InSAR time-series analysis, and basic data interpretation and modeling. Live lectures and demonstrations will be held on Zoom. For computing and training modules, we will use the Alaska Satellite Facility’s OpenSARLab, which allows participants to execute real code on a remote server through a web browser. Pre-workshop training modules will allow participants to refresh important skills ahead of the course. Zoom-based “office hours” sessions held before and during the course provide opportunities for participants to ask questions and seek feedback. Additional, asynchronous means of communication will be provided via Slack.

Learning Goals

  • Participants will be able to process interferograms using the topsApp and stripmapApp workflows in ISCE
  • Participants will be able to distinguish between different sources of noise in InSAR data and apply appropriate corrections 
  • Participants will be able to interpret interferograms and prepare them for modeling 
  • Participants will be able to perform time series analysis on coregistered stacks of InSAR data

Application Process

Participants will apply to participate as we expect demand to exceed capacity. Decisions will be made on responses to prompts in the application. Priority will be given to applicants from UNAVCO member institutions, and those who need the training to conduct research in the next year. (Check to see if your institution is a member of the UNAVCO consortium.) 

Review of applications begins June 20, 2022; applicants will be notified of their status July 8, 2022.

Brief Agenda

August 15-19 – Course pre-assessment
– Review and completion of pre-course material (self-directed math, unix, python, plotting, numpy basics, downloading data, cloud environment, GIS using GDAL, software installation, SAR theory)
– Register for and use an account in OpenSARLab—instructions will be offered via webinar
– Register for an EarthData account and permissions through the ASF
August 22 – Introduction to geophysical modeling
– InSAR theory
– Stripmap interferogram processing
August 23 – Interpreting interferograms
– TOPS interferogram processing
August 24 – (TBC) Applying InSAR to glaciers
– Preparing InSAR data for modeling
– Troposphere and ionosphere noise and mitigation
August 25 – InSAR time series theory
– Interferogram stacks with ARIA-tools
– (TBC) SAR offset stacks for glaciers
August 26 – Introduction to MintPy
– InSAR time series analysis with MintPy
– Preparing interferogram stacks

Prerequisite, Computers, and Data

  • Students should have some familiarity with mathematical concepts such as complex numbers, trigonometry, integration, and differentiation.
  • Students will be expected to know basic Unix/Linux command line usage and basic Python programming, and have done basic InSAR processing in the past.
  • Students should review materials from the 2020 or 2021 InSAR Processing and Time-Series Analysis for Geophysical Applications: InSAR Scientific Computing Environment (ISCE), ARIA Tools, and MintPy courses.
  • Students should review online documentation and tutorial materials available for ISCE.
  • Students must apply for WInSAR data access through their university representative if they don’t already have a WInSAR account.
  • Participants will use their own computers to access the OpenSARLab environment via a web browser.

Graduate Course Credit

If you would like to receive graduate course credit for successful completion of the course (1 credit hour, pass/fail), please indicate your interest on the application form. Note that taking the course for graduate credit has a nominal fee of $155. Regular participation without credit is free of charge. If you are selected for participation in the course, we will communicate with you under separate cover about how to enroll for credit. We partner with the University of Montana for course credit.


  • Gareth Funning (University of California, Riverside)
  • Franz Meyer (University of Alaska, Fairbanks)
  • Paul Rosen (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • Heresh Fattahi (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • David Bekaert (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • Zhang Yunjun (California Institute of Technology)
  • Other instructors, TBC


Please contact communityat symbolunavco.org