Written by Celia Schiffman
16 November, 2012
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images are created using radar to image the surface of the earth, and are increasingly being used by scientists to measure how things are moving in great detail throughout the world. SAR can be used to see how the earth’s surface moved due to an earthquake, groundwater movement, an expanding volcano, and anything else that causes movement of the surface of the earth.
UNAVCO maintains a SAR archive for WInSAR members and other accredited SAR data users, providing search and discovery access. Until recently, access was spread across multiple interfaces. UNAVCO has now unified the interfaces, allowing researchers to search one database for all available imagery. The new SAR database with geospatial searches allows for more efficient searches and automated downloading, saving time and effort for researchers looking for SAR images.
The most prevalent application for SAR imagery is a technique called InSAR (interferometric SAR), where two or more SAR images acquired at different time periods are used to generate maps of surface displacement or topography. Using the differences in the phase of the radar waves, this technique can measure centimeter-scale changes is deformation related to natural hazards (for example earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides) or the subsidence and stability of buildings and structures.
Last modified: Tuesday, 13-May-2014 21:31:39 UTC