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Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Satellites

Satellites with Synthetic Apeture Radar (SAR) orbit the Earth in a sun-synchronous LEO polar orbit and data acquisitions can be made at any time of day or night and independent of cloud coverage, collecting both amplitude and phase data. The SAR satellites have repeating paths which, using two phase datasets for the same location at different times, allows for interferometric SAR (InSAR) showing relative ground displacements between the two datasets along the direction of the radar beam. The SAR satellites operate at a designated frequencies with L-band, C-band, and X-band being the predominate wavelengths. Below is a chart of past, present, and projected SAR satellite missions.

Various agencies support the different SAR missions:

  • European Space Agency (ESA): ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat, Sentinel-1
  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA): JERS-1, ALOS-1, ALOS-2
  • Canadian Space Agency (CSA): Radarsat-1, Radarsat-2, Radarsat constellation
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR): TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X
  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO): RISAT-1, NISAR (w/ NASA)
  • Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales: SAOCOM
  • Italian Space Agency (ASI): COSMO-Skymed
  • Instituto National de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA): PAZ
  • Korea Areospace Research Institute (KARI): KOMPSat-5
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): NISAR (w/ ISRO)


Last modified: 2019-12-24  01:47:05  America/Denver