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Sneak Peek: Excellent SAR Course Coming to Boulder!

Rebecca Lasica

Coming up next month is a rare opportunity to get a close look at synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data analytics from one of the world’s SAR experts from Sarmap, and I couldn't be more excited! SAR is useful for so many different applications I am not surprised that there has been an up tick in US commercial applications over the past several months. Simply put, some contributing factors to driving interest include more pervasive data access and easier to use processing tools, enabling SAR analyses to be more accessible to a wider user base than in the past.

Let’s take a look at some of the applications for which SAR data is so useful:

Agriculture: SAR is an excellent resource for monitoring forest regrowth, crop monitoring with the use of a multi-temporal SAR series, and in the image below, studying change over time including weed emergence and crop development and maturity.

Figure: Radarsat-1data, image courtesy of Sarmap

Activities Map: Using interferometric correlation (aka.“coherence”) to extract thematic information for land cover characterization.In the case below, the black features are paths, roads, and meeting places used by vehicles, humans, or animals during the interval of time between the two input images. Extracting these features cannot be achieved with the optical data.

Figure: Data courtesy of e-geos, image courtesy of Sarmap

Displacement Mapping: Large earthquakes or small areas of subsidence can be mapped to a mm-scale accuracy using SAR data and interferometric processes.

Figure: Abruzzi Earthquake (2009). Data from COSMO-SkyMed April 4th/April 12th 2009, COSMO-SkyMed February 19th/April 9th 2009, ENVISATASAR IM February 1st/April 12th 2009. Image courtesy of Sarmap.

These are only a few of the many applications for which SAR data are an excellent resource. There are still a few spots left for the class here in Boulder, CO next month! Register here or let me know if you are interested in more information!

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