Speakers Bio & Abstract

Marco van der Kooij Chief Technical Officer
MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA)

A Business Case for Archived SAR Data
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites have been increasing in number over the past decade to a point where there are presently close to twenty satellite missions in operation or in development around the World. Some of those missions acquire data on demand by programming the acquisition of the satellite but all of them acquire data on a systematic basis on predetermined areas of observation. Therefore not only the number of satellite mission increase but also the quantity of archived data is increasing and reaching large values. The archive of SAR data is not optimally used and generated for land applications for the following 2 reasons: 1) Many users are unaware of the information contained in the SAR data. 2) Currently operating or planned SAR missions are designed and operated in exactly repeated orbits but in different orbit geometries from mission to mission which makes difficult to combine the data. Change detection is an application to which SAR is particularly well suited since the controlled illumination of the radar in all weather can consistently produce high quality fine resolution imagery from multiple repeat pass collections and very subtle scene changes can be extracted. Therefore a good sequence of repeat pass acquisition becomes a very powerful tool for land monitoring. The paper will show some examples of applications based on RADARSAT-2 data archive and will discuss potential improvements to design, operation and operational use of medium to high-resolution SAR missions for land applications.