UAVSAR: InSAR and PolSAR Test Bed for the Proposed NI-SAR Mission

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Cathleen E Jones1, Scott Hensley1 and Yunling Lou2, (1)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States
UAVSAR, which first became operational in 2009, has served as an operational testbed for the NI-SAR L-band radar concept and a unique instrument in its own right. UAVSAR supports a broad array of basic and applied geoscience, covering on smaller scale all the disciplines NI-SAR would be able to address on a global scale. Although designed specifically to provide high accuracy repeated flight tracks and precise imaging geometry for InSAR-based solid earth studies, its fully polarimetric operation, low noise, and consistent calibration accuracy has made it a premier instrument for PolSAR-based studies also. Since 2009 it has successfully imaged more than 16 million km2 and >4300 quad-polarimetric data products are now publicly available online. Upgrades made in the last year to automate the repeat track processing serve as a model for generating large volumes of InSAR products: Since January 2014 more than 700 interferometric products have been released, exceeding the output of all previous years combined. Standardly available products now include browse images of all InSAR acquisitions and coregistered single-look complex image stacks suitable for standard time series analysis. Here we present an overview of the wide range of studies utilizing UAVSAR data including those based on polarimetry and pair-wise and times series interferometry, highlighting both the unique capabilities of UAVSAR and the ways in which NI-SAR would be able to dramatically extend the capabilities.

This research was conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.