Global Tropospheric Noise Maps for InSAR Observations

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 10:35 AM
Sang-Ho Yun, Scott Hensley, Piyush S. Agram, Mario Chaubell, Eric Jameson Fielding and Lei Pan, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States
Radio wave’s differential phase delay variation through the troposphere is the largest error sources in Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) measurements, and water vapor variability in the troposphere is known to be the dominant factor. We use the precipitable water vapor (PWV) products from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors mounted on Terra and Aqua satellites to produce tropospheric noise maps of InSAR. We estimate the slope and y-intercept of power spectral density curve of MODIS PWV and calculate the structure function to estimate the expected tropospheric noise level as a function of distance. The results serve two purposes: 1) to provide guidance on the expected covariance matrix for geophysical modeling, 2) to provide quantitative basis for the science Level-1 requirements of the planned NASA-ISRO L-band SAR mission (NISAR mission). We populate lookup tables of such power spectrum parameters derived from each 1-by-1 degree tile of global coverage. The MODIS data were retrieved from OSCAR (Online Services for Correcting Atmosphere in Radar) server. Users will be able to use the lookup tables and calculate expected tropospheric noise level of any date of MODIS data at any distance scale. Such calculation results can be used for constructing covariance matrix for geophysical modeling, or building statistics to support InSAR missions’ requirements. For example, about 74% of the world had InSAR tropospheric noise level (along a radar line-of-sight for an incidence angle of 40 degrees) of 2 cm or less at 50 km distance scale during the time period of 2010/01/01 – 2010/01/09.