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Ralph Cordey(1) and Betlem Rosich-Tell(2)

(1) ESA / ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, Keplerlaan 1, Netherlands
(2) ESA, Via Galileo Galilei, Frascati 00044, Italy


The European Space Agency has sponsored studies into the generation of single-look complex products from the Envisat ASAR in its wide-swath mode. It now seeks to implement a wide-swath SLC product operationally and act to encourage the widespread exploitation of such data.

The Envisat ASAR currently supports interferometry and other applications of single-look complex data through the provision of single-polarised and alternating-polarisation stripmap SLC products and SLC wave-mode imagettes. Wide-swath SLC products have not been offered to users on an operational basis.

We can envisage a number of significant users communities for wide- swath SLC products. These include those active in seismology and other surface movement applications. The particular advantage offered by wide-swath data is its ability to provide rapid large-area coverage, which can potentially act as a reference dataset with which subsequent strip map images can form more localised “post-event” interferograms.

Wide-area interferograms, formed from pairs of wide-swath SLC images are also likely to be attractive, both for large-scale surface deformation mapping, and for the more effective characterisation of atmospheric radio frequency delay features. However, the derivation of such products is constrained by the timing of the radar bursts from the ASAR instrument into each of its sub-swaths. A data screening process to identify suitable wide-swath INSAR pairs is being investigated.

Non-INSAR applications are also expected to be of interest, especially to oceanography. A wide-swath SLC product may offer the potential to estimate a component of ocean surface currents over a 400km-wide swath. It may similarly extend coverage of contiguous directional wave- spectra estimation.

This paper will summarise developments in these fields and provide an update on the planned implementation of an operational wide swath SLC product.


Workshop presentation

Full paper

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry