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Potential of Interferometry Point Target Analysis Using Small Data Stacks

Urs Wegmuller(1) and Andreas Wiesmann(1)

(1) Gamma Remote Sensing, Thunstrasse 130, CH-3074 Muri, Switzerland


Abstract- Interferometric Point Target Analysis (IPTA) is a method to exploit the temporal and spatial characteristics of interferometric signatures collected from point targets to accurately map surface deformation histories, terrain heights, and relative atmospheric path delays. To concentrate on point targets is motivated by the reduced geometric decorrelation which permits interpretation of the phases even in the case of large baselines. Furthermore, point targets located in areas of low coherence may permit filling gaps obtained in a more conventional interferometric deformation or height map. In the case of small data stacks (< 12 scenes) the benefits can be particularly interesting as the available baselines and time intervals may not be adequate for conventional interferometry. In the extreme case this may even mean that the objective is not to improve the accuracy, the temporal coverage, or the to fill spatial gaps, but to get a result at all.

In this contribution the potential and limitations of the IPTA methodology to exploit small data stacks is discussed. Based on examples it is shown that the methodology is applicable for small stacks. An important element is to work with multiple reference scenes, which permits to significantly increase the number of interferometric pairs considered.

The presented results are relevant as only limited numbers of repeat observations are available for many parts of the world. Furthermore, the quality achieved with small stacks may be sufficient in many cases. This permits reducing data and processing costs.


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