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DESDynI – A NASA Mission for Ecosystems, Solid Earth, and Cryosphere Science

Anthony Freeman(1), Paul Rosen(2), Bill Johnson(2), Yuhsyen Shen(2), Scott Hensley(2), Ted Sweetser(3), James Smith(3), Adam Loverro(3) and George Sprague(3)

(1) JPL/Caltech, MS 180 404, Pasadena, CA 91109, United States
(2) JPL/Caltech, MS 300 235, Pasadena, CA 91109, United States
(3) JPL/Caltech, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, United States


The National Research Council’s Decadal Survey for Earth Science identified the Deformation, Ecosystem Structure, and Dynamics of Ice (DESDynI) mission among the highest priorities for new NASA Earth missions. DESDynI consists of an L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar configured for repeat-pass interferometric observations (InSAR), and a nadir pointing lidar suitable for vegetation canopy structure characterization. In response, analyses are underway to evaluate efficient combina-tions of science objectives and mission/instrument scenarios. The InSAR component can be satisfied by a traditional phased array deployable aperture as flown in space on SeaSAT, JERS-1, and ALOS. Alternatively, the SAR can be designed as an offset-fed reflector, capitalizing on large commercial mesh reflector antenna and transmit/receive modules developed for the NASA UAVSAR airborne ra-dar. This InSAR system satisfies key science objectives and addresses several shortcomings of exist-ing InSAR capable satellites. To reduce temporal decorrelation, L-band (24 cm wavelength) is used. A 340 km wide-swath scanSAR mode with 8 day repeat enhances study of ice dynamics, pre/post earthquake deformation, volcano monitoring, and other dynamic phenomena. Fully polarimetric capa-bility allows wide-area extension of key parameters of the vegetation canopy, such as biomass and land cover change, firmly anchored through the fine detail provided by the lidar in globally distributed profiles. Similarly polarimetric InSAR measurements allow further refinement of canopy structure in appropriate canopies. Key challenges involve scheduling and observational strategy to optimize over-lapping observational requirements of various science communities served. This paper will focus on the InSAR technology and observational trades that affect the science return, together with and sepa-rately from the lidar.

The work reported here was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Tech-nology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Workshop presentation

Full paper


  Higher level                 Last modified: 07.05.06