Designing and Testing a Network of Omnidirectional Permanent Scatterers

Chuck Wicks(1) , Zhong Lu(1) , Tim Rozendal(2) , and Travis Wicks(1)

(1) USGS, Volcano Hazards Program, USGS, United States
(2) Rozendal Associates, Inc., RSI, Santee, CA, United States


An ideal radar reflector, for use as a point scatterer, would be bright for its size and effective at a wide range of incidence angles, require little or no maintenance, and be durable in severe weather environments. The Luneberg lens may fit this description, so we have designed a test network that will allow us to evaluate the relevant properties of the lens. We are installing seven lenses of two diameters, ~51 cm and ~61 cm that have C-band radar cross sections (RCS) of ~75 m2 and 100 m2, respectively. The RCS of the lenses is nearly constant over a range of incidence angles of up to 50 degrees. The site for this network is the active Cleveland Corral landslide, (~500 m long and 50-100 m wide) located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada (California, USA). The landslide is well monitored and accessible.

We will be testing the utility of the lenses as point scatterers using heterogeneous data from different tracks, modes, and platforms. The main satellite platform is ENVISAT, but we hope to incorporate TerraSAR-X data when it becomes available. If the lenses perform as anticipated, they would be ideal for deployment in remote settings such as volcanoes in the Aleutians, where field work is expensive. With the proper monumentation, the lenses could provide deformation data through long snowy winters, where only snow-free summer scenes have been useful for interferometry.



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