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About NovaSAR-1

NovaSAR-1 satellite. Credit: SSTL

Launched on 16 September 2018, NovaSAR-1 features an S-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) instrument offering a variety of modes with different resolutions and swath widths.

Mission Parameters
Orbit Altitude583 km
Orbit TypeSun-synchronous
Orbit Period96.3 mins
Orbit Inclination97.5°
Equatorial Crossing Time10:30 h
Repeat Cycle16 days


This mission is considered a Third Party Mission under evaluation. The evaluation will tackle cal/val activities and assess the product specifications. This analysis will be performed in the framework of the Earthnet Data Assessment Pilot (EDAP). The evaluation will also allow any interested user to investigate the suitability of the data for scientific and R&D activities.

NovaSAR-1 Objectives

The primary objective of NovaSAR-1 is to make SAR observation missions more affordable to a customer base and to open up new applications in the S-band microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

NovaSAR-1 Instruments

The SAR payload onboard NovaSAR-1 operates in the S-band microwave frequency (3.2 GHz), corresponding to a 9.4 cm wavelength, which is less common in spaceborne SAR systems than the X-, C-or L-bands.

Instrument Characteristics
TypeSynthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
Imaging Frequency Band3.1 – 3.3 GHz (S-Band)
Polarisation ModesSingle, Dual, Triple
Antenna Looking DirectionLeft or Right
Incidence Angle11.29 – 32.01°
Geolocation Accuracy<50 m


NovaSAR-1 offers three imaging modes (Stripmap, ScanSAR, and ScanSAR Wide) with various swath widths and spatial resolutions that can be chosen to best suit the needs of the user. All modes can be operated in either right-looking or left-looking antenna pointing directions and from an ascending (South to North) or descending (North to South) orbit.

Summary of NovaSAR-1 Imaging Modes
 StripmapScanSARScanSAR Wide
Resolution6 m20 m30 – 50 m
Swath Width13 – 20 km50 – 100 km50 – 195 km
PolarisationHH or VVHH, VV and HVHH, VV and HV
Incidence Angle16 – 31.2°11.29 – 32.01°11.82 – 31.18°

NovaSAR-1 Data


ESA is offering, via a dedicated Announcement of Opportunity, access to new acquisition data from the NovaSAR-1 mission. Access to NovaSAR-1 data is granted subject to approval of a submitted project proposal.

The following collection is available: