Input Data Sources: Airborne Missions
Each of the missions from which data can be input to PolSARpro is described below, with links to more detailed information on dedicated sites.
The Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) was designed and built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which also manages the project. The system operates in Fully Polarimetric mode at P-, L- and C-band simultaneously or in Interferometric mode in L- and C-band simultaneously. AIRSAR serves as a NASA radar technology test bed for demonstrating new radar technology. As part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, AIRSAR first flew in 1988 and continues to conduct at least one flight campaign each year, aboard a DC-8 aircraft operated by NASA's Ames Research Center, either in the United States or on an international mission. Data has been distributed in 2 formats: prior to 1993 using processor version 3.56 and since 1993 using processor versions 5.01 and onwards.
EMISAR is a dual frequency (L- and C-band) fully polarimetric synthetic aperture radar system developed for remote sensing applications. The system has a single pass cross-track interferometric mode for topographic / elevation mapping applications and a repeat pass interferometric mode for high-resolution elevation mapping and change detection applications. The system is used for DRCS applications but is also available for scientific partners.
E-SAR and F-SAR (DLR)
The Experimental airborne SAR (E-SAR) is a multi-frequency system mounted onboard a Dornier DO-228 aircraft. The sensor operates in 5 frequency bands, X-, C-, S-, L- and P-band. The polarisation of the radar signal is selectable. The measurement modes include single channel operation and SAR Interferometry and SAR Polarimetry modes. The system is owned by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and operated by the Microwaves and Radar Institute (DLR-HR) in co-operation with the Aircraft Operations Department (DLR-FB) in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.
Currently, the institute is developing a new advanced airborne SAR system, the F-SAR, which is planned to fully replace the older E-SAR system in the next years. The development of F-SAR was triggered by the demand for data being simultaneously acquired at different wavelengths and polarisations as well as by the demand for very high range resolution, which could not be fulfilled anymore in all cases by the E-SAR.
The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have collaborated to develop an airborne high-resolution multi-parameter synthetic aperture radar (Pi-SAR). It is a dual frequency radar operating at L-band and X-band frequencies with polarimetric functions. The X-band system also has an interferometric function by which topographic mapping of the ground surface is achieved. The development of the L-band and the X-band parts was carried out by JAXA and NICT, respectively.
SAR580-Convair (ETC, Environment Canada)
The C/X-SAR system is an airborne synthetic aperture radar developed by the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS). Since the commissioning of the C- and X-band SARs, in 1986 and 1988, respectively, the C/X-SAR system has undergone several upgrades, including addition of interferometric and polarimetric modes for the C-band radar. The C/X-SAR is carried on a Convair 580 aircraft and it is complemented by navigation equipment and a suite of other sensors.