ATI offers Synthetic Aperture Radar- Fundamentals course on June 10-11, 2013(Chantilly, VA) and Synthetic Aperture Radar- Advanced on June 12-13, 2013 (Chantilly, VA) course. We thought the news below could be of interest to our visitors.
NASA aircraft carrying the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) is finishing up a month-long mission to address a broad range of questions over the Americas, including the dynamics of the Earth’s crust, glaciers and the carbon cycle.
The flights began on March 7 from NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, CA and observed areas of the Earth from the Gulf Coast to South America, including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru.
The UAVSAR, which was designed, built and is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, uses a technique called interferometry that sends microwave energy pulses from the sensor on the aircraft to the ground. The technique has the ability to detect and measure the most subtle changes in Earth’s surface, like those caused by earthquakes, volcanoes and glacier movements. The radar’s L-band microwaves can penetrate clouds and forest canopies, giving scientists a better look at cloud-covered tropical environments, and allowing for the mapping of flooded ecosystems.
Besides conducting iresearch over South America, NASA has directed the instrument at sites in the US as well. UAVSAR has been monitoring seasonal land subsidence and uplift in groundwater basins in Arizona’s Cochise County for the Arizona Department of Water Resources, and has conducted similar studies in New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta.
These studies are aimed at offering scientists a better understanding of what causes Gulf Coast subsidence and allowing for better predictions of future subsidence rates. The data will help agencies better manage the protection of infrastructure, including the levee system in the New Orleans region.