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The Legacy of the SIR-C/X-SAR radar system: 25 years on

Freeman, Anthony and Zink, Manfred and Caro, Edward and Moreira, Alberto and Veilleux, Luise and Werner, Marian (2019) The Legacy of the SIR-C/X-SAR radar system: 25 years on. Remote Sensing of Environment. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2019.111255 ISSN 0034-4257

[img] PDF - Preprint version (submitted draft)


Twenty-five years ago, the two flights of the SIR-C/X-SAR Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) system on the Space Shuttle Endeavour blazed a trail toward the future with a series of radar system innovations - that nearly every spaceborne SAR flown since then has benefited from, and in some cases improved upon. Many of the SAR techniques adopted by SAR system designers worldwide as part of their toolkit, such as: ScanSAR, Spotlight mode, along-track interferometry, polarization diversity and polarimetry, polarimetric calibration, variable length and bandwidth pulses, and on-board processing, can trace their heritage back to this first-of-a-kind, civil-use SAR system. The electronic steering capability of SIR-C’s phased array antenna, combined with the exquisite orbit track control provided by the Space Shuttle, paved the way for systematic mapping of the Earth’s topography by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, and later by TanDEM-X. Some techniques, such as multi-frequency SAR, multi-frequency repeat-pass interferometry and onboard processing have yet to be fully exploited. The richness of the SIR-C/X-SAR data set has proved to be a treasure trove for opening up entirely new remote sensing techniques, such as Polarimetric SAR Interferometry (or PolInSAR), and GPS, now GNSS reflections (also known as Signals of Opportunity), which were both demonstrated from archive data, years after the 1994 flights. The ground-breaking legacy of SIR-C/X-SAR lives on in the many SAR systems collecting data in Earth orbit today, and in those planned for the future.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/128889/
Document Type:Article
Title:The Legacy of the SIR-C/X-SAR radar system: 25 years on
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Freeman, AnthonyJPL, Pasadena, USAUNSPECIFIED
Zink, Manfredmanfred.zink (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4308-5636
Caro, EdwardJet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, USAUNSPECIFIED
Moreira, AlbertoAlberto.Moreira (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3436-9653
Veilleux, LuiseJet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)UNSPECIFIED
Werner, MarianMarian.Werner (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:June 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Remote Sensing of Environment
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/j.rse.2019.111255
Keywords:SIR-C/X-SAR, Synthetic Aperture Radar, Polarimetry, Interferometry, Multi-Frequency, Calibration, GPS Reflectometry
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt TanDEM-X
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Microwaves and Radar Institute
Deposited By: Zink, Dr.-Ing. Manfred
Deposited On:26 Aug 2019 11:12
Last Modified:03 Sep 2019 09:37

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