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Possibilities of Archaeological Prospection by High-resolution X-band Satellite Radar – a Case Study from Syria

Linck, Roland and Busche, Thomas and Buckreuss, Stefan and Fassbinder, Jörg and Seren, Sirri S. (2013) Possibilities of Archaeological Prospection by High-resolution X-band Satellite Radar – a Case Study from Syria. Archaeological Prospection, 20, pp. 97-108. Wiley. doi: 10.1002/arp.1444. ISSN 1075-2196.

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/arp.1444/pdf


The launch of the first German radar satellite TerraSAR-X in 2007 opened a new era in spaceborne radar remote sensing. So far the applicability for the high-resolution prospection of upstanding and, especially, buried monuments was limited because of the low resolution of the former sensors. TerraSAR-X, however, provides us with images with a spatial resolution of up to 1m. The satellite operates in the so-called X-band with a frequency of 9.65 GHz. Therefore it is supposed that there is no possibility to penetrate the soil with this sensor. To testify and analyse the benefit of TerraSAR-X in archaeological geophysics, we chose as a test site a Roman fortress in Syria. The site was chosen as we already have GPR data of the same area for a comparison and for the verification of the actual penetration depth. Our results revealed that it is possible to resolve superficial and even buried structures in the data set, which provides evidence that the X-band waves can penetrate the soil. This paper shows our results of the survey and an estimation of the possible penetration depth of TerraSAR-X. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/83205/
Document Type:Article
Title:Possibilities of Archaeological Prospection by High-resolution X-band Satellite Radar – a Case Study from Syria
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Linck, RolandBavarian State Department for Monuments and Sites, MunichUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fassbinder, JörgDepartment of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Geophysics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, MunichUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Seren, Sirri S.Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics, Vienna, AustriaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:6 May 2013
Journal or Publication Title:Archaeological Prospection
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 97-108
Keywords:synthetic aperture radar; SAR; TerraSAR-X; ground-penetrating radar; GPR; Syria; Roman
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt TerraSAR-X Missionsbetrieb (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Microwaves and Radar Institute
Microwaves and Radar Institute > Spaceborne SAR Systems
Deposited By: Fischer, Jens
Deposited On:02 Jul 2013 10:39
Last Modified:08 Mar 2018 18:30

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