The von Kármán Lecture Series: 2011

UAVSAR: An Airborne Window on Earth Surface Deformation

UAVSAR: An Airborne Window on Earth Surface Deformation

Jan. 20 & 21

The Earth's surface is constantly undergoing surface deformation at the millimeter to meter scale both from natural forces such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and glacier motion and from anthropogenic causes such as oil and ground water pumping. Monitoring these types of deformation both spatially and temporally is integral to developing a better understanding of the underlying physical processes involved. Spaceborne differential radar interferometry has become a central tool over the last two decades for such monitoring, however the time between observations and the geometry of observations is not ideal for a number of scientific applications. Airborne systems can tailor both the flight geometry and time between observations for optimal science return, however airborne differential radar interferometry is more challenging than spaceborne interferometry due to the irregular flight path of an aircraft compared to a spacecraft. This talk will address how these challenges were overcome and some examples of Earth deformation measured by the UAVSAR system.


Dr. Scott Hensley, Asst. Section Manager, Radar Science & Engineering, JPL