Spring 2022 - EASC 609 G100

Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Remote Sensing Applications (3)

Class Number: 4456

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, Fr 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM
    AQ 4130, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 13, 2022
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    WMC 2530, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Bernhard Rabus
    1 778 782-4846
    Office: ASB 9829
  • Prerequisites:

    Recommended: undergraduate courses in advanced mathematics, remote sensing, geophysics, natural hazards (or permission of instructor).



Principles of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Remote Sensing and its Applications. An overview of the basic theory is presented to understand the capabilities and limitations of complex SAR data and their key land and marine applications. Learning outcomes for the course include proficiency with applications of interferometric SAR (InSAR) to Geosciences, including generation of topographic maps as well as advanced time series analysis for measuring ground surface motion associated with seismic displacement, compaction related subsidence volcanic inflate and landslides.



This course reviews the principles of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Remote Sensing and its Applications. I present an overview of SAR sensor technology and the coherent imaging theory behind data acquisition and focussing SAR data allowing students to understand the capabilities and limitations of SAR for key land and marine applications. The course focus is Interferometric SAR (InSAR) methods – from basic to advanced time series analysis and tomography. Applications covered in detail will include topographic maps and measuring ground surface motion associated with seismic displacement, compaction related subsidence, volcanic inflation, and landslides, soil/snow parameter inversion.

Recommended courses: undergraduate courses in advanced mathematics, remote sensing, geophysics, natural hazards (or permission of instructor)

Course Topics: 

  1. Radar and SAR principles, SAR sensor technology
  2. Single and multi-channel SAR land and marine applications
  3. InSAR principles-
  4. Basic InSAR processing (interferogram formation, phase unwrapping, geocoding)
  5. Basic InSAR applications (topography, differential InSAR, 3D velocity)
  6. Advanced InSAR processing (Surface displacement time series, Tomography, Pol-InSAR) 
  7. Advanced InSAR applications (Infrastructure and natural hazards, soil/snow parameter inversion)

Course Organization:

2 one-and-a-half hour lecture and 1 three-hour computer laboratory per week. Weekly assignments. 1 term research paper (topic either on evaluating/developing a novel method/algorithm or applied analysis of actual InSAR data).


  • Lab Assignments 30%
  • Research Paper 60%
  • Class Participation 10%



The course does not use a specific textbook. A number of books area available that cover the course topics e.g.:
- Radar interferometry: data interpretation and error analysis. RF Hanssen. Springer Science & Business Media. 2001
- Radar Interferometry: Persistent Scatterer Technique. Author: BM. Kampes. Springer Science & Business Media. 2014
- Digital Processing of Synthetic Aperture Radar Data: Algorithms and Implementation. IG Cumming, FH Wong. Artech House - Technology & Engineering. 2005.

Powerpoint lecture materials, lab instructions, software manuals, and data sets required for the lab assignments will be provided.

Additional Resources:

Massonet, D. & Souyris, J.-C. (2008): Imaging with Synthetic Aperture Radar. EPFL Press distributed by CRC Press.

Henderson, F.M. & Lewis, A.J. (1998): Principles and Applications of Imaging Radar. Manual of Remote Sensing. Third Edition, Vol. 2. John Wiley & Sons. Inc.

Olivie, C. & Quegan, S. (2004): Understanding Synthetic Aperture Radar Images. Scitech.

Lee, J.-S. & Pottier, E. (2009): Polarimetric Radar Imaging. From Basics to Applications. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis.

Rees, G. (2006): Remote Sensing of Snow and Ice. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis.

Ferretti, A., Monti-Guarneri, A., Prati, C., Rocca, F. & Massonet, D. (2007): InSAR Principles. Guidelines for SAR Interferometry Processing and Interpretation. ESA TM-19, ISBN 92-9092-233-8.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.