SAR methods and applications - Land

SAR Interferometry (InSAR) has wide operational application for displacement monitoring, e.g. for natural hazards, such as tectonics, volcanoes, glaciers, and permafrost, as well as for unstable ground or subsidence associated with mining, oil and gas, urban and industrial infrastructure. We aim to enhance these existing techniques to increase accuracy and expand the applicability of InSAR methods to more severe environments exhibiting seasonal snow and partial vegetation cover. For our studies we make use of InSAR time series from a wide variety of space-borne SAR sensors (e.g. ERS, RADARSAT-1 and -2, TerraSAR-X, Sentinel-1) and imaging modes (e.g. ScanSAR, Staring Spotlight). Our research includes a strong emphasis on developing InSAR capabilities for the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), i.e. we intend to identify benefits, new opportunities, as well as challenges of working with the 4-day repeat of RCM.  


Wrapped phase demodulation: We develop novel demodulation approaches that makes use of parametric modeling and higher resolution interferometric data (e.g. as those provided by TerraSAR-X in Staring Spotlight mode) to disambiguate the phase of historic interferometric data stacks at a coarser spatial resolution (e.g. ERS, RADARSAT-1).

Advanced atmospheric correction for InSAR: Our goal is to better model/characterize the InSAR atmospheric phase component, using both InSAR time series and Global Circulation Model (GCM) outputs. This will in turn improve the detection of temporally non-linear, spatially long range displacements (e.g. “mini-earthquakes” that result from fracking).

Integration of InSAR and geophysical methods: The status-quo of geophysical applications of InSAR is to process InSAR results independently that are then used as input to geophysical modeling approaches. We investigate the mutual constraints that InSAR and geophysical modeling can provide each other, to improve the robustness and accuracy of a combined modeling solution.