SAR sensors - SlimSAR

The ARTEMIS SlimSAR owned by SFU’s SARlab is a multi-frequency-band (i.e., L- and X-Bands) multi-polarization (L-Band: quad-pol; X-Band: VV) synthetic aperture radar that can be mounted on a wide range of aircraft types. With 6 channels, the system is capable of a variety of advanced modes, such as SAR polarimetry, along-track interferometry, and single and repeat-pass across-track interferometry.

The SlimSAR is suitable for use in a wide range of SAR applications, ranging from land use/sea ice classification to GMTI, and interferometry for terrain height estimation, deformation analysis and change detection.

In August-September 2018, we conducted a successful campaign to carry out the first SlimSAR data acquisition at the Kluane National Park and Reserve (Yukon, Canada). SAR data (19 flight lines, 62 profiles) have been acquired in L-Band (quad-pol) and X-Band over a variety of test sites (e.g. glaciers, landslide-prone slopes, permafrost-affected areas) in both across-track (single- and repeat-pass) and along-track InSAR configurations.

The acquired data will be processed to generate high-resolution maps of millimiter-scale surface displacement related to geohazards in the Yukon (i.e., glaciers, landslides and permafrost activity and decay). The campaign is instrumental in elucidating the commercial potential of airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) remote sensing for the monitoring and characterization of geohazards dynamics as well as soil, snow, and ice structures in the Yukon (e.g., generation of operational maps of surface displacements for planning/monitoring urban, road, and industrial infrastructure). It also contributes to the development of automated solutions for the identification and reconnaissance of potential hazards in the region.

The campaign was made possible through the collaboration with Lance Goodwin and Sian Williams from the flight operator Icefield Discovery. Special thanks go to Dr. Evan Zaugg from ARTEMIS Inc., Prof. Gwenn Flowers (SFU Glaciology group) and Prof. Dan Shugar (University of Washington Tacoma, USA) for their valuable help on planning the campaign.