New tool to advance SAR technology

March 06, 2017

Engineering science professor Bernhard Rabus is one of two Simon Fraser University researchers to receive funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund.

Announced last week by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, nearly $52 million in funding was allocated to 223 projects across Canada to allow scientists to obtain the tools they need to stay on the cutting edge of research.

For Rabus—who was appointed as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Industrial Research Chair in Synthetic Aperture Radar last year—that tool is a specialized sensor that will help him develop new Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology. SAR provides detailed images of the Earth’s surface and Rabus’ technology will allow new ways to monitor wildfires, landslides and earthquakes.

“These images reveal details and characteristics about the land and water on the Earth’s surface, and the volume layers or structures close to it, such as snow, vegetation, human infrastructure, sea ice, and ships,” says Rabus.

The technology will also advance Interferometric SAR (InSAR), which compares two or more SAR images that have been acquired over the same area but at different times, to derive subtle changes between the images.

“These are critical technologies for applications such as maritime surveillance and environmental monitoring.”

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