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Summary of Proposal MTH1717

TitleSpaceborne SAR Tomography Methods and Applications
Investigator Frey, Othmar - ETH Zurich, Earth Observation and Remote Sensing, Inst. of Environmental Engine
Team Member
Prof. Dr. Hajnsek, Irena - ETH Zurich, Chair of Earth Observation and Remote Sensing, Institute of Environmental Engine
SummaryThe proposed work shall consist of the development, implementation, and testing of a dedicated algorithms that employ innovative synthetic aperture radar (SAR) tomography for spaceborne repeat-pass SAR data. SAR tomography is a novel imaging technique that extends the 2-D imaging capability of conventional SAR to 3-D by typically exploiting multiple sensor passes in the imaging process. This extension to the third dimension is non-trivial mainly due to sparse and irregular sampling in the third dimension (a limited number of sensor passes with varying baselines is available only) and temporal decorrelation, again, as a result of the repeat-pass mode. During the last decade, a rapidly growing number of research groups have investigated SAR tomography techniques and applications that exploit this 3-D information in the context of remote sensing of vegetation, particularly forest (retrieval of 3-D forest structure parameters, forest dynamics/re-growth, biomass estimation), or remote sensing of urban areas (3-D imaging of urban areas, separation of scatterers, deformation analysis). The growing importance of SAR tomography techniques is well reflected in a large number of special sessions on different aspects of SAR tomography at international remote sensing conferences (IEEE IGARSS, EUSAR, etc.) as well as at dedicated ESA workshops, such as the bi-annual PolInSAR and FRINGE workshops. The official recommendations condensed by the SAR research and user community at these workshops affirm the need for further development and proliferation of SAR tomography algorithms and applications in particular in the context of the latest spaceborne SAR missions upcoming missions, and planned missions. Key personnel at the Chair of Earth Observation and Remote Sensing, Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zurich has extensive experience in research and development of SAR tomography algorithms. The aim of the project is to: 1. extend/adapt existing prototype tomography algorithms for spaceborne SAR data. 2. bring the tomography processing tools to a more operational level. For this purpose interferometric stacks of TerraSAR-X data over urban areas shall be used. Funding: internal, and through funding by Swiss Space Office, Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research SER, (Call to foster and promote Swiss scientific and technological competences related to space activities).

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