BackForwardInstrument:  SAR-X/Ku 

Instrument details
Acronym SAR-X/Ku
Full name Synthetic Aperture Radar in X- and Ku- bands
Purpose Hydrology of the snow-melting zones
Short description Two-frequency SAR operating in X-band (around 9.6 GHz) and Ku-band (around 17.2 GHz). Details TBD
Background Considered payload for the Snow and Cold Land Processes (SCLP) mission, one of the US Decadal Survey, also proposed to ESA with the name of CoRH2O (Cold Regions Hydrology High-Resolution Observatory)
Scanning Technique TBD
Resolution
Coverage / Cycle
Mass Power Data Rate

 

Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Demonstration pending
Utilization Period: 2000 to 2000
Last update: 2014-02-17
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Active and radio-occultation sensor
  • Imaging radar (SAR)
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Fraction of vegetated land
  • Glacier motion
  • Glacier topography
  • Land cover
  • Land surface topography
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Tentative Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Dominant wave direction3 - highInfrequent coverage.X- and Ku-band SAR. Variable measured by spectral analysis of "imagettes"
Dominant wave period3 - highInfrequent coverage.X- and Ku-band SAR. Variable measured by spectral analysis of "imagettes"
Fire fractional cover1 - primaryInfrequent coverage.X- and Ku-band SAR. High resolution, for fire boundary detection
Fraction of vegetated land1 - primaryNo specific limitation.X- and Ku-band SAR
Glacier cover1 - primaryLong time for mapping.X- and Ku-band SAR for accurate boundary detection
Glacier motion3 - highInfrequent coverage.X- and Ku-band SAR for interferometry between images taken at time intervals
Glacier topography3 - highLong time for mapping.X- and Ku-band SAR for interferometry between images taken at time intervals
Ice sheet topography3 - highLong time for mapping.X- and Ku-band SAR for interferometry between images taken at time intervals
Land cover2 - very highNo specific limitation.X- and Ku-band SAR
Land surface topography2 - very highLong time for mapping.X- and Ku-band SAR for interferometry between images taken at time intervals
Oil spill cover1 - primaryInfrequent coverage.X- and Ku-band SAR
Sea-ice cover1 - primaryNo specific limitation.X- and Ku-band SAR
Sea-ice elevation4 - fairNo specific limitation.X- and Ku-band SAR. Sea ice elevation measured by interferometry
Sea-ice thickness5 - marginalChange detection only.X- and Ku-band SAR. Sea ice elevation measured by interferometry. Thickness inferred by ice model
Sea-ice type3 - highNo specific limitation.X-band SAR. Type interpreted as age/roughness
Significant wave height4 - fairHighly indirect.. Infrequent coverage.X- and Ku-band SAR. Retrieved by spectral analysis of "imagettes". Boundary condition necessary for the retrieval
Snow cover2 - very highInfrequent coverage.X- and Ku-band SAR specifically designed for snow
Snow status (wet/dry)2 - very highInfrequent coverage.X- and Ku-band SAR specifically designed for snow
Snow water equivalent3 - highInfrequent coverage.X- and Ku-band SAR specifically designed for snow
Soil moisture at surface5 - marginalStrongly affected by vegetation.. Infrequent coverage.X-band SAR
Soil type3 - highNo specific limitation.X- and Ku-band SAR
Vegetation type3 - highNo specific limitation.X- and Ku-band SAR
Wave directional energy frequency spectrum3 - highInfrequent coverage.X- and Ku-band SAR. Variable measured by spectral analysis of "imagettes"