BackForwardInstrument:  XSAR 

Instrument details
Acronym XSAR
Full name X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Purpose All-weather high-resolution observation
Short description X-band SAR (frequency about 9.3 GHz)
Background New development, aimed at small-satellite SAR imagery
Scanning Technique Nominal swath of 10 km, possibly extended to over 50 km in the ScanSAR mode by exploiting the satellite attitude control [see table].
Resolution 1 m over 10 km swath or 16 m over 50 km swath
Coverage / Cycle Global in 1 to 5 months, depending on the operating mode
Mass Power Data Rate

 

Providing Agency NEC
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 2018-04-16 to ≥2023
Last update: 2018-01-20
Detailed characteristics

Operation mode

Resolution

Swath

Polarisations

Incidence angle

Spotlight

1 m

10 km

HH or VV

15-45°

Stripmap

2 m

12 km

HH or VV

15-45°

ScanSAR

16 m

50 km

HH or VV

15-45°

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
  • Land cover
  • Oil spill cover
  • Sea-ice cover
  • Snow cover
Show allShow fewer
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
Fire fractional cover3 - highInfrequent coverage.X-band SAR. High resolution, for fire boundary detection
Fraction of vegetated land3 - highNo specific limitation.X-band SAR
Glacier cover2 - very highLong time for mapping.X-band SAR for accurate boundary detection
Glacier motion5 - marginalInfrequent coverage.X-band SAR for interferometry between images taken at time intervals
Glacier topography3 - highLong time for mapping.X-band SAR for interferometry between images taken at time intervals
Ice sheet topography3 - highLong time for mapping.X-band SAR for interferometry between images taken at time intervals
Land cover3 - highNo specific limitation.X-band SAR
Land surface topography3 - highLong time for mapping.X-band SAR for interferometry between images taken at time intervals
Oil spill cover1 - primaryInfrequent coverage.X-band SAR
Sea-ice cover1 - primaryNo specific limitation.X-band SAR
Sea-ice elevation4 - fairNo specific limitation.X-band SAR. Sea ice elevation measured by interferometry
Sea-ice thickness4 - fairChange detection only.X-band SAR. Sea ice elevation measured by interferometry. Thickness inferred by ice model
Sea-ice type2 - very highNo specific limitation.X-band SAR. Type interpreted as age/roughness
Snow cover3 - highThick snow only.. Infrequent coverage.X-band SAR
Snow status (wet/dry)4 - fairThick snow only.. Infrequent coverage.X-band SAR
Snow water equivalent3 - highChange detection only.. Infrequent coverage.X-band SAR. SWE is retrieved by grigging with data from ground networks
Soil moisture at surface3 - highStrongly affected by vegetation.. Infrequent coverage.X-band SAR
Soil type3 - highNo specific limitation.X-band SAR
Vegetation type5 - marginalNo specific limitation.X-band SAR