BackForwardInstrument:  S-SAR 

Instrument details
Acronym S-SAR
Full name S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar
Purpose High-resolution all-weather imagery, specifically suited for soil moisture and biomass
Short description Operating frequency: 3.1-3.3 GHz. Polarisation: HH, VV, HV and VH, with provision of co- and cross-polar information. Duty cycle: 2-3 minutes per orbit (about 800 km). See details in table.
Background New development, aiming at demonstrating SAR on a mini-satellite.
Scanning Technique Push-broom, side-looking. Incidence angle, resolution and swath shown in the table below.
Resolution 6 to 30 m, depending on operating mode
Coverage / Cycle Global in 1 year, actually depending on operating mode and strategic use
Mass Power Data Rate

 

Providing Agency UKSA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 2018-12-16 to ≥2025
Last update: 2018-09-17
Detailed characteristics

Operation mode

Resolution

Incidence angle

Swath

Polarisation

ScanSAR

20 m

16-30°

50-100 km

HH or VV or HV or VH

Maritime Surveillance

30 m

48-73°

750 km

HH or VV or HV or VH

Stripmap

6 m

16-31°

13-20 km

HH or VV or HV or VH

ScanSAR Wide

30 m

15-32°

55-140 km

HH or VV or HV or VH

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
  • Biomass
  • Fraction of vegetated land
  • Land cover
  • Sea-ice cover
  • Snow water equivalent
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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
Biomass2 - very highIndex only.. Infrequent coverage.S-band sensitive to total biomass
Fire fractional cover3 - highInfrequent coverage.S-band SAR. High resolution, for fire boundary detection
Fraction of vegetated land5 - marginalNo specific limitation.S-band SAR
Glacier cover1 - primaryLong time for mapping.S-band SAR for accurate boundary detection
Glacier motion2 - very highInfrequent coverage.S-band SAR for interferometry between images taken at time intervals
Glacier topography2 - very highLong time for mapping.S-band SAR for interferometry between images taken at time intervals
Ice sheet topography2 - very highLong time for mapping.S-band SAR for interferometry between images taken at time intervals
Land cover5 - marginalNo specific limitation.S-band SAR
Land surface topography2 - very highLong time for mapping.S-band SAR for interferometry between images taken at time intervals
Oil spill cover2 - very highInfrequent coverage.S-band SAR
Sea-ice cover1 - primaryNo specific limitation.S-band SAR
Sea-ice elevation5 - marginalNo specific limitation.S-band SAR. Sea ice elevation measured by interferometry
Sea-ice thickness5 - marginalChange detection only.S-band SAR. Sea ice elevation measured by interferometry. Thickness inferred by ice model
Sea-ice type3 - highNo specific limitation.S-band SAR. Type interpreted as age/roughness
Snow water equivalent4 - fairChange detection only.. Infrequent coverage.S-band SAR. SWE is retrieved by grigging with data from ground networks
Soil moisture (in the roots region)2 - very highAffected by vegetation.. Infrequent coverage.S-band SAR
Soil moisture at surface2 - very highInfrequent coverage.S-band SAR
Soil type5 - marginalNo specific limitation.S-band SAR
Vegetation type5 - marginalNo specific limitation.S-band SAR