BackForwardInstrument:  W-SAR 

Instrument details
Acronym W-SAR
Full name W-SAR
Purpose All-weather high resolution observation of land and ocean features
Short description X-band SAR with frequency around 9.5 GHz. Variable resolution and swath. Details not yet available
Background Consolidated technology
Scanning Technique Pushbroom, side looking. Swath selectable to 40 km, 80 km or 150 km
Resolution Selectable to 1 m, 5 m or 10 m, depending on the associated swath
Coverage / Cycle Depending on the utilised mode and the duty cycle. Best case: 1.5 months
Mass Power Data Rate

 

Providing Agency CAST
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: ≥2020 to ≥2028
Last update: 2016-06-29
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 direction2 - very highInfrequent coverage.X-band SAR. Variable measured by spectral analysis of "imagettes"
Dominant wave period2 - very highInfrequent coverage.X-band SAR. Variable measured by spectral analysis of "imagettes"
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
Significant wave height3 - highHighly indirect.. Infrequent coverage.X-band SAR. Retrieved by spectral analysis of "imagettes". Boundary condition necessary for the retrieval
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
Wave directional energy frequency spectrum2 - very highInfrequent coverage.X-band SAR. Variable measured by spectral analysis of "imagettes"