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Training course: Accessing and Using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Data

News Item 2020 Earth Observation

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data can be acquired day and night, even in cloudy conditions, providing a dense time-series suitable for trend analysis and change detection.  Environmental applications for SAR data include:

  • forest inventory, biomass estimation and condition monitoring
  • emergency response to floods and landslides
  • habitat and crop mapping
  • soil moisture monitoring
  • offshore infrastructure and vessel monitoring
  • detection of pollution such as oil spills and illegal waste

The UK public sector is starting to use SAR data to support environmental policy delivery, but user consultation showed that further skill development is needed to fully exploit potential.

JNCC is organising a course of training sessions on understanding, accessing and using SAR data.  The training will be delivered by Iain Woodhouse, Professor of Applied Earth Observation at the University of Edinburgh and author of Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing.  The course is suitable for beginners and consists of four sessions via Zoom from 14:00 to 16:00 on the 9, 11, 16 and 18 November. 

Registration for the training sessions has now closed.  Participants will be sent Zoom links and other information by email before the start date.

The course will cover:

  • Brief history, fundamentals of EM waves, polarisation, combination of waves.
  • How microwaves interact with surface features, surface roughness, moisture content, vegetation.
  • How radar builds an image, data properties, unique challenges of radar, geometric distortions.
  • How to find data (EO Browser, Defra EO Data Service, CEDA Archive) and process data (e.g. SNAP Toolbox)

Guest speakers from the Marine Management Organisation, Natural Resources Wales, the Environment Agency and Forest Research will present case studies of how their organisations are using SAR data. 

There will also be a two-hour follow up Q&A session after the end of the course.

This training is funded by the Caroline Herschel Framework Partnership Agreement on Copernicus User Uptake.




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