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. 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 ran a series of very popular and successful online training sessions last month (November 2020), aiming to build knowledge and skills in using satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data for environmental applications.
The training was delivered by Iain Woodhouse, Professor of Applied Earth Observation at the University of Edinburgh and author of Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing. Guest speakers from the Environment Agency, Marine Management Organisation and Natural Resources Wales presented case studies about how their organisations are using SAR data.
Attended by 76 participants from 31 different organisations, the training sessions received excellent feedback. One participant said: "I thought the teaching style was excellent. Very clear, just the right speed, and hugely informative. Prof Iain Woodhouse managed to enthuse the audience about both the science and the application potential of radar. I was really impressed with how clearly he communicated complicated physical processes, and even made it seem exciting!!"
Environmental applications for SAR data include monitoring habitats, crops and soil moisture; planning emergency response to floods and landslides; and detecting oil spills, offshore infrastructure and marine vessels. All participants who gave feedback said that attending the training sessions had made them more likely to use SAR data in their work in future.
Videos of the four training sessions can be accessed from our Resource Hub, along with the slides from the guest speakers’ presentations.
This training is funded by the Caroline Herschel Framework Partnership Agreement on Copernicus User Uptake.