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Radar Techniques for Earth Continuous Observation: Systems and Processing

Type of activity
Competitive project
Acronym
RECOSYP
Funding entity
AGENCIA ESTATAL DE INVESTIGACION
Funding entity code
PID2020-117303GB-C21
Amount
92.928,00 €
Start date
2021-09-01
End date
2024-08-31
Abstract
Continuous observation of the Earth, as it would be possible with a geosynchronous SAR (GEOSAR), exhibits a huge potential in many
scientific domains. A paradigmatic case is the water cycle over agricultural areas, in which surface soil moisture changes rapidly within
hours, showing a clear daily cycle, and days, following a drying trend until new irrigation is applied or there is a rain event. Simultaneously,
plants also affect the water cycle, both with a daily cycle and with a varying impact along the growth season. The separation of these
processes and its application to estimate bio- and geophysical variables could be carried out by exploiting GEOSAR data.
Therefore, the first overall objective of this project is to demonstrate how, from data obtained by radar systems with Earth continuous
observation capacity, new techniques can be developed that allow the retrieval of surface soil moisture and vegetation parameters in
scenes with vegetation. To achieve this, a complete set of radar data are currently being obtained in a measurement campaign (HydroSoil), funded by ESA, acquired in an agricultural field under controlled conditions, using a ground based
fully polarimetric SAR instrument (GB-PolSAR) with a temporal resolution of 10 minutes, able to simulate a continuous Earth observation
SAR system.
Apart from the future contribution of GEOSAR systems, many EO applications that can be improved notably by combining time series of
radar data (acquired by current satellites) from different sources: different satellites (frequency bands and spatial resolutions) or acquired
under different configurations (incidence angles and ascending/descending orbits), or in different modes (interferometric and polarimetric).
This alternative does not provide a strict continuous observation, like a GEOSAR does, but increases the refresh rate of information and
enlarges the observation space by complementary data along the data four diversity axes: time, frequency, polarisation, and phase
(interferometry).
This second strategy will be addressed by exploiting numerous sets of satellite data already available, with associated reference data.
Special emphasis will be placed on Sentinel-1, due to its open access policy and 6-day revisit time, and PAZ, the Spanish radar satellite,
which shows an evident interest for the Spanish government and industry. Methods, algorithms, and software developed in previous
projects will serve as starting points to develop new and improved retrieval techniques based on this type of multi-source radar data.
The project team is composed of groups from the Universitat Poliècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and University of Alicante (UA), with known
experience in systems, techniques, and applications of SAR, which have successfully collaborated in previous projects. The coordination
between both teams allows to define the following objectives for the project:
1) New knowledge in the sensitivity of GEOSAR data to physical variables of soil and vegetation.
2) New retrieval algorithms for GEOSAR data to estimate physical variables of soil and vegetation.
3) Contribution to the definition of technical aspects of GEOSAR systems.
4) New fusion techniques and improved products based on SAR data from multiple LEOSAR sensors.
5) Increased transfer of Earth Observation results and technology to the scientific community, the industry, and the society.
Keywords
Data Fusion, GEOSAR, GeoSAR, Radar Interferometry, Radar Polarimetry, Radar de apertura sintética, Synthetic Aperture Radar, fusión de datos, interferometría y polarimetría Radar
Scope
Adm. Estat
Plan
PLAN ESTATAL DE INVESTIGACIÓN CIENTÍFICA Y TÉCNICA Y DE INNOVACIÓN 2017-2020
Resoluton year
2021
Funcding program
PROGRAMA ESTATAL DE I+D+I ORIENTADA A LOS RETOS DE LA SOCIEDAD
Funding call
RETOS DE INVESTIGACIÓN: PROYECTOS DE I+D+I
Grant institution
Agencia Estatal De Investigacion

Participants