DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF SMALL SPACEBORNE SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADARS

Space Studies Board

National Research Council



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DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF SMALL SPACEBORNE SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADARS DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF SMALL SPACEBORNE SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADARS Space Studies Board National Research Council

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DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF SMALL SPACEBORNE SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADARS DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF SMALL SPACEBORNE SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADARS Committee on Earth Studies Space Studies Board Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1998

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DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF SMALL SPACEBORNE SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADARS NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by Contract NASW 96013 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor. Copyright 1998 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Copies of this report are available from Space Studies Board National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America

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DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF SMALL SPACEBORNE SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADARS COMMITTEE ON EARTH STUDIES MARK R. ABBOTT, Oregon State University, Chair OTIS B. BROWN, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science DANIEL J. JACOB, Harvard University CHRISTIAN J. JOHANNSEN, Purdue University VICTOR V. KLEMAS, University of Delaware M. PATRICK McCORMICK, Hampton University BRUCE D. MARCUS, TRW ARAM M. MIKA, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space RICHARD K. MOORE, University of Kansas DALLAS L. PECK, U.S. Geological Survey (retired) WALTER S. SCOTT, EarthWatch GRAEME L. STEPHENS, Colorado State University KATHRYN D. SULLIVAN, Columbus Ohio's Center of Science and Industry FAWWAZ T. ULABY, University of Michigan THOMAS T. WILHEIT, JR., Texas A&M University EDWARD F. ZALEWSKI, University of Arizona ARTHUR A. CHARO, Senior Program Officer INA B. ALTERMAN, Senior Program Officer (from May 1997) CARMELA J. CHAMBERLAIN, Senior Project Assistant

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DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF SMALL SPACEBORNE SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADARS SPACE STUDIES BOARD CLAUDE R. CANIZARES, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair MARK R. ABBOTT, Oregon State University JAMES P. BAGIAN,* Environmental Protection Agency DANIEL N. BAKER, University of Colorado LAWRENCE BOGORAD, Harvard University DONALD E. BROWNLEE, University of Washington JOHN J. DONEGAN,* John Donegan Associates, Inc. GERARD W. ELVERUM, JR., TRW Space and Technology Group ANTHONY W. ENGLAND, University of Michigan MARILYN L. FOGEL, Carnegie Institution of Washington MARTIN E. GLICKSMAN,* Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute RONALD GREELEY, Arizona State University BILL GREEN, former member, U.S. House of Representatives ANDREW H. KNOLL, Harvard University JANET G. LUHMANN,* University of California, Berkeley ROBERTA BALSTAD MILLER, CIESIN BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire KENNETH H. NEALSON,* University of Wisconsin MARY JANE OSBORN, University of Connecticut Health Center SIMON OSTRACH, Case Western Reserve University MORTON B. PANISH, AT&T Bell Laboratories (retired) CARLÉ M. PIETERS, Brown University THOMAS A. PRINCE, California Institute of Technology MARCIA J. RIEKE,* University of Arizona PEDRO L. RUSTAN, JR., U.S. Air Force (retired) JOHN A. SIMPSON, Enrico Fermi Institute GEORGE L. SISCOE, Boston University EDWARD M. STOLPER, California Institute of Technology RAYMOND VISKANTA, Purdue University ROBERT E. WILLIAMS, Space Telescope Science Institute JOSEPH K. ALEXANDER, Director (as of February 17, 1998) MARC S. ALLEN, Director (through December 12, 1997) * Former member.

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DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF SMALL SPACEBORNE SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADARS COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS ROBERT J. HERMANN, United Technologies Corporation, Co-chair W. CARL LINEBERGER, University of Colorado, Co-chair PETER M. BANKS, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan WILLIAM BROWDER, Princeton University LAWRENCE D. BROWN, University of Pennsylvania RONALD G. DOUGLAS, Texas A&M University JOHN E. ESTES, University of California at Santa Barbara MARTHA P. HAYNES, Cornell University L. LOUIS HEGEDUS, Elf Atochem North America, Inc. JOHN E. HOPCROFT, Cornell University CAROL M. JANTZEN, Westinghouse Savannah River Company PAUL G. KAMINSKI, Technovation, Inc. KENNETH H. KELLER, University of Minnesota KENNETH I. KELLERMANN, National Radio Astronomy Observatory MARGARET G. KIVELSON, University of California at Los Angeles DANIEL KLEPPNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN KREICK, Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company MARSHA I. LESTER, University of Pennsylvania NICHOLAS P. SAMIOS, Brookhaven National Laboratory CHANG-LIN TIEN, University of California at Berkeley NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director

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DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF SMALL SPACEBORNE SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADARS Foreword Observations of Earth from space have value for scientific research, for commerce, and for the public welfare. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is one sophisticated observational technique receiving rapidly increased attention from all three sectors in the United States, Europe, and Japan. A major impediment to rapid exploitation of SAR has been the cost associated with orbiting the massive and complex instrumentation that has heretofore been necessary. This report addresses issues associated with achieving effective SAR capabilities in the context of a “smaller, faster, cheaper” implementation, a so-called “small SAR.” The report assesses the current state of the technology and the science, and it makes recommendations designed to enhance the success of a small-SAR program. These include the need to focus the mission objectives and concentrate on key enabling technologies, which are important characteristics of achieving more efficient and cost-effective missions in other areas of space research as well. Other considerations about necessary additional research, the interaction between research and commercial interests, and international coordination are more specific to SAR. Success in implementing a more affordable SAR could have profound implications for understanding our planet ecology, the assessment of natural disasters, and commercial agriculture, to name a few. This report is intended to aid in achieving that potential. Claude R. Canizares, Chair Space Studies Board

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DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF SMALL SPACEBORNE SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADARS Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's (NRC's) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The contents of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Herbert Friedman, E.O. Hulbert Center for Space Research, Naval Research Laboratory, Gordon Pettengill, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jack L. Walker, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan, and R. Keith Raney, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. While the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC.

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