Increased Bandwidth Makes Possible Higher Resolution SAR Remote Sensing


ALOS-2 PALSAR L-band SAR intensity image of Chichawatni Irrigated Plantation region (black boundary) in Sahiwal District, Punjab province, Pakistan. The image is speckle-filtered sigma-nought dB image in false color. Data courtesy JAXA.

At the recent ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC 2015) held in Geneva, Switzerland, in Nov. 2015, earth remote sensing by Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites has received a significant boost in terms of technology. This advancement has come about as a result of the WRC approval of expansion of the bandwidth reserved for satellite-based SAR remote sensing from 600 MHz to 1200 MHz. This increase in allocated bandwidth is actually an increase in the chirping bandwidth, which improves the cross-track (range) resolution of the SAR image. The chirped (frequency modulated) signal is used for enhanced resolution imaging in the cross-track (range) direction, while the Doppler spectrum generated due to satellite motion is used for enhanced resolution imaging in the along-track (azimuth) direction. The increased bandwidth also opens up opportunities for operational-level multi-band SAR imagery, in terms of multiple frequency bands for imaging and full quad-polarimetry (HH, HV, VH, VV) data acquisition.

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About WQ

I received my PhD (2013) in Remote Sensing, Earth and Space Science at the Dept. of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, under a Fulbright fellowship. Currently, I'm an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Space Science at Institute of Space Technology (IST), Islamabad, Pakistan, where I have been a founding member of the Geospatial Research & Education Lab (GREL). My general expertise is in Remote Sensing where I have worked with various remote sensing datasets through my career, while for my PhD thesis I specifically worked on Remote Sensing using SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and Oceanography, working extensively on development of techniques to measure ocean surface currents from space-borne SAR intensity images and interferometric data. My research interests are: Remote sensing, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery and interferometric data processing & analysis, Visible/Infrared/High-resolution satellite image processing & analysis, Oceanography, Earth system study and modelling, LIDAR data processing and analysis, Scientific programming. I am a reviewer for IEEE Transactions on Geoscience & Remote Sensing, Forest Ecosystems, GIScience & Remote Sensing, Journal of African Earth Sciences, and Italian Journal of Agronomy. I am an alumnus of Pakistan National Physics Talent Contest (NPTC), an alumnus of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, a Fulbright alumnus, and the Pakistan National Point of Contact for Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). I was an invited speaker at the TEDxIslamabad event held in Nov., 2014. I've served as mentor in the NASA International Space App Challenge Islamabad events in April 2015 and April 2016.

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