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SAR inteferometry with seasonally changing snow cover
Cranfield University.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Embedded Internet Systems Lab.
Itasca Consultants AB.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Embedded Internet Systems Lab.
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2011 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Spaceborne radar interferometry is an established and very powerful method of measuring land subsidence over timescales of weeks to years. It has been demonstrated on natural and urban landscapes and is becoming an operational technique with accuracy better than 1 cm yr-1. The technique generally relies on having scatterers (which reflect the radar signal) which have stable properties over the timescale of interest. In some landscapes these scatterers occur naturally. However, at high latitudes there are particular difficulties because of the strong seasonal variation in the landcover – snow cover in particular can vary dramatically over periods of weeks to months – and the satellite orbits have particular features which are not generally significant at lower latitudes. It is unlikely that natural scatterers will be stable over long periods in these areas. The aim of this project is to develop methods of SAR interferometry suitable for use in landscapes with seasonal snow cover. The project has two themes: (1) improved understanding of SAR imaging at high latitudes and the use of interferometry in such landscapes, and (2) the development of artificial radar targets which can provide the necessary stability for long-term surface deformation monitoring. The sponsor runs a large mining operation at high latitudes. The study has a practical focus and is part of a larger project to provide a mining subsidence monitoring service for the sponsor. The project’s aim is to achieve accurate monitoring of subsidence using radar interferometry at high latitudes. Techniques developed should be suitable for operational use. Test site The experiment test site is centred on the town of Kiruna in northern Sweden (67° 51’ N, 20° 13’ E). The ground is covered with snow (to a depth of 1 m or more) from October to May each year, and so the winter and summer periods have very different land cover properties. The site includes the town of Kiruna, a large mine, and areas of natural sparse forest with mainly birch and some coniferous trees up to several metres tall. Datasets Available Several datasets are available to support the research, these include: • GPS measurements from a network of control points • General weather observations • Mapping data for land cover / land use and topography • SAR images at approximately monthly intervals from 2009 (Radarsat-2, using up to 3 satellite tracks for imaging) • A network of corner reflectors across the test area The core data analysis tool is the MDA software package designed for processing Radarsat images (for both backscatter and interferometric products). The key resource for the research is the time series of high resolution SAR images suitable for interferometric processing, which allows seasonal changes in backscatter to be observed directly. Methodology The project requires a mix of simulation and practical design and fieldwork. The main contributions will be in the area of target specification, design and validation. Achievements to date The project started late in 2009 and the main emphasis so far has been to establish the datasets needed for the research. Radarsat-2 images have been acquired and are being processed to derive interferometric products and to register them to standard projections compatible with each other and ancillary data. Field observations complementing the satellite imaging are also being made. Acknowledgements The project is sponsored in full by the LKAB mining company.The project also benefits from technical advice of MDA.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Research subject
Industrial Electronics
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-39424Local ID: e2ee2478-d6aa-4aad-ade1-52c1282b4812OAI: diva2:1012936
International Workshop on "Advances in the Science and Applications of SAR Interferometry" : FRINGE 2011 Workshop 19/09/2011 - 23/09/2011
Godkänd; 2011; 20111205 (tore)Available from: 2016-10-03 Created: 2016-10-03Bibliographically approved

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