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Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of TechnologyAIRSAR Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar
Data Format


AIRSAR Data Modes
POLSAR Data Operation Mode

In POLSAR mode, fully polarimetric data are acquired at all three frequencies in P-, L-, C-band for 40 Mhz or 20 Mhz.  The L-band also provides 80 MHz bandwidth data.   Fully polarimetric means that radar waves are transmitted and received in both horizontal (H) and vertical (V) polarizations.  POLSAR data are sensitive to the geometry (including vegetation) and dielectrical properties (water content) of the terrain.


TOPSAR Data Operation Mode

In TOPSAR mode, AIRSAR collects interferometric data using C- and L-band vertically-displaced antenna pairs to produce digital elevation models (DEM's). The radars which are not being used for interferometry (P-band for XTI2 or P-band and L-band for XTI1) collect quad-pol data co-registered with the C-band DEM.  Interferometric data can be collected in "ping-pong" mode, where each antenna is used alternately for transmit and the effective baseline is doubled, and in "common-transmitter" mode where only one antenna is used for transmit.


ATI Data Operation Mode (Experimental)

Data collected in the along-track interferometry (ATI) mode can be used to measure ocean current velocities.  Two pairs of antennas, one C-band and one L-band, separated along the body of the plane, are used to collect ATI data.