Australia’s Cooperative Research Council for Spatial Information (CRCSI) recently completed a joint international project to investigate challenges associated with satellite based radar data (Synthetic Aperture Radar or SAR). SAR uses radar reflected radar signals from multiple satellite passes to create 3D images of landscapes that are possible during cloud or lack of sunlight.
The project’s report, Collaborative Synthetic Aperture Radar Solutions for Australia, concludes that Australia’s geographical location allows it to act as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region where potential SAR applications and markets are numerous.
SAR Earth Observation (EO) data, whilst different to traditional optical EO data, is highly advantageous in being unaffected by cloud cover or lack of sunlight, therefore ensuring users can obtain critical data when required.
Australia’s geographical location allows it to act as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region where potential SAR applications and markets are numerous.”
The project was conducted on behalf of the UK Space Agency and led by the UK based Satellite Applications Catapult and aims to lay the foundations for future opportunities in the wider Asia-Pacific region.
The CRCSI worked in conjunction with Geoscience Australia and CSIRO, along with UK companies CGG Services (UK) Ltd – NPA Satellite Mapping (NPA), Environment Systems and Carbomap and Aberystwyth University to investigate the technical and commercial feasibility of leveraging satellite derived services through a geospatial data infrastructure.
The project partners are developing a multidimensional database for SAR data – or what they refer to as ‘data cube’ or ‘SARcube’. With increased accessibility of data, infrastructure such as this will open up SAR data exploitation to a new range of users including agriculture, water management and forestry.