InSAR Monitoring Considerations
Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites are built for a variety of purposes from measuring sea ice, military applications, agricultural monitoring, ground displacement monitoring, and more. The primary mission of each satellite dictates the characteristics of the radar. Each sensor has different parameters balanced to achieve the ideal observation scenario. These include spatial resolution, wavelength, and revisit time. Typically, resolution has the most impact on pricing. By choosing the right parameters at the outset of a project, a balance between resolution, wavelength, and budget can be achieved.
Spatial resolution dictates the density of measurements in an area. However, high spatial resolution isn’t always necessary for a project. Spatial resolution is inversely proportional to the overall dimensions of the footprint; the higher the resolution, the smaller the area of land covered by the footprint. For large areas of interest, such as counties, municipalities, or provinces, a lower resolution option may be more suitable. Conversely, a higher resolution may be better suited if the asset or overall area of interest is small. For example, pipelines, roadways, and dams may only measure a few metres across. In these cases, higher resolution imagery may be more appropriate.