AO – Innovative Research and Development of Applications Using RADARSAT-1

Spaceborne C-Band SAR data is one of the few forms of information available that can actually image the hidden ocean surface details of an approaching hurricane. The eye of the hurricane and the surface impression that it causes, along with the rain bands are often quite apparent in the SAR imagery. The importance of the water/air interface zone has been long recognized as a determining factor gauging the strength and force of an approaching hurricane as it builds its momentum. However, obtaining actual data of this interface has been elusive. Although excellent imagery of the topside of hurricanes has been available for decades from NOAA, and more recently data through the vertical columns of the cloud mass, the complementary imagery of a hurricane’s surface effects are rare.

The Canadian Space Agency has been collecting RADARSAT-1 data over hurricanes under the “Hurricane Watch” program since 1998. Over this period, 160 hurricane and typhoon images were selected and processed from this unique library focusing on the eye of the storm or edge of the eye from different parts of the world.

This valuable dataset could afford researchers an opportunity to identify new approaches, applications and potential for studying hurricane dynamics. This new research will also help investigators become better prepared for using the more advanced data from missions like RADARSAT-2 and other international missions in the future.

As the sponsors for this initiative, the CSA, in cooperation with CSTARS, NOAA and NASA, will be offering to make available to the international research community extensive RADARSAT-1 imagery free of charge to encourage innovative new developments. CSTARS will be hosting the database on behalf of the sponsors for the duration of the project. Other interested sponsoring agencies may be joining and contributing to this AO in the future.

This opportunity will be open to the international research community for consideration. The full Announcement of Opportunity is now available: (HTML document) / (PDF document). It has details and guidelines for the submission of Letters of Intent, followed by the preparation and submission of proposals for the selection of the research projects that will be chosen for support in the form of free imagery.

Contact:Dr. Steve Iris
Earth Observation Applications Development Program
Space Technologies

Author: EARSC

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