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UAVSAR – Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar

Friday, May 9, 2014

The L-band SAR onboard the AFRC C-20 aircraft (NASA 502) has successfully completed the month-long deployment to New Orleans, Panama, Peru, and Chile. Both the aircraft; the L‑band SAR worked extremely well, and the weather was mostly favorable. We successfully completed 19 of the 20 planned science flights over 10 of 11 planned countries for 95.4 total hours; research topics included volcanic deformation, forest structure, soil moisture, glacier motion, and coastal subsidence. We were not able to acquire data in Ecuador because the diplomatic clearance was not provided in time. Preliminary assessment of radar data and DGPS data while on deployment verified that we had good flight path performance and radar stability for repeat-pass interferometry.

We conducted 3 outreach events each in Santiago Chile and Lima, Peru where we visited CONICYT (the Chilean NSF), CONIDA (the Peruvian Space Agency), World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) of Peru, Universidad Tecnologica del Peru, and hosted two tours of the aircraft for Chilean research scientists and high school students. Most of the outreach events were coordinated by US Embassy personnel in Chile and Peru. The visits generated much interest in both countries as imaging radar technology for environmental remote sensing is a relatively new technology in both countries.