Last week, we completed the second phase of the Europe campaign where we flew two sorties out of Munich, Germany over Oberpfaffenhofen Forest to test and refine repeat-pass PolInSAR and TomoSAR techniques for deriving forest height estimates and forest structure respectively (PI: Scott Hensley). The results from this study will be compared against those generated with the DLR F-SAR’s L-band radar.
We have since transited to Stavanger, Norway to participate in a Norwegian-led multinational controlled oil spill exercise (PI: Cathleen Jones and Ben Holt). We will be employing the L-band polarimetric SAR imagery acquired over a controlled oil spill on the North Sea to develop and validate a SAR-based capability to accurately measure oil volumetric fraction for future spill response. This experiment is part of the annual NOFO (the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies) Oil-On-Water exercise in the North Sea. This year international participants include Norway, Finland, France, and USA. Besides UAVSAR, the French Falcon 20 aircraft will operate its airborne SAR (SETHI) in polarimetric X-band and L-band modes and a hyperspectral imager. Researchers from Finland will also operate an airborne SAR onboard its Dornier 280-212 aircraft. Satellite imagery from Radarsat was also acquired on Wednesday, June 10.
During the second day of the exercise (June 10), we will image the controlled release of oil of 4 different densities and monitor the oil slicks as they dissipate over time. The onboard processor (OBP) will enable us to monitor in real-time the progression of the 4 oil slicks so we can adjust the flight lines to capture the oil slicks at the center of the image swath for maximum radar sensitivity.