UAVSAR aboard the NASA502 has successfully completed the Gabon deployment and returned to Palmdale, CA on Sunday, March 13. In all, we conducted 8 science flights in Gabon for terrestrial ecology study in coordination with Goddard’s LVIS lidar instrument and the European Space Agency’s two airborne radars from Germany and France respectively to support future NASA space missions (NISAR and GEDI). We also managed to acquire some opportunistic data for wetland delineation over Ogooue River for the NISAR mission science team.
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UAVSAR/NASA502 had successfully completed four flights in Gabon on February 25, 27, 28 and March 1 respectively. So far we have acquired excellent data over every site we have planned, including the German Space Agency (DLR) Cal/Val sites in Mondah and Rabi, Lope National Park, the Ogooue River Basin and mangroves for both hydrology and terrestrial ecology study, and the Pongara hydrology study site near Libreville. Here is a NASA press release of our deployment to measure forests to Gabon:
The L-band radar aboard the JSC G-III aircraft successfully completed four local California flights in support of Sacramento Levee monitoring and San Andreas Fault monitoring flight requests. The radar and the aircraft’s Precision Platform Autopilot (PPA) system both performed very well and the radar was off-loaded at Armstrong’s Palmdale facility before the JSC G-III returned to Texas for annual maintenance and astronaut return mission.
Permafrost observation was conducted on Monday Oct. 5. This was accomplished by swapping the radar pods back at Palmdale last Friday and conducting an engineering/calibration flight on Saturday to certify the L-band radar aboard NASA992.
UAVSAR onboard the Armstrong Gulfstream III jet was featured in the September issue of Air and Space Smithsonian in an article entitled, “Disaster Prevention in A Gulfstream — earthquakes, volcanoes, mudslides: airborne radar watches all the ways the earth moves.” This article (see attached) was written by science journalist Alex Witze based on interviews she conducted last year with UAVSAR science investigators Bruce Chapman, Andrea Donnellan, Cathleen Jones, Eric Fielding, and Paul Lundgren.
Last week on June 10-11, we completed the third phase of the Europe campaign where we flew three sorties out of Stavanger, Norway, to participate in a Norwegian controlled oil spill test in the North Sea. We acquired L-band polarimetric SAR imagery over small controlled spills of different emulsions to develop and validate a SAR-based capability to accurately measure oil volumetric fraction for future spill response (PI: Cathleen Jones).
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 successfully completed the Iceland deployment to study the mechanics of glacier flow and their response to changing climate (PI: Mark Simons and Brent Minchew of Caltech) and volcanic deformation processes over Bardarbunga and Askja volcanoes (PI: Paul Lundgren of JPL). The glacier study is a follow-on observation of previous UAVSAR deployments in summer 2012 and winter 2014. Six of the eight flights were repeat observations of the same glaciers, which will provide a great data set for studying glacier dynamics from 1 day to 7 days apart.
The L-band radar aboard the AFRC G-III departed for the 25-day Iceland/Germany/Norway deployment on Tuesday, May 19. We will spend 12 days in Iceland where 6 glacier and 2 volcano flights will be flown (PIs: Mark Simons and Paul Lundgren respectively). We will then transit to Munich, Germany and conduct two observations over two German forest sites in collaboration with DLR (PI: Scott Hensley). We will arrive in Stavanger, Norway on June 7 to participate in the week-long international North Sea Oil Spill exercise where scientists will use L-band polarimetric SAR imagery acquired over a c
The L-band radar flew over the Napa Valley earthquake area on October 20 to observe post-seismic activities. Journalists from the Discovery Channel of Canada was onboard the flight with UAVSAR Principal Investigator, Andrea Donnellan to film a news segment for the “Future Tech” series featuring UAVSAR. Data acquired on that flight were processed within a week and browse interferogram showed post-seismic fault slippage on the order of 6 cm since our last observation on August 29. This preliminary result (see attached image) was presented at the UAVSAR workshop last week.