NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 13.08-0094

PROJECT TITLE: Addressing Critical Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Challenges

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Vexcel Corporation proposes to directly address several of the most critical and challenging problems limiting the utility and use of repeat-pass interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR). The proposed solutions to these challenges range from new processing algorithms, to new uses for existing or soon-to-exist data, to entirely new measurements which may become extremely valuable for IFSAR calibration. Specifically we address the problems of coherence limitations, accurate determination of interferometric baselines, and atmospheric artifacts. With respect to coherence and phase unwrapping, Vexcel will develop a new techniques to correct coherence and phase calculations for local terrain slopes thereby reducing phase noise and achieving improved interferograms that may be more easily unwrapped. For baseline determination, Vexcel will investigate the issues associated with using Shuttle Radar Terrain Mapping (SRTM) data to achieve automatic ground control point generation. Finally, Vexcel will investigate using radar and other remote sensing techniques adopted from the meteorological community for providing data that will be useful for interpreting atmospheric effects within interferometric SAR data. We expect the results from this SBIR will significantly improve the utility of interferometric data, and facilitate the development of new ideas, possibly from fields other than SAR, for improving IFSAR data products.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The results of the Phase II effort will be directly applicable to Vexcel Corporation's interferometric SAR processing system, which is currently one of the few commercially available IFSAR processing systems in the world. Ease of use, increased reliability and automation will contribute to increased sales. In addition, the results from this SBIR work will have direct application into the NASA science community. The challenges addressed and their solutions will be applicable to data from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topographic Mapping mission, as well as other spaceborne SAR sensors such as Radarsat, ERS, and JERS, and most importantly from future sensors such as LightSAR, Envisat and Radarsat-2. The ability to produce improved data products will also greatly increase the utility and demand for IFSAR products, thus reducing the cost of production of higher level data products, and enabling increased commercial data production and sales

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Richard Carande
Vexcel Corporation
4909 Nautilus Court
Boulder , CO 80301

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Vexcel Corporation
4909 Nautilus Court
Boulder , CO 80301