NASA's airborne- and satellite-based instruments provide data that can be used in understanding a number of natural disasters, including flooding, cyclonic storms, earthquakes and landslides. However, during disasters, conditions are often not ideal for making observations using optical sensors. Synthetic aperture radar, or SAR, which uses the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum, is ideal in that it can penetrate cloud cover and "see through" darkness and weather, allowing a unique view of flood inundation, land cover changes, and modifications of the Earth's surface from landslides, earthquakes, and background tectonic motion.
NASA data are free and open, but can be challenging to use. NASA's Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) program and Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) have developed resources and tools to overcome this challenge. Resources were developed for a Geological Society of America and American Geophysical Union workshops, NASA Data Made Easy: Getting Started with SAR.
NASA SAR Resources
- Search and Download SAR data in Earthdata Search
- Search and Download SAR data from NASA's Alaska Satellite Facility DAAC (ASF DAAC)
- What is Remote Sensing?
- What is SAR?
- Webinar: Part 1- Introduction to Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Data
- Webinar: Part 2- Applications of SAR Data in GIS Environments
SAR Datasets for Disasters-related Applications
Tools for Generating and Working with Analysis-Ready SAR Datasets
- On-demand Radiometric Terrain Correction (RTC) Processing in ASF DAAC's Vertex
- RTC on Demand Story Map
- Hybrid Pluggable Processing Pipeline (HyP3)
- ASF DAAC's ArcGIS Toolbox
- ASF DAAC's Data Recipes
- Exploring Sentinel-1 InSAR: Getting to Know On-Demand InSAR Products from ASF
Presentations Available on the Earthdata YouTube Playlist NASA Data Made Easy:
- Introduction to SAR
- Discover Earth Science Resources at NASA Earthdata
- GIS Applications of SAR: Flood Mapping
- Measuring Fault Parameters and Slip Using GeoGateway Online Tools