InSAR Experiments in Arctic Alaska


Project Personel

Main Contact: Dr. Reginald R. Muskett
Scientific Personel: Reginald R. Muskett
Collaborators: Dr. Go Iwahana (IARC)
Partner Organizations: NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), NASA Grant NNX17AC57A
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
International Arctic Research Center

Project duration: 
01/01/2017 - 12/31/2019

Project Summary

InSAR Experiments in Arctic Alaska, a side project of the Thermokarst and Carbon project (Iwahana, Muskett, Busey) explores Synthetic Aperture RADAR interferometry and multi-polarimetry physics at locations on the North Slope and Seward Peninsula of Alaska. We employ data from the aircraft sorties UAVSAR and AirMOSS (JPL) during summer 2017 and those in planning for summer 2019 with satellite-based SAR currently ALOS PALSAR (1 and 2). The goal of the experiments is to derive understanding of the interferometric and polarimetric interactions on Permafrost and Periglacial materials in regard to RADAR surface and volume scattering mechanisms and variations of material properties due to distrubances e.g. fire, mass-movement and vegetation. For RADAR atmosphere corrections to remove effects of the troposphere and ionosphere we employ NOAA NCEP reanalysis and forcast datasets. As in our previous studies with satellite-based microwave passive radiometry we noting effects from sources of terrestrial microwave interference such as ground-based civilian-military RADAR installations and communications microwave networks.

Figure 1. Checking geolocation coordinates of the UAVSAR L-frequency acquisition of 16 September 2017 on the Anaktuvuk tundra wildfire scar, North Slope Alaska. The left-side image shows the three-channel polimeteric composite (Red HHHH, Green HHVV and Blue VVVV) and the right-side image shows the USGS IfSAR DEM (5 m spatial resolution) on a thaw lake withing the fire scar. Tundra is a RADAR-soft target due to the penatration of the RADAR showing volume scattering (HHVV) whereas stream channel gravels and rock outcrops are RADAR-hard targets due to surface scattering (HHHH and VVVV) and no penetration.


InSAR Experiments in Arctic Alaska. Presented at the NASA ABoVE Science Team Meeting, 22-26 January 2018 (pdf link below).


JPL AirMOSS (P-frequency) and UAVSAR (L-frequency) SAR, interferometry and multi-channel polarimetry.


NOAA NCEP reanalysis and forecast datasets.

GNSS (GPS and GLONASS) (in planning for 2019).