Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar

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In this essay I intend to describe the technical specifics of ASAR, describe its remote sensing technique, examine measurements made by ASAR as well as discuss future measurements, and discuss the importance of ASAR’s measurements.

Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) is an advanced model of the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instrument. ASAR was launched on the European Space Agency (ESA) mission ENVISAT in 2002. ENVISAT is used for Earth observation. The ASAR instrument is an active remote sensor used to study features of the Earth such as sea surface winds, topography of the Earth and natural hazards.

ASAR is able to transmit several hundred pulses while ENVISAT passes over a certain object. These pulses backscatter (reflect) in many different directions due to the shape and composition of the object that is being studied. The backscattered pulses can be manipulated using signal processing to produce an image that would have only previously been obtained by placing a large antenna in orbit, which would be too expensive. ASAR therefore provides a cheaper alternative for high resolution imaging of the Earth by creating a synthetic aperture.

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