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Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Mission employs Synthetic Aperture Radar to study global environment

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Abstract

Science data acquired by the first of at least two spaceborne imaging radar-C, X-band synthetic aperture radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) flights are being used by the international science community to better understand the global environment and how it is changing. The unique perspective of space and the multiparameter capabilities of SIR-C/X-SAR allow exploration of the planet in a way that has never before been possible. The first SIR-C/X-SAR mission provided a synoptic view of changes on a short temporal scale and a baseline from which longer-term changes can be assessed in the future. The data acquired, in conjunction with aircraft and ground studies, will help to validate algorithms used to produce maps of vegetation type, biomass, and stand conditions; snow, soil, and vegetation moisture; and the distribution of wetlands.

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