BENEFIT ASSESSMENT OF COMMERCIAL SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADAR OBSERVATIONS FOR NASA’S SURFACE DEFORMATION AND CHANGE MISSION STUDY
Keywords: Synthetic Aperture Radar, Commercial SAR, Surface Deformation and Change
Abstract. The Surface Deformation and Change (SDC) mission study is investigating a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mission that is expected to launch in the next decade, building on the foundation established by the NASA ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission. Since 2019, the SDC study team has updated the observation needs identified by the 2017 Earth Science Decadal Survey, developing a Science and Applications Traceability Matrix (SATM) that includes an expanded set of geophysical observables (GOs). These needs were further refined by a team of discipline experts, resulting in 48 GOs. For each GO, imaging characteristics such as revisit, accuracy, resolution, polarisation, data latency, are defined in the SATM. This paper describes the benefit assessment methodology, provides an example to generate current commercial feasibility scores for each GO in the SATM, even though the SDC mission will not be launched until the next decade. This methodology generates a quantitative assessment of commercial SAR data in meeting the measurement needs of a GO defined in SDC's SATM. Our assessment suggests that current commercial SAR data are particularly useful for constraining geophysical processes that benefit from short-repeat acquisition times and high spatial resolution.