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Improving UAVSAR Results with GPS, Radiometry, and QUAKES Topographic Imager

Donnellan, A., Y. Lou, C. Padgett, A. Tanner, B. Hawkins, J. Parker, A. Ansar, M. Heflin, J. Green, and R. Muellerschoen (2019), Improving UAVSAR Results with GPS, Radiometry, and QUAKES Topographic Imager, 2019 IEEE Aerospace Conference.

UAVSAR is NASA’s airborne interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) platform. The instrument has been used to detect deformation from earthquakes, volcanoes, oil pumping, landslides, water withdrawal, landfill compaction, and glaciers. It has been used to detect scars from wildfires and damage from debris flows. The instrument performs well for large changes or for local small changes. Determining subtle changes over large areas requires improved instrumentation and processing. We are working to improve the utility of UAVSAR by including GPS station position results in the processing chain, and adding a topographic imager to improve estimates of topography, 3D change, and damage. We are also exploring the benefit of microwave radiometry to mitigating error from water vapor path delay. A goal is to determine 3D tectonic deformation to millimeters per year at ~100 km plate boundary scales and to understand surface processes in areas of decorrelated radar imagery.