NOAA STAR SOCD Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Products banner

STAR SOCD Water Surface Conditions / Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Products

Our Mission

The overall goal of the Water Surface Conditions (WSC) Team is to research, develop, demonstrate, and transition to operations and perform science maintenance for oceanographic and coastal products derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and SAR blended measurements. This includes perpetual water bodies such as oceans, lakes, and rivers and ephemeral flooded, snow-covered, ice-covered areas. SAR offers a unique combination of all-weather and high resolution satellite imaging that WSC is leveraging to meet NOAA and NOAA customer needs. Blending SAR with other remote sensing instruments allows for further improvements in the detection of water surface estimates.

The WSC science team product research developes operational products providing both imagery that can be applied towards weather and ocean analysis and provides quantitative measurements of open ocean parameters and other water characteristics of the surface from available SAR data. Specific objective are to:

  1. Provide Level 1B SAR imagery from current operational satellite platforms that generate SAR imagery that could be applied for weather, ocean, or fisheries analysis.
  2. Research and develop algorithms and products that are of relevance to the NOAA mission and of use to operational agencies of the U.S. Government. Develop these products into products mature enough for operational implementation. Assure that these algorithms are state-of-the-art.
  3. Be able to derive products from all the readily available SAR satellites and assess the accuracy of products derived from each.
  4. Develop algorithms and techniques for both automated and interactive products and applications.
  5. When possible, enhance algorithms and products through the use of multi-polarization, multi- frequency, or interferometric SAR data and through the blending of SAR with other instruments (e.g. VIIRS, GOES ABI, ASCAT, and AMSR 2).

These webpages provide pre-operational and calibration/validation products. Current applications include rescaled and reformatted SAR imagery, SAR winds, high resolution tropical cyclone monitoring, and ice products for operational ice analysis. Our team is also working on SAR and Optical Flood monitoring that are provided on associated websites. SAR development products for significant wave height, coastal shoreline designation, and vessel detection for illegal fishing identification will be added in the near term future. Please contact us for more information and feedback on the provided products and services.