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Mapping of Sand Layer Thickness in Deserts Using SAR Interferometry

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2 Author(s)
Adel Elsherbini ; Radiation Laboratory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Kamal Sarabandi

This paper presents an interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) system to map the bedrock topography underneath the sand in deserts and arid areas. This is anticipated to greatly increase the efficiency of oil field and ground water exploration as well as environmental and archaeological studies. The proposed system consists of two InSAR subsystems, one operating at Ka-band to map the sand topography and the other operates in the VHF band to map the subsurface topography. The different issues associated with InSAR processing for subsurface mapping are discussed. It is shown that conventional InSAR processing produces unacceptable error in height estimation since it does not account for the refraction and the different propagation velocity in the sand. Thus, a new inversion algorithm is developed which can be used to accurately estimate the bedrock topography for arbitrary sand and bedrock geometries. A sensitivity analysis is then presented to show the effect of the different systematic and random errors. The inversion algorithm is verified experimentally for flat sand case using a scaled model that was implemented in the lab.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 9 )