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Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) signals can propagate through hazardous weather and atmospheric conditions with heavy cloud cover, volcanic dust, snow, or rain. The all-weather capabilities of SARs have attracted significant interest in remote sensing communities, since serious environmental disasters such as oil spills have been highly ??elusive?? to optical sensors, making visible spectrum data vulnerable to rapidly changing atmospheric conditions. In this paper, we discuss the technical functionalities of TerraSAR-X from the emergency response perspective, describing its technical abilities in terms of a damping ratio, radiometric accuracy, and noise level with reference to the actual Hebei Spirit oil-spill incident that occurred on the west coast of the Korean peninsula in December 2007. The damping ratios estimated from the TerraSAR-X data as a function of Bragg wavenumber for various wind speeds indicate that TerraSAR-X data can be effectively used to identify oil-spill areas with acceptable accuracy. We also received ERS-2, ENVISAT, RADARSAT-1, and ALOS PALSAR data for this oil-spill event, not simultaneously but with varying time delays. The processing results for the multitemporal data sets obtained from the X- and C-band SAR systems are useful since they can be used to determine the near-real-time migration of spilt oil. The results of the current study indicate that there are distinct advantages of using X-band TerraSAR-X data for oil-spill detection compared to the data obtained at other available frequencies.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:48 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2010