Without a doubt, radar remote sensing has become a highly important data source in the Geosciences. This is mostly due to the ability of radar to penetrate clouds and operate independently of solar illumination. Beyond that, the appeal of radar sensors stems from their ability to easily identify changes, track surface deformation with cm-accuracy, and map large areas regularly and over long time scales. It is therefore not surprising that radar remote sensing is regularly used for the study of earthquakes, volcanoes, and glaciers, as well as for the monitoring of anthropogenic activities such as hydrocarbon extraction, and groundwater pumping.
This class will introduce you to the theory and applications of microwave remote sensing and will empower you to integrate remote sensing into your own research work. You will learn the most popular processing techniques and will experiment with a broad range of applications of active and passive microwave remote sensing data. The laboratory part of the course will provide hands-on experience in radar data processing and include the possibility of using these techniques for a student-defined term project in areas of geology, seismology, volcanology, cryosphere, hydrology, environmental sciences, etc. Advanced processing techniques such as InSAR, differential InSAR or polarimetric SAR are also included.
Radar is not always an easy topic to grasp. Hence, we will explain the principles of radar in steps, starting from the most general principles and drilling down to the more mathematical specifics. We will take advantage of existing material in books and on the internet (such as the entertaining yet (somewhat) informative YouTube video below 😉 ).