SAR Data and GIS

Types of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Products at ASF

ASF product types and processing levels

Processing TypeProcessing LevelImage TypeProduct DescriptionOpen-source softwareCommercial software
Raw DataL0, L1.0, RAWUnfocusedUnprocessed signal data. Requires a SAR processor to be visualized.ISCEENVI SARscape
GAMMA
Single Look Complex (SLC)L1.1, SLCFocused (single look); has speckleContains amplitude and phase values. Retains slant-range geometry.ASF HyP3
Sentinel-1 Toolbox
PolSARpro
ENVI SARscape
GAMMA
AmplitudeL1, L1.5, GRD (Ground Range Detected)Focused (multilooked); reduced speckleCan be visualized. Contains amplitude values only. Retains slant-range geometry. Projected to ground range coordinates.ASF HyP3
Sentinel-1 Toolbox
ASF MapReady
ENVI SARscape
GAMMA
Corrected amplitudeGeoTIFFGIS-compatibleImage has had georeferencing applied.QGISArcGIS
Corrected amplitudeRadiometric Terrain Correction (RTC)GIS-compatibleImage has had radiometric and terrain correction applied.QGISArcGIS

Datasets Available from ASF DAAC

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    Table 1: Unrestricted SAR Datasets

    These data are freely available and may be downloaded by anybody with an Earthdata Login username and password.

    Dataset NameSensor PlatformMission DatesFind DataUsage ExamplesSpatial Coverage
    ALOS PALSARSatellite2006 - 2011Vertex Data SearchASF Search APIBroad applications: glaciers, landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, oil seeps, wetlands, sea ice, and more.The Americas, Antarctica, select wordwide sites
    SAR Sensor: L-band
    Repeat Cycle: 46 days
    Products: L1.0 raw, L1.1 single look complex (SLC), L1.5 Georeferenced amplitude image, Hi-res RTC image, Low-res RTC image
    Sentinel-1Satellite2014 - PresentVertex Data SearchASF Search APIBroad applications: volcanoes, earthquakes, glaciers, land subsidence, sea ice, flooding, oceans, and moreGlobal
    SAR Sensor: C-band
    Repeat Cycle: 12 days
    Products: L0 raw, L1 single look complex (SLC), L1 ground-range detected mid-res single-pol (GRD-MS), L1 ground-range detected high-res single-pol (GRD-HS), L1 ground-range detected mid-res dual-pol (GRD-MD), L1 ground-range detected high-res dual-pol (GRD-HD), L2 ocean (OCN)
    UAVSARAircraft2008 - PresentVertex Data SearchASF Search APISelect locations: oil spills, earthquakes, volcanoes, oceans, land cover, and moreTargeted worldwide sites
    SAR Sensor: L-band
    Repeat Cycle: Non-applicable
    Products: Single look complex (SLC), multi-look complex cross products, compress stokes matrix, ground-projected calibrated cross products, DEM
    ERS-1Satellite1991 - 1997Vertex Data SearchASF Search APIPolar regions and processes (sea ice, Arctic, Antarctic)Primarily polar, within station masks of the ASF and McMurdo ground stations
    SAR Sensor: C-band
    Repeat Cycle: 35 days
    Products: L0 raw, L1 amplitude image
    ERS-2Satellite1995 - 2011Vertex Data SearchASF Search APIPolar regions and processes (sea ice, Arctic, Antarctic)Primarily polar, within station masks of the ASF and McMurdo ground stations
    SAR Sensor: C-band
    Repeat Cycle: 35 days
    Products: L0 raw, L1 amplitude image
    AIRSARAircraft1990 - 2004Vertex Data SearchASF Search APISelect locations: oceans, coasts, forest ecology, geology, hydrology, earthquakes, archeaology, and moreSelected sites worldwide
    SAR Sensor: L-band, P-band, C-band
    Repeat Cycle: Non-applicable
    Products: Along-track interferometry, 3-frequency polarimetry, L-Band compressed stokes matrix, P-Band compressed stokes matrix, C-Band DEM and compressed stokes matrix
    SeasatSatellite1978Vertex Data SearchASF Search APIPortions of northern oceans and land (the first NASA SAR mission; data processed by ASF in 2013)Regions of Northern Hemisphere, including oceans and N. America
    SAR Sensor: L-band
    Repeat Cycle: 3 days at launch; 17 days after mid-August
    Products: L1 image, GeoTIFF
    SMAPSatellite2015 (3 months)Vertex Data SearchASF Search APISoil moisture and freeze/thaw state (detailed data from 3 months in 2015). Benchmark data for flood, landslide, and drought monitoring; agricultural planning; and climate forecastingGlobal
    SAR Sensor: L-band
    Repeat Cycle: 3 days
    Products: L1A_Radar, L1B_S0_LoRes, L1C_S0_HiRes, L1A receive only

    Table 2: Restricted SAR Datasets

    Permission to access and download these data requires that a user must meet the following conditions:

    • The data will be used for non-commercial, research purposes only
    • The user is currently living in the United States

    A Restricted Data Use Request form must be submitted.

    Dataset NameSensor PlatformMission DatesFind DataUsage ExamplesSpatial Coverage
    JERS-1Satellite1992 - 1988Vertex Data SearchASF Search APIImportant forests of the world: Southeast Asia, Africa, Central America, South America (Amazon Basin), and boreal North America.Global
    SAR Sensor: L-band
    Repeat Cycle: 44 days
    Products: L0 raw, L1 amplitude image
    RADARSAT-1Satellite1995 - 2008Vertex Data SearchASF Search APIArctic sea ice and other broad applications: volcanoes, ocean winds, ecology, soil moisture, wetlands, flooding, and more.Global
    SAR Sensor: C-band
    Repeat Cycle: 24 days
    Products: L0 raw, L1 amplitude image

    Table 3: Derived SAR Datasets

    These higher-level datasets were created using ASF SAR data.

    Dataset NameSensor PlatformMission DatesFind DataUsage ExamplesSpatial Coverage
    RAMP
    RADARSAT-1 Antarctic Mapping Mission
    Satellite1997 and 2000ASF WebsiteHistoric, high-resolution map of Antarctica: ice-sheet morphology, rock outcrops, research infrastructure, coastline, and more.Antarctica
    SAR Sensor: C-band
    Products: Tiles, mosaics
    Post-RAMP Antarctic MosaicsSatellite2004 and 2007ASF WebsiteAntarctic ice sheets (emphasis on velocities): Drygalsky Ice Tongue (David Glacier), Thwaites Glacier, and Pine Island Glacier.Select Antarctic ice sheets
    SAR Sensor: C-band
    Products: SAR mosaics, glacier velocity files
    Sea Ice MEaSUREsSatellite1995 - 2012ASF WebsiteArctic Ocean sea ice motion with three-day radar snapshots as the ice goes through dramatic changes over 11 years.Arctic Ocean
    SAR Sensor: C-band
    Products: Lagrangian, 3-day gridded, and Eularian data files
    Terrestrial EcologySatellite2007 - 2010ASF WebsiteEcological research.Select sites in Western Hemisphere
    SAR Sensor: L-band
    Products: GeoTIFFimetric images
    Wetlands MEaSUREsSatellite1993 - 2009ASF WebsiteWetlands ecology, including their role in climate, biogeochemistry, hydrology, and biodiversity.Amazon, Alaska, the Americas, global (coarse resolution)
    SAR Sensor: L-band
    Products: Fine-resolution, 100-meter maps of wetland extent, vegetation type, and seasonal inundation dynamics for continental-scale areas covering crucial wetland regions; global, 10-day mappings of inundation extent at ~25-km resolution; interactive time-series tool and time-series animation; GeoTIFF
    Image of the Earthdata website Login registration screen.

    Get an Account. Find Data.

    Step 1: Get an Earthdata Login Account

    A NASA Earthdata Login account is required for downloading data and tools from ASF. Registering for an account is free and may be done at the Earthdata Login registration site link below.

    Please note that the registration and EULA agreement process must be completed in English.

    Step 2: Find Data

    An Earthdata Login username and password are required to download ASF data using Vertex Data Search and ASF Search API, or to download ASF Tools and Derived Datasets from the website.

      • All of the datasets and tools at ASF are free, and most are available to download without restriction.
      • Only the JERS-1 and RADARSAT-1 datasets are restricted. Access to these data requires the submission of a data access request form.

    Data Search Tools

    • Vertex Data Search is an easy-to-use, yet powerful interface for searching the ASF data archive. Search areas can be created by drawing on a map, entering coordinates, or importing a geospatial file. Searches can be done on a list of file names or by campaign. Filters can be applied to refine a search. And search results can be downloaded individually or in bulk.
    Screenshot of Vertex interface.
    • ASF Search API is a programmatic method of searching the ASF data archive from a browser window or command line interface. Search results can be saved and downloaded using Wget, cURL, or aria2.
    Screenshot of cammand line interface of the ASF Search API.
    • NASA Earthdata Search is a search interface that provides the ability to search all NASA Earth observation data holdings.
    Image of the NASA Earthdata search interface.

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      GET STARTED

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      EULA

      ABOUT SAR

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      GLACIER POWER

      ASF DATA TERMS OF USE

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      Data Recipes (Tutorials)

      The ASF SAR Data Recipe library contains an extensive series of guides, describing processes aiming to assist you in your efforts to get the SAR Data product you need to create. The tutorials are organized in related sections, with an option to expand all available document links at the bottom of the list.