Alaska Satellite Facility

ASF home graphic dish with satellite above and aurora in the sky

Training Resources

Collection of on-demand SAR data webinars

Storymap tutorials showing how to use ASF tools and data

Library of user guides to get started with ASF’s data tools

Data recipes make working with SAR data easier

Training notices

New training opportunities are posted here as they become available.

Tutorials available for working with NISAR sample data

In preparation for the launch of the NISAR mission, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed some sample NISAR products for users to explore. These sample data give users an idea of what the NISAR data products will look like once the mission is operational. The sample data products familiarize one with formats and allow one to develop workflows supporting NISAR datasets.

ASF has developed tutorials demonstrating how to work with the sample data products using various software suitable for visualizing, analyzing, and transforming geospatial data. Included are sections for working with the data in a GIS environment (ArcGIS Pro, QGIS), exploring the data using Panoply, and transforming the data using GDAL commands.

Use this link to access the Working with NISAR Sample Data tutorials:

Large Color phase image of Iraq

Welcome to ASF OpenSARlab

The Jupyter Notebook environment is easy to launch in any web browser for interactive data exploration. Notebooks are written in ...
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Vertex Screenshot Image

On Demand Sentinel-1 GAMMA InSAR and RTC Products Now Available in Vertex

Watch the video on how to download and use this new dataset.
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The Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF), in collaboration with the NASA JPL NISAR Early Adopters Program, held a two-day workshop on January 23-24, 2024, designed to prepare participants to work with NISAR data using ASF’s OpenScienceLab. This multi-user JupyterHub environment operates in AWS. Links to all the videos from the workshop can be accessed here.

Day 1 of the second ASF NISAR Community Workshop held September 19, 2023, introduces SAR, Vertex, ASF Data Search, and ASF HyP3 On-Demand Processing, as well as an intro to radiometric terrain correction (RTC). It also guides users on how to set up an OSL environment. Presenters include Alex Lewandowski, Heidi Kristenson, and Forrest Williams. Slides from the workshop can be accessed here.

Day 2 of the second ASF NISAR Community Workshop, held September 20, 2023, provides an introduction to SAR interpretation, surface water mapping & log difference, setting up an OSL environment, and RTC-based landslide detection. Presenters include Alex Lewandowski, Jacquelyn Smale, Heidi Kristenson, and Forrest Williams. Slides from the workshop can be accessed here.

The day one video of the NISAR ISRO Community Workshop, held on August 3, 2023, covers an introduction to SAR, an introduction to Vertex, and an introduction to InSAR and HyP3. Presenters include Alex Lewandowski, Heidi Kristenson, and Forrest Williams. Slides from the workshop can be accessed here.

The day 2 video of the NISAR ISRO Community Workshop held August 4, 2023, includes an introduction to Time Series with INSAR (SBAS, PS, combined), a question and answer session, a walkthrough of a Time Series notebook, and the actual running of a Notebook. Alex Lewandowski and Forrest WIlliams lead day 2 presentations. Slides from the workshop can be accessed here.

Synthetic aperture radar, or SAR, which uses the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum, is ideal in that it can penetrate cloud cover and “see through” darkness and weather, allowing a unique view of flood inundation, landcover changes, and changes in the Earth’s surface from earthquakes and landslides. This workshop video provides an introduction to using SAR data, including wavelength, frequency, polarization, etc.

(Note: Part 1 in this NASA series does not pertain to SAR data and has been excluded here.) 

The Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center (ASF DAAC) has a number of tools for accessing, processing and analyzing SAR data. This workshop video provides information on the various datasets, as well as demonstrates data access and use through ASF DAAC tools and services.

This webinar will include a basic introduction to SAR data collection, the datasets that are available from NASA’s ASF DAAC, and the processing required to extract useful information from the data. Focus will be on the Sentinel-1 dataset, discussing the implications of wavelength and polarization, differences between SLC and GRD products, and approaches for generating analysis-ready datasets from amplitude and phase data.

This webinar demonstrates approaches for using SAR datasets in GIS environments to detect landscape change and map flooding events. With a focus on Sentinel-1 datasets, the presenter discusses options for generating Radiometric Terrain Corrected (RTC) datasets, and present workflows using both ArcGIS and QGIS software. In addition, the presenter will demonstrate how to use the Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) custom ArcGIS Toolbox to perform geoprocessing tasks, and explain how to achieve the same results using the geoprocessing tools available directly in the ArcGIS and QGIS platforms.

In this webinar you will learn how to use asf_search, a new Python library for the search and discovery of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data, created by NASA’s Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center (ASF DAAC). Available through PyPI and Conda, asf_search simplifies programmatic data discovery and download, allowing users to find and download SAR data with just a few lines of Python. Numerous search types are supported, such as geographic searches, granule searches, and baseline searches. Additionally, downloading data is made simple. We will be looking at common data discovery workflows used within ASF DAAC’s Vertex search and discovery web application, and how those same workflows can be accomplished through Python using asf_search.

Additional useful resources — the story of ASF, SAR data applications, data recipes, tools and services. Subscribe to our channel to be notified of new content when it becomes available.

HyP3 On Demand Processing Tutorials

This video shows how to use Vertex to process SAR Data for you, as the presenter goes through each step of how to work with the on-demand processing queue.

This page takes you through ordering RTC Products through Vertex. You can
step through the online slideshow to learn how to find and order products for processing.

On this page you can scroll through the tutorial to learn how to find Sentinel-1 scenes in ASF’s Vertex Data Search portal. Use the navigation bar at the top of the screen to access the Baseline or SBAS tutorials directly if you’re already familiar with the Vertex search interface.

Learn about ASF’s water masking option for On-Demand Sentinel-1 InSAR and why it may be important for you. This tutorial demonstrates the impact that water masking can have on your phase unwrapping results, and illustrates the change that we made to our water masking approach in September 2022.

Users can submit Sentinel-1 SLC pairs for processing through ASF’s Data Search Vertex portal, and the processed On Demand InSAR products are available for download within about an hour. The InSAR On Demand! Story Map describes how to search for data and submit it for processing. This Story Map explores the contents of the InSAR product package, and demonstrates techniques for interacting with and interpreting the data.

ArcGIS Toolbox Tutorials

Note: Go to the GIS Tools page to download the entire ASF ArcGIS Toolbox suite

Generate a water mask using a dB threshold approach

Identify change using the log difference between two Sentinel-1 Radiometric Terrain Corrected (RTC) images.

Convert among common SAR scales (Power, Amplitude, dB)

Use ASF Data

This tutorial illustrates different ways to access and explore the OPERA RTC-S1 products, including workflows that allow you to interact with these cloud-optimized rasters directly in cloud storage without having to download them first.

change detection image created from OPERA RTC
Change Detection using OPERA Sentinel-1 RTC

This tutorial demonstrates using ASF’s Vertex Data Search portal to find and download OPERA RTC-S1 products, then presents a sample workflow for detecting change using RTC-S1 products acquired on different dates.

Sentinel-1 SLC products include three sub-swaths, each containing many individual burst SLCs. Working at the burst level provides a couple of key benefits: 1. The coverage of a burst is the same for every orbit of the satellite, and 2. The geographic coverage of bursts is smaller, thereby decreasing processing time and cost.

This globally consistent set of Sentinel-1 coherence data was  published in 2021 by Kellndorfer et al. The dataset provides median 6-, 12-, 18-, 24-, 36- and 48-day seasonal coherence values and mean seasonal backscatter for Sentinel-1 acquisitions from December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020.

Height Above Nearest Drainage (HAND) is a terrain model that normalizes topography to the relative heights along the drainage network and is used to describe the relative soil gravitational potentials or the local drainage potentials. Each pixel value represents the vertical distance in meters to the nearest drainage.

User Guides

Data Recipes

Data Recipes help make using SAR data easier