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|These two images were created using data from the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR). On the left is a false-color image of Manaus, Brazil acquired April 12, 1994, onboard space shuttle Endeavour. In the center of this image is the Solimoes River just west of Manaus before it combines with the Rio Negro to form the Amazon River. The scene is around 8 by 8 kilometers (5 by 5 miles) with north toward the top. The radar image was produced in L-band where red areas correspond to high backscatter at HH polarization, while green areas exhibit high backscatter at HV polarization. Blue areas show low backscatter at VV polarization. The image on the right is a classification map showing the extent of flooding beneath the forest canopy. The classification map was developed by SIR-C/X-SAR science team members at the University of California,Santa Barbara. The map uses the L-HH, L-HV, and L-VV images to classify the radar image into six categories: |
Red flooded forest Green unflooded tropical rain forest Blue open water, Amazon river Yellow unflooded fields, some floating grasses Gray flooded shrubs Black floating and flooded grasses
Data like these help scientists evaluate flood damage on a global scale. Floods are highly episodic and much of the area inundated is often tree-covered.
Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C and X-Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. The radars illuminate Earth with microwaves allowing detailed observations at any time, regardless of weather or sunlight conditions. SIR-C/X-SAR uses three microwave wavelengths: L-band (24 cm), C-band (6 cm) and X-band (3 cm). The multi-frequency data will be used by the international scientific community to better understand the global environment and how it is changing. The SIR-C/X-SAR data, complemented by aircraft and ground studies, will give scientists clearer insights into those environmental changes which are caused by nature and those changes which are induced by human activity.
SIR-C was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. X-SAR was developed by the Dornier and Alenia Spazio companies for the German space agency, Deutsche Agentur fuer Raumfahrtangelegenheiten (DARA), and the Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), with the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt fuer Luft und Raumfahrt e.v. (DLR), the major partner in science, operations and data processing of X-SAR.
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