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This is a false-color L-band image of an area near Glasgow, Missouri, centered at about 39.2 degrees north latitude and 92.8 degrees west longitude. The image was acquired using the L-band radar channel (horizontally transmitted and received and horizontally transmitted/vertically received) polarizations combined. The data were acquired by the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C and X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on orbit 50 on October 3,1994. The area shown is approximately 37 kilometers by 25 kilometers (23 miles by 16 miles).
The radar data, coupled with pre-flood aerial photography and satellite data and post-flood topographic and field data, are being used to evaluate changes associated with levee breaks in landforms, where deposits formed during the widespread flooding in 1993 along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The distinct radar scattering properties of farmland, sand fields and scoured areas will be used to inventory floodplains along the Missouri River and determine the processes by which these areas return to preflood conditions. The image shows one such levee break near Glasgow, Missouri. In the upper center of the radar image, below the bend of the river, is a region covered by several meters of sand, shown as dark regions. West (left) of the dark areas, a gap in the levee tree canopy shows the area where the levee failed. Radar data such as these can help scientists more accurately assess the potential for future flooding in this region and how that might impact surrounding communities.
Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C and X-band 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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