Title: Onboard Radar Processing Concepts for the DESDynI Mission
Primary Author: Lou, Yunling
Organization: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Co-Author(s): Steve Chien, Duane Clark, and Josh Doubleday

We are developing onboard processor (OBP) technology to streamline data acquisition on-demand and reduce the downlink data volume of the L-band SAR instrument onboard the DESDynI mission for three science objectives: 1) measure crustal deformation to determine the likelihood of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides; 2) characterize vegetation structure for ecosystem health; and 3) measure surface and ice sheet deformation for understanding climate change. Our approach is to determine the types of data processing suitable for implementation onboard the spacecraft to achieve the highest data compression gain without sacrificing the science objectives in each of these areas. The appropriate data processing algorithms and image compression techniques will be prototyped with the UAVSAR onboard processor that is currently under development. We will leverage the onboard autonomous flight planning software developed for the Earth Observation-1 mission and planned for the HysPIRI mission to enable data acquisition on-demand for specific science objectives. The onboard processor technology will enable the observation and use of surface deformation data and surface change data over rapidly evolving natural hazards, both as an aid to scientific understanding and to provide timely data to agencies responsible for the management and mitigation of natural disasters.

In this paper, we will present preliminary onboard products that we are prototyping with UAVSAR data. These onboard products are targeted for rapid response applications that require a turnaround time of 48 hours or less. Examples include forest fuel load estimation during a wild fire, landslide, flood extent, sea ice monitoring, and ocean or river freeze/thaw monitoring.