Title: Development of the Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) for the Global Hawk
Primary Author:
Yunling Lou
Organization: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Co-Author(s): Roger Chao, Cathleen Jones, Timothy Miller, Scott Hensley - Jet Propulsion Lab
Chris Naftel and David Fratello - Dryden Flight Research Center

Abstract: The Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) instrument is a pod-based L-band polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR), specifically designed to acquire airborne repeat track SAR data for differential interferometric measurements.  This instrument is currently installed on the NASA Gulfstream-III (G-III) aircraft with precision real-time Global Positioning System (GPS) and a sensor-controlled flight management system, allowing us to constrain a flight path to within a 10 m diameter tube about the desired flight track.  UAVSAR has conducted engineering and preliminary science data flights since October 2007 on the G-III.  This task will take the two existing UAVSAR pods (each a self-contained L-band polarimetric radar) and install them on the Global Hawk Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV) to enable long duration/long range data campaigns.  This implementation of UAVSAR will enable the generation of precision topographic maps and single pass polarimetric-interferometry (SPI) providing vertical structure of ice and vegetation.  Global Hawk’s range of ~ 9000 nm will enable regional surveys with far fewer sorties as well as measurements of remote locations without the need for long and complicated deployments.