SAR Course (SAR)

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    Image1 of 2San Diego - Radar Imagery
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    Image2 of 2DEM generation, Interferogram

The aim of this two-week SAR course is to provide initial foundation training, followed by more advanced training for the exploitation of SAR imagery in the field of defence and security. The course is designed in two modules. Module 1 is aimed at attendees with a background in optical imagery interpretation and provides training in the fundamentals of SAR theory as well as application exercises to familiarise attendees with the specific SAR effects and basic SAR imagery exploitation. 

With the completion of Module 1 attendees will have an awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of SAR imagery in comparison with optical imagery regarding imagery analysis issues. Module 2 is designed for attendees with experience in both optical and SAR imagery interpretation and provides advanced training, including the exploitation of interferometry techniques of SAR imagery. Each topic of Module 2 is divided into a theoretical element followed by a guided application exercise to reinforce each specific interferometry leaning point. With the completion of Module 2 attendees will have an awareness of the general capacities of SAR interferometry and be able to process interferometric products with dedicated software.

Course prerequisites for attendees:

  • Attendees must be proficient in the English language
  • Attendees must have an EU SECRET security clearance
  • Attendees should have experience with optical imagery
  • For attendance of Module 2 it is advised that attendees must first complete Module 1, or have a comprehensive knowledge of SAR fundamentals.


SAR I: Module 1 (36 hours)

Topics covered in Module 1 include the fundamentals of SAR imagery, RADAR and microwave properties, Synthetic Aperture RADAR, backscatter and radiometry, SAR geometry and geometric distortions. An overview of current SAR systems and sensors and imagery ordering is also included. Basic training is provided in the use of ERDAS and ARCGIS for image display and basic enhancements and several application exercises provide a review and detailed explanations of the main SAR effects. In addition, the exercises provide a familiarization of key features and the recognition of objects and the SAR signatures of selected installations and facilities. The module is completed with an introduction to change detection and advanced SAR techniques, band combinations and interferometry and polarimetry domain approaches.

At the end of Module 1, attendees will:

  • Have general knowledge of the exploitation of SAR imagery in the field of defence and security;
  • Have background knowledge of the theory of RADAR and SAR imagery;
  • Have knowledge of the main satellite SAR sensors/platforms;
  • Understand SAR geometrical and radiometric effects;
  • Display and make basic enhancements of a SAR image;
  • Perform basic SAR imagery ordering in comparison with optical imagery;
  • Perform general interpretation of SAR imagery in comparison with optical imagery;
  • Recognize and understand the main SAR signatures;
  • Detect and recognize the main components of selected installations and facilities


SAR II: Module 2 (36 hours)

Topics covered in Module 2 include change detection techniques with SAR imagery, the exploitation of combinations of multi-date amplitude images, an introduction to coherence and imagery combinations of coherence and amplitude SAR images. Also included are explanations into the requirements and limitations for ordering SAR interferometry imagery. Theory and techniques for DEM generation: coregistration, interferogram generation and filtering, coherence, phase unwrapping and DEM applications. Theory and techniques for Differential Interferometry: principles and geometry, multi passes DInSAR, displacement maps and DInSAR applications. Theory and techniques for Time Series Analysis: Persistent Scatterers, SBAS method and Time Series applications. Theory and techniques for Polarimetry: scattering principles, signatures, and polarimetric classification and applications.

At the end of Module 2, attendees will:

  • Have background knowledge of the theory of SAR Interferometry;
  • Perform change detection using amplitude and interferometry coherence map;
  • Have knowledge of requirements for SAR interferometry ordering;
  • Have knowledge of the interferometry chain steps and associated products;
  • Have knowledge of SAR interferometry applications in the field of security and defence;
  • Produce coherence maps, DEM generation, interferogram and displacement maps

Eligibility criteria and fees

Course application