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Sentinel-1A yields radar-based imagery of Earth

Sentinel-1A RADAR imagery over Sicily, ItalyGermany: Sentinel-1A radar satellite has delivered outstanding imagery of earth's topography in its 'Interferometric wide Swath' mode on 9 and 21 August 2014 over Sicily, Italy.

Twelve days after it reached its orbit, its radar images were used to generate 'interferograms' that map the topography of parts of Italy and Norway. The aim of this development is the continuous monitoring of the movements of Earth's surface in the millimetre range.

ESA’s Sentinel-1A Project Manager, Ramón Torres said, “I’m delighted to see these first interferograms, demonstrating the excellent capabilities of Sentinel-1A’s radar instrument. They certainly show the satellite’s outstanding performance in synthetic aperture radar interferometry with its large 250 km-swath.”

These imagery products are considered useful for mapping topography to produce 'digital elevation models' and to monitor surface deformation caused by volcanic activity, earthquakes, melting permafrost, mining and glacial flow.

Sentinel-1A is the first of Europe's Copernicus environmental monitoring programme satellites launched on April 3.

Source: ESA