Syllabus for GEOS 657 – Microwave Remote Sensing

  1. Course Information:

        Thursdays (labs), 1:15-4:15pm (AKST):        WRRB 004 (remote sensing lab)

  1. Instructor Information:

  1. Course Material:
  1. Textbooks:

Large parts of the class will follow a textbook published by Woodhouse (2006). This textbook is listed in the following list of reading materials as required (R) reading.  In addition to this book, other supplemental (S) books are listed in the table, which provide good summaries of the material covered in the class.

  1. Journal Articles:

Original research articles from refereed journals will be assigned as reading to cover specific recent developments in microwave remote sensing and related disciplines. The articles will be made available through the class website or similar means in due time.

  1. Computer Software and Programming Work:

For many of the more involved processing labs of this class, we will be using (where necessary) a cloud-based Virtual SAR Lab. Using such a virtual lab has numerous advantages over physical computer pools. They come pre-installed with all relevant processing tools and spare you the painful trouble of installing each individual package by hand. In a virtual lab, all machines are identical. This ensures similar processing speed at all workstations and identical software behavior for all participants. Finally, we will ensure that all machines are correctly scaled, so that you can complete your assignments in a timely manner without ever running out of space. The Virtual SAR Lab comes preinstalled with all necessary Python tools as well as the software packages SNAP, ISCE, GIAnT, TRAIN, StaMPS, GQIS, and PolSARpro, ready for use during lab-sections and project work. In addition small Matlab programs will be provided and used for selected lab sessions. Most labs can be done from a student’s personal computer. For local students, additional computer access will be provided through the Remote Sensing Computer Lab in WRRR 004 of the UAF campus.

  1. Course Description:

This course will introduce the students to the principles and applications of microwave remote sensing. It includes the sensor technology, platforms and data portals to retrieve data. Principle processing techniques and applications of active and passive microwave remote sensing data will be covered. The laboratory part of the course will provide hands-on experience with special processing techniques and the possibility of using these techniques for a student-defined term project in areas of geology, seismology, volcanology, cryosphere, hydrology, environmental sciences, etc. Advanced processing techniques such as InSAR, or polarimetric SAR are included.

  1. Course Goals and main Learning Outcomes:

The main goal of this course is to provide students with the background needed to use SAR and InSAR data as a source of geodetic information. The course starts with an introduction to passive and active microwave remote sensing and a discussion of methods of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) processing. It then presents an in-depth description of methods and applications of InSAR, including traditional InSAR methods and advanced InSAR Time Series analysis techniques. A thorough description of the main limitations and error sources of these techniques is included to allow for the retrieval of geodetic information from SAR and InSAR observations. It will be shown that SAR and InSAR data can be used to provide geodetic observations of geodynamic and anthropogenic processes of the earth’s surface and interior with high accuracy and resolution. It will also be shown that SAR data can provide high resolution observations of atmospheric and ionospheric constituents. In conclusion, methods for the integration of geodetic observations from SAR with geophysical models and observations from other sensors will be presented.

  1. Instructional Methods:
  1. Grading Criteria:

Interim short test / quiz: 10%

Homework assignments: 25%

Reading & discussion contribution: 15%

Independent project: 50% (25% presentation, 25% term paper)

  1. Timeline and Content of the Class

Week

Lecture/Lab #

(location)

Date

Topic

Preparatory

Readings

Woodhouse

Assignment

distributed

1:

Lecture 1 & 2

(Murie 104)

Jan

15

Introduction; History of Microwave Remote Sensing; some mathematical background

Lecture 3

(WRRB 004)

17

Properties and Propagation of EM Waves

23-34

2:

Lecture 4

(Murie 104)

22

Interaction of Microwaves with the Atmosphere; Interaction with discrete objects

112 – 149

Lab 1

(WRRB 004)

24

LAB: Analysis and interpretation of microwave images

1

3:

Lecture 5

(Murie 104)

29

How to Detect Microwaves; Antennas; Sensor Calibration

151-165

Lecture 6

(WRRB 004)

31

PASSIVE MICROWAVE SYSTEMS

Atmospheric Sounding

179-186

200-202

4:

Lecture 7

(Murie 104)

Feb

5

ACTIVE MICROWAVE SYSTEMS

Principles of RADAR, Radar Altimetry, Scatterometry  

221-250

Lab 2

(Murie 104)

7

LAB: Ground-based radar demo

5:

Lecture 8

(Murie 104)

12

IMAGING RADARS

Real Aperture and SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADARS (SARs)

259-281

Lecture 9

(WRRB 004)

14

SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADAR (Geometric distortions; Speckle; Geocoding of SAR data)

281-300

6:

Lecture 10 & Lab 3

(WRRB 004)

19

SAR Image Acquisition Modes; How to Access SAR Data

LAB: SAR Image Processing and Geocoding

250-257

2

Lab 4 &

(WRRB 004)

21

LAB:  Time-Series Analysis of SAR images with Jupyter Notebooks

3

7:

Lecture 11

(Murie 104)

26

POLARIMETRIC SAR (POLSAR)

(Concepts & Applications)

Lecture 12

(WRRB 004)

28

RADAR INTERFEROMETRY
(Concepts; Configurations)

312-331

Project Topics Due

8:

Lecture 13

(Murie 104)

Mar

5

InSAR and Phase Unwrapping

DIFFERENTIAL INSAR (d-InSAR)

(Concepts; applications)

336-340

7

Term Project Concept Presentations

March 11 – 15: SPRING BREAK (no classes)

9:

Lab 5

(WRRB 004)

19

LAB:  InSAR processing with the SNAP toolbox (Kumamoto Earthquake of 2016)

4

(WRRB 004)

21

MID TERM EXAM

10:

Lecture 14

(Murie 104)

26

Using InSAR in Geophysics

Lab 6

(Murie 104)

28

LAB: d-InSAR for Volcano Source Modeling

5

11:

Lecture 15

(Murie 104)

Apr

2

AI4EO: Artificial Intelligence in Earth Observation

Provided papers

Lab 7

(WRRB 004)

4

LAB: Change Detection using Convolutional Recurrent Neural Networks (CRNNs)

12:

Lecture 16

(Murie 104)

9

InSAR Time Series Analysis

(Concepts; PSInSAR Methods)

Lab 8

(WRRB 004)

11

LAB: Change Detection; Hydrology Mapping from time-series SAR

6

13:

Lecture 17

(Murie 104)

16

InSAR Time Series Analysis

(The SBAS Approach; Comparison of SBAS and PSInSAR)

340-342

Lab 9

(WRRB 004)

18

LAB: InSAR Time Series Analysis using the GIAnT Software

7

14:

Lecture 18

(Murie 104)

23

Radar Remote Sensing In Polar Regions

Handouts

Lab 10

(WRRB 004)

25

LAB: Project Work

15:

(Murie 104)

30

Final Project Presentations and Project Writeup

(WRRB 004)

May

2

Final Project Presentations and Project Writeup

  1. Course Policies:

Homework Tips: Please type or write neatly, keep the solutions in the order assigned and bundle your answers in a single pdf file. Include only relevant computer output in your solutions (a good approach is to cut and paste the relevant output for each problem into an editor such as MS Word or Latex). Also clearly circle or highlight important numbers in the output, and label them with the question number. I also suggest that you to include computer code you may have used to derive your answers, both so that you can refer back to it for future assignments and so that I can identify where a mistake may have occurred. Display numerical answers with a reasonable number of significant figures and with units if the quantity is not dimensionless.

Homework scores are based on clarity of work, logical progression toward the solution, completeness of interpretation and summaries, and whether a correct solution was obtained. I encourage you to discuss homework problems with other students, however the work you turn in must be your own.

Furthermore, as a UAF student, you are subject to the student Code of Conduct. The university assumes that the integrity of each student and of the student body as a whole will be upheld. It is your responsibility to help maintain the integrity of the student community. For additional information, contact the Dean of Student Services or web http://www.alaska.edu/bor/regulation/9r/r09-02.html/. The UAF Honor Code (Student Code of Conduct) defines academic standards expected at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

  1. Term project:

A term project, to be completed by the end of the semester, will be aimed at applying skills and expertise acquired during the course to a specific scientific or engineering problem. Students are highly encouraged to define a project of their own (e.g., originating from thesis-related research), but a number of project suggestions (incl. data, samples etc.) will also be offered by the instructor.

  1. Support Services.

The instructor is available by appointment for additional assistance outside session hours. UAF has many student support programs, including the Math Hotline (1-866-UAF-MATH; 1-866-6284) and the Math and Stat Lab in Chapman building (see www.uaf.edu/dms/mathlab/ for hours and details).

  1. Student Protection and Services Statement:

Every qualified student is welcome in my classroom. As needed, I am happy to work with you, disability services, veterans' services, rural student services, etc to find reasonable accommodations. Students at this university are protected against sexual harassment and discrimination (Title IX), and minors have additional protections. For more information on your rights as a student and the resources available to you to resolve problems, please go the following site: https://cms-test.alaska.edu/handbook/.

  1. Title IX Information:

University of Alaska Board of Regents have clearly stated in BOR Policy that discrimination, harassment and violence will not be tolerated on any campus of the University of Alaska.  If you believe you are experiencing discrimination or any form of harassment including sexual harassment/misconduct/assault, you are encouraged to report that behavior.  If you report to a faculty member or any university employee, they must notify the UAF Title IX Coordinator about the basic facts of the incident.  Your choices for reporting include:

  1. You may access confidential counseling by contacting the UAF Health & Counseling Center at 474-7043;
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