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A practical method for computing SAR satellite revisit times: application to RADARSAT-1 and ENVISAT

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Many geoscience applications of space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery require knowledge of the revisit time of the satellite at a location. In this paper, a practical method is presented for computing the revisit times of SAR satellites at any location on Earth. The method is based on the use of maps that give the number of imaging tracks, i.e. the number of satellite ground tracks from which a location can be imaged. With these maps and some basic equations, the revisit time of a SAR satellite or an arbitrary constellation of SAR satellites can be computed easily. As such, the presented method offers an alternative to computer programs that may not be available to everyone and often are tailored to the use of specific satellites. As an illustration of the method, maps with the number of imaging tracks have been computed for RADARSAT-1 and ENVISAT and their ease of use is shown by means of an example.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: TNO Physics and Electronics Laboratory, 2509 JG The Hague, Netherlands

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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