Members of the Sensor Systems team, lead by Mr. Paul K. Gill, had been busy the last few months reactivating the STAR-6 Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR) platform sensor onboard a Learjet 36 (pictured above). This system typically operates at a speed of 720 km/hour, transmitting a 3cm X-band signal at a bandwidth of 270 MHz allowing for the creation of a crisp 50 centimeter orthorectified radar image (pictured below) and a 5 m posted digital elevation data set (pictured below). The interferometric baseline is 1.04 m in length which allows us to achieve high resolution elevation data in the order of 60 cm root mean square error vertical accuracy in unobstructed low sloped terrain.
The radar upgrade of STAR-6 included new high power switches which replace older technology (Pin Diodes) with new technology that improve data quality produced by the radar system. The typical flying altitude is 8500 meters above the ground which provides a swath width or data collection strip width of 11 km in width. The airborne Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR or INSAR) technology attracts much attention in the geospatial community, especially in cloud belt regions where the sensor is able to penetrate clouds and operate during the night time, allowing for data collection 24/7. Other advantages associated with an airborne IFSAR mapping include flexibility of system deployment, near weather-independent operation, versatile map products, large area collections, and quick turnaround time.
Leaders in the geospatial community consider the IFSAR technology to be a cost-effective 3D mapping technology which provides digital surface models (DSM), digital terrain models (DTM), and orthorectified radar imagery (ORI). The reactivation of the STAR-6 platform will allow Intermap to operate in the Americas immediately.
“The Lear 36 platform has proven itself over the past two decades of being very efficient for remote sensing applications. It is incredibly satisfying that Intermap has two of the newest STAR Technology radar systems ready for service on these platforms. This, along with the new high power switching technology that has been integrated into STAR-6, will prove to be very valuable for Intermap’s Data Acquisition Services.” Paul Gill, Sensor Systems Manager