Day 4

Detailed paper information

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Paper title The NovaSAR-1 satellite and the journey towards NovaSAR ARD
  1. Electra Panagoulia Satellite Applications Catapult Speaker
  2. Cristian Rossi Satellite Applications Catapult
  3. Amy Parker Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  4. Zoe James SSTL
Form of presentation Poster
  • B7. NewSpace missions
    • B7.02 European New Space and CCM Activity
Abstract text The NovaSAR mission is a UK technology demonstration mission of a small Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite. It is a partnership between the UK Space Agency (UKSA), Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), the Satellite Applications Catapult (Catapult) and Airbus, with UKSA, SSTL, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) sharing the observational capacity of the satellite. NovaSAR-1 was launched in September 2018, with the start of the service starting in late 2019, with a nominal lifespan of 7 years.
NovaSAR was built as a low-cost payload demonstrator, with a manufacturing cost of just 20% of traditional SAR satellites, while ensuring flexible and good performance SAR imaging capabilities. It is a S-band SAR satellite, opening up new observation capabilities to users since most space-borne SAR missions have so far focussed on C-, L- or X-band. It has a revisit time of around 14 days, and a range of acquisition modes available. More importantly, it is the first civilian SAR mission to carry an AIS receiver on board, meaning simultaneity of SAR observation and AIS message reception which has not been possible before. To strengthen this capability, it is equipped with a maritime acquisition mode, which is designed to maximise ship detection over large areas of sea or ocean.
Analysis Ready Data (ARD) has become an increasingly important feature of making satellite mission data more accessible and usable by a wider audience, including non-specialists in Earth Observation. An ever-increasing number of services and applications rely on ingesting and analysing ARD, and so making NovaSAR data available in an ARD format is seen as key for all mission partners to realise their key mission objectives. Among these are to increase the uptake of medium-resolution SAR data through the development of novel applications, supporting respective government-mandated scientific objectives and increasing national expertise in the use of SAR data.
This study will show the creation of a NovaSAR ARD pipeline, with a large collaborative effort from mission partners to align ARD processing flows and work together to resolve some ongoing issues with the NovaSAR data. The aim is to produce ARD alongside level 1 NovaSAR data, that are compliant with CEOS ARD For Land (CARD4L) standards, for both Stripmap and ScanSAR acquisition modes, thus covering all NovaSAR acquisition modes (with the exception of maritime mode). A timeline towards the goal of routinely making available NovaSAR ARD, along with details of specific applications this will enable, will be presented.