Polarimetric L-band Imaging Synthetic Aperture Radar (PLIS)

Grant Project Leader: Jeff Walker (Monash)
Project Team: Douglas Gray (UoA), Heath Yardley(UoA), Marian Viola(UoA)
External Project Team: Jeff Walker (Monash), Rocco Panciera (UoM),Jorg Hacker(FU), Andrew McGrath(ARA), Bvena Bates(DSTO), Nick Stacy(DSTO)
Funding: ARC LIEF Grant
Publications relating to this project - NOTE This page is a draft - this link needs to be removed before going live.

Project background

Soil moisture, through evaporation and transpiration, plays a major role in the evolution of weather and climate. NASA plans to deploy a satellite with both an active L band scatterometer and a passive L band radiometer to simultaneously collect and hence fuse global soil moisture data and achieve higher spatial resolution that can be achieved by a radiometer alone. The project is termed SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) and deployment is currently scheduled for around 2015. To allow pre-deployment validation of the SMAP concepts Australia has purchased an airborne L band radiometer (PLMR : Passive L-band Microwave Radiometer) and an L- band scatterometer (PLIS : a Polarimetric L-Band Imaging SAR). PLIS is a fully polarimetric airborne synthetic aperture digital radar and uses microstrip antennas to radiate and receive. It operates at 1.26GHZ with chirps having bandwidths up to 30MHz. It illuminates ground swaths either side of the aircraft and has secondary antennas that will be used for single pass interferometry.

Project aims

The ARRC component of this project will be:

  • To carry out initial testing and validation of PLIS
  • To carry out airborne trials of PLIS
  • Develop software for analysis of data
  • Participate in future soil moisture measuring trials
  • Develop novel uses of PLIS

PLIS poster