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In terms of remote sensing applications, UAV-based imaging radar such as synthetic aperture radar (SAR)  has great potential due to its all-day, all-weather capabilities. As compared to conventional airborne or space-borne SAR systems, UAV SARs have several advantages which include low cost, low risk and timely operations. such technology is an extremely versatile tool with the ability to identify, monitor and also to quantify both anthropogenic and geophysical events. A big advantage of radar remote sensing is that the longer wavelength can penetrate through cloud cover, haze, and dust, which makes it very useful in areas that are continuously covered in cloud or are otherwise not easily acquired by optical remote sensing tecniques.When a SAR (synthetic aperture radar) is operated below 400MHz or so, it starts to penetrate soils, forest cover, ice and snow, and some man-made materials. It is therefore an ideal technique for rapidly surveying large areas to locate target objects which are concealed by soil or forest cover. By using an airborne RADAR system either mounted on a light weight aircraft or a UAV, it allows rescue authorities or researchers to monitor events from a safe distance and are still able to gain real time data and real time monitoring capabilities.

Application of Airborne RADAR include:

  • Search and Rescue
  • Search for shallow buried military targets
  • Imaging buried minefields
  • Site selection planning for construction and pipeline projects
  • Detection of vehicles and artillery under foliage
  • Detection of illicit human activity under foliage



RADAR technology can be used in the oil and gas industry to detect potentially new oil reserve by observing areas where Active Seepage is occurring. Active seepage refers to areas where subsurface hydrocarbons penetrate in large concentrations into shallow sediments with overlying water. Such seeps occur in basins where hydrocarbons are actively generating or they contain excellent migration pathways. In the offshore conditions leaking oil often can be detected due to the fact that oil comes to the surface from the seafloor as gas bubbles coated by oil or as oil drops which then form a thin film on the surface of the water which can be used to identify a burst or damaged pipe line, which in low sea state conditions are often visible as slicks. It is well-known that natural oil seeps can indicate the accumulations of hydrocarbon deposits and with the use of RADAR technology these Natural oil seeps can be detected in offshore basins and can sometimes mark continuations of the oil and gas fields located on the land. RADAR can also be used to detect accidental oil spills caused by damage to oil tankers and also illegal washing of the tankers in the sea.


Applications relating to the monitoring of forest status and to forest management require an up to date and an accurate data summarizing the land use changes as well as including the rates and patterns of deforestation and afforestation however forest inventories are labour-intensive and are costly. RADAR sensors from airborne platforms have the potential of providing quantitative information about the forest structure and biomass components and can be used to acquire a large amount of data that covers a huge area of a forest quickly and efficiently, the data can then be used to estimate the distribution of forest biomass and canopy fuel loads. This data proves very useful for fire forecasting and management models. The advantage over LIDAR, however, is that the microwaves afford some penetration through the canopy, although they share with LIDAR the limitation of narrow transects and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging systems are able to acquire images regardless of the weather and illumination conditions.



RADAR can scan a rock slope to monitor the spatial deformation of the face. Small movements of a rough wall can be detected with sub-millimetre accuracy. The advantage of radar over other monitoring techniques is that it provides full area coverage without the need for mounted reflectors or equipment on the wall. In addition, the radar waves adequately penetrate through rain, dust and smoke to give reliable measurements, in real-time and twenty-four hours a day. Other applications include the use of ground penetrating radar to aid in determining mining safety, establishing bedrock depth, mapping sand and gravel deposits, ascertain rock quality, in addition to mineral exploration. Radar can be used in igneous and metamorphic rock areas to locate hydrothermal features including cavities and in deep mine applications it can be used for identifying geologic features.



Several applications need imaging sensors for environmental monitoring which can continuously observe an area in a 24/7 mode independently from the weather and other atmospheric obscuration like dust and smoke. Radar systems can fulfil these requirements and enables the opportunity of low-cost and robust imaging and monitoring of the environment. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is imaging radar which utilizes relative motion between an antenna and the target under observation to synthesize a very long antenna via signal processing. As compared to the conventional real aperture radar, SAR can obtain finer spatial resolution. Today SAR has become an important tool for environmental monitoring because of its capability to operate day and night, and in nearly all weather conditions. It has wide range of applications, including sea and ice monitoring, mining, oil pollution monitoring, oceanography, snow monitoring, terrain classification. With its Ability to penetrate cloud cover, snow and ice as well as vegetation a SAR system is ideal for environmental monitoring in harsh conditions where it is to dangerous for a team to be sent.


RADAR is a valuable tool for the military the main applications for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) being reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeting. These applications are driven by the military's need for all-weather, day-and-night imaging sensors as well as having a sensor that provides the capability for imaging targets normally hidden by trees, brush, and other ground cover. SAR can provide sufficiently high resolution to distinguish terrain features and to recognize and identify selected manmade targets. SAR also provides the capability for all-weather, autonomous navigation and guidance. By forming SAR reflectivity images of the terrain and then "correlating" the SAR image with a stored reference, a navigation update can be obtained.


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