Alaska Satellite Facility
Delivering Remote Sensing Data Since 1991

Ecology Through Remote Sensing

Remote sensing offers powerful tools for ecology. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is particularly effective for land-cover classification, measurements of woody plant biomass, determining wetland inundation, and monitoring of crops. SAR bounces a radar signal off the Earth's surface to detect physical properties. Unlike optical technology, SAR can "see" through darkness, clouds, and rain.

Soil Moisture Active Passive  See SMAP

  • Learn about NASA's SMAP mission.

Wetlands  See Wetlands MEaSUREs

  • Discover ASF SAR DAAC's wetlands imagery, maps, and animations.

Terrestrial Ecology  See SAR Data for Terrestrial Ecologists

  • 100 SAR images for about 50 research locations.
  • Research locations selected for presence of micrometeorological sensors known as flux towers.
  • Because the towers chosen have geospatial data, researchers can validate SAR results against existing data.
This landmark, high-resolution map of Alaska wetlands, published in 2009, was created with mosaics of radar imagery. Click here to learn more and download data. © JERS.This landmark, high-resolution map of Alaska wetlands, published in 2009, was created with mosaics of radar imagery. Click here to learn more and download data. © JERS.
NASA's SMAP mission will yield data on soil moisture, which plays roles in weather, surface runoff, and sizes of streams and lakes. © NASA/JPL.NASA's SMAP mission will yield data on soil moisture, which plays roles in weather, surface runoff, and sizes of streams and lakes. © NASA/JPL.
Get SAR Data

Get SAR Data

Select and download SAR data online using Vertex.

Use the ASF API for downloading SAR data via a command line.