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AIR Releases Nationwide InSAR Deformation Map

Jan 05, 2021

A research team led by Prof. WANG Chao from the Aerospace Information Research Institute (AIR) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and their cooperators released a nationwide deformation map relying on China's first supercomputing based Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) processing system.

Space-borne InSAR is a technique for mapping ground deformation by analyzing the phase of satellite radar images. By the time series analysis of interferometric phase from multi-temporal SAR images, it has the ability of obtaining millimeter-scale ground deformation.

By deploying on the supercomputing environment provided by the CASEarth Program, the research team has realized robust and efficient InSAR processing platform by combining high performance computing platform and InSAR big data processing techniques. Based on the system they have finished processing Sentinel-1 dataset covering the entire Chinese territory from 2018 to 2019, including nearly 12,000 SAR images, and have obtained China's first national-scale InSAR deformation results.

The total volume of processing data has reached 700 TB, and the computational efficiency has increased by 80 times. The number of coherent measurements is more than hundreds of millions, and the deformation mapping accuracy for urban areas is sub-centimeter scale.

The deformation map will contribute to national geological disasters monitoring such as large-scale subsidence and disasters prevention.

The study is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.