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Space-Based Radar
Space-based radar refers to space-borne radar systems that may have any of a variety of purposes
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CloudSat
CloudSat is a NASA Earth observation satellite, which was launched on a Delta II rocket on April 28, 2006. It uses radar to measure the altitude and properties of clouds, adding to information on the relationship between clouds and climate in order to help resolve questions about global warming. CloudSat flies in formation in the "A Train", with several other satellites including Aqua, Aura, and CALIPSO. It has been in daytime-only operations since 2011 due to battery malfunction, requiring sunlight to power the radar. The mission was selected under NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder program in 1999
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Scatterometer
A scatterometer or diffusionmeter is a scientific instrument to measure the return of a beam of light or radar waves scattered by diffusion in a medium such as air. Diffusionmeters using visible light are found in airports or along roads to measure horizontal visibility. Radar scatterometers use radio or microwaves to determine the normalized radar cross section0--->, "sigma zero" or "sigma naught") of a surface
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Ocean Surface Topography
The ocean surface has highs and lows, similar to the hills and valleys of Earth's land surface depicted on a topographic map. These variations, called ocean surface topography (or sea surface topography), also dynamic topography, are mapped using direct (usually satellite-based) or indirect measurements of sea surface height relative to Earth's geoid. Earth's geoid is a calculated surface of equal gravitational potential energy and represents the shape the sea surface would be if the ocean were not in motion. The main purpose of measuring ocean surface topography is to understand the large-scale circulation of the ocean. On a daily basis, sea surface height (SSH) is most obviously affected by the tidal forces of the Moon and the Sun acting on the Earth. Over longer timescales, SSH is influenced by ocean circulation
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CryoSat
CryoSat is an ESA programme to monitor variations in the extent and thickness of polar ice through use of a satellite in low Earth orbit. The information provided about the behaviour of coastal glaciers that drain thinning ice sheets will be key to better predictions of future sea level rise
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Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar
Interferometric synthetic aperture radar, abbreviated InSAR (or deprecated IfSAR), is a radar technique used in geodesy and remote sensing. This geodetic method uses two or more synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images to generate maps of surface deformation or digital elevation, using differences in the phase of the waves returning to the satellite or aircraft. The technique can potentially measure millimetre-scale changes in deformation over spans of days to years. It has applications for geophysical monitoring of natural hazards, for example earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides, and in structural engineering, in particular monitoring of subsidence and structural stability.
Interferogram produced using ERS-2 data from 13 August and 17 September 1999, spanning the 17 August Izmit (Turkey) earthquake
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El Niño
El Niño /ɛl ˈnnj/ (Spanish pronunciation: [el ˈniɲo]) is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (commonly called ENSO) and is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific (between approximately the International Date Line and 120°W), including off the Pacific coast of South America. El Niño Southern Oscillation refers to the cycle of warm and cold temperatures, as measured by sea surface temperature, SST, of the tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean. El Niño is accompanied by high air pressure in the western Pacific and low air pressure in the eastern Pacific. The cool phase of ENSO is called "La Niña" with SST in the eastern Pacific below average and air pressures high in the eastern and low in western Pacific
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Measurement Of Sea Ice
Measurement of sea ice is important for safety of navigation and for monitoring the environment, particularly the climate. Sea ice extent interacts with large climate patterns such as the North Atlantic oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, to name just two, and influences climate in the rest of the globe. The amount of sea ice coverage in the arctic has been of interest for centuries, as the Northwest Passage was of high interest for trade and seafaring. There is a longstanding history of records and measurements of some effects of the sea ice extent, but comprehensive measurements were sparse till the 1950s and started with the satellite era in the late 1970s. Modern direct records include data about ice extent, ice area, concentration, thickness, and the age of the ice
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Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) is an international research effort that obtained digital elevation models on a near-global scale from 56° S to 60° N, to generate the most complete high-resolution digital topographic database of Earth prior to the release of the ASTER GDEM in 2009. SRTM consisted of a specially modified radar system that flew on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour during the 11-day STS-99 mission in February 2000, based on the older Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR), previously used on the Shuttle in 1994
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Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) was a joint space mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) designed to monitor and study tropical rainfall. The term refers to both the mission itself and the satellite that the mission used to collect data. TRMM was part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, a long-term, coordinated research effort to study the Earth as a global system. The satellite was launched on November 27, 1997 from the Tanegashima Space Center in Tanegashima, Japan. TRMM operated for 17 years, including several mission extensions, before being decommissioned in April 2015
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Earth Observation Satellite
Earth observation satellites are satellites specifically designed for Earth observation from orbit, similar to spy satellites but intended for non-military uses such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, map making etc. Most Earth observation satellites carry instruments that should be operated at a relatively low altitude. Altitudes below 500-600 kilometers are in general avoided, though, because of the significant air-drag at such low altitudes making frequent orbit reboost maneuvres necessary. The Earth observation satellites ERS-1, ERS-2 and Envisat of European Space Agency as well as the MetOp spacecraft of EUMETSAT are all operated at altitudes of about 800 km. The Proba-1, Proba-2 and SMOS spacecraft of European Space Agency are observing the Earth from an altitude of about 700 km
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Synthetic Aperture Radar
Synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) is a form of radar that is used to create two- or three-dimensional images of objects, such as landscapes. SAR uses the motion of the radar antenna over a target region to provide finer spatial resolution than conventional beam-scanning radars. SAR is typically mounted on a moving platform, such as an aircraft or spacecraft, and has its origins in an advanced form of side looking airborne radar (SLAR). The distance the SAR device travels over a target in the time taken for the radar pulses to return to the antenna creates the large synthetic antenna aperture (the size of the antenna)
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Sun-synchronous Orbit
A Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO, also called a heliosynchronous orbit) is a nearly polar orbit around a planet, in which the satellite passes over any given point of the planet's surface at the same local mean solar time. More technically, it is an orbit arranged so that it precesses through one complete revolution each year, so it always maintains the same relationship with the Sun.

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RISAT-1
Radar Imaging Satellite 1, or RISAT-1, was an Indian remote sensing satellite built and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The second RISAT satellite to be launched, it uses C-band 5.35 GHz Synthetic Aperture Radar for earth observation. The launch of RISAT-1 came several years after that of RISAT-2, which carried an Israeli-built X-band radar
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