Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Optical & Radar Remote Sensing

radar and optical remote sensing


Advanced optical and radar remote sensing and image processing techniques are used at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) for detailed site-specific surveys, as well as regional assessments. Remote sensing techniques are routinely used to supplement near-surface geophysics in projects related to management of natural resources, for natural hazard assessment, and for infrastructure planning.

We have expertise in processing and analyzing radar interferometry (InSAR) data and have developed techniques for generating surface displacement maps and mapping the presence and progression of fault ruptures. These techniques are essential for analysis of crustal deformation, natural hazard assessment, regulatory review and analysis, and performance confirmation.

Remote Sensing Core Capabilities

  • Remote sensing data analysis techniques
  • Terrain analysis, categorization and other feature extraction techniques for mineral exploration and geological mapping
  • Change detection and time series analyses
  • Vegetation mapping
  • Land use and land cover analyses
  • Multispectral and hyperspectral data analysis
  • Radar interferometry
  • Multi-sensor data fusion
  • Data mining, including web delivery of raster and vector datasets
  • Custom design scripts/modules using macro languages such as ERDAS® Macro Language (EML), ERDAS® Spatial Modeler Language (SML), IDL/ENVI®, and ARC Macro Language™ (AML) and Microsoft® Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
  • Multispectral Data Displacement Analysis

Earth Airborne and Satellite Data

  • Optical
    • Multispectral (IKONOS, Landsat MSS, TM, ETM+; SPOT; MODIS; SeaWiFS, and weather satellites)
    • Hyperspectral (AVIRIS and Hyperion)
  • Radar
    • Amplitude images (ALOS, ERS-1/2, RADARSAT, JERS, ENVISAT, TerraSAR-X)
    • SAR interferometry

SwRI maintains state-of-the-art equipment and software to support GIS (geographic information systems), remote sensing, and visualization projects. On the Solaris XP platforms, we utilize ArcGIS, ArcView®, ERDAS IMAGINE®, EarthVision® as well as a few freeware image processing and GIS packages. Under the Windows®NT/2000/XP platforms, we utilize ArcGIS®, ArcView®, IDL/ENVI®, Surfer®, and Petrel® software.