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Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C and X-Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) mission is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission to planet earth, which began in 1991 to enhance our knowledge of the global environment. SIR-C/X-SAR data are improving our understanding of Earth's environment, including the global carbon cycle, the water cycle, climatic and geological processes, ocean circulation, and air-sea interactions. The multi-frequency SIR-C/X-SAR data, complemented by information from aircraft and ground studies, will give scientists clearer insights into environmental changes - those caused by nature as well as those induced by human activity.

SIR-C/X-SAR's radar waves penetrate clouds, and, under certain circumstances, can also penetrate vegetation., ice and dry sand. Acquiring data at night as well as during the day, the system allows scientists to make detailed studies of Earth's surface on a global scale, including new measurements such as biomass (surface plant material) and soil moisture.

A precursor to free-flyer satellite missions planned for later in the decade, SIR-C/X-SAR is the first spaceborne radar to simultaneously acquire data at multiple wavelengths and polarizations. The system is an evolution in technology for large-scale radar observations that began with Seasat in 1978 and continued with SIR-A in 1981 and SIR-B in 1984.

SIR-C was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. X- SAR was developed by the Dornier and Alenia Spazio companies for the German space agency, Deutsche Agentur fuer Raumfahrtangelegenheiten (DARA), and the Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI).

Media in category "SIR-C/X-SAR"

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