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IFSAR Technology

GeoSAR is the world’s only multi-band, single-pass airborne radar mapping system. Based on interferometric synthetic aperture radar technology, commonly referred to as IFSAR or InSAR, GeoSAR operates at very high altitudes and speeds to simultaneously map surface features (using X-band) and near bare-earth elevation (using P-band). Developed in partnership with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Fugro commercialized the system in 2002 and has since mapped over 900,000 square kilometers using this one-of-a-kind system. Our in-house radar engineers and scientists continue to improve the system’s capabilities and throughput while also expanding the range of applications that can be supported by GeoSAR data.

GeoSAR technology provides:

Mapping above and below foliage
X- and P-band radar data is collected concurrently from each side of the aircraft. The X-band wavelength penetrates clouds and reflects from tree canopy to deliver surface model data in forested areas and accurate terrain elevation in open areas. The P-band wavelength penetrates both clouds and tree canopy to deliver superior terrain elevation and surface feature extraction in forested areas. These characteristics make GeoSAR ideal for mapping large areas of mixed land cover.
Efficient, reliable large area map production
GeoSAR is ideally suited for large area mapping projects. GeoSAR production follows ISO 9001:2000-certified mandates to ensure consistent, timely, and high quality data deliverables.
Comprehensive data coverage
As the aircraft traverses a flight line, GeoSAR provides two independent “views” for every point on the ground, in each radar band. Flying successive parallel flight lines allows the collection of overlapping data strips with four or more independent views. Each ground point is typically viewed twice from the left and twice from the right, at a steep and shallow angle, ensuring highly detailed and complete datasets.
Wide range of data uses
A single GeoSAR mission supports a multitude of uses. In addition to topographic and thematic mapping in support of a national geospatial framework, GeoSAR data supports activities related to national security, oil and gas exploration and production, water resource management, and more.
On-board vertical ground control
GeoSAR incorporates a LiDAR profiler for on-board, high density ground control. The profiler vastly reduces the need for surveyed control points and eliminates the time, costs, and dangers associated with field crews establishing ground control in remote or inhospitable areas.
Full data ownership
Fugro does not license GeoSAR deliverables, which means clients own their products without any restriction on use or distribution.