Welcome to WInSAR

Overview: The Western North America InSAR (WInSAR) Consortium was established by a group of practicing scientists and engineers to facilitate collaboration in, and advancement of, Earth science research using radar remote sensing. Its members are universities, research laboratories, and public agencies. WInSAR oversees the acquisition and archiving of spaceborne SAR data over western North America for the benefit of the membership. The major objectives of WInSAR are to:

  • Promote the use and development of InSAR technology for scientific investigations, in particular but not limited to, seismic and magmatic processes, plate boundary deformation, land subsidence, and topographic mapping.
  • Acquire SAR imagery in western North America, archive and catalog the data, and disseminate it for use by member organizations.
  • Provide value-added InSAR products and software for use by the scientific community.
  • Advocate the open exchange of SAR data by seeking to enlarge the number of member organizations.
  • Solicit funds and promote programs and space missions to meet these objectives.

UNAVCO provides organizational and operational support for WInSAR activities. The WInSAR Executive Committee acts as an Advisory Committee of the UNAVCO Board of Directors. UNAVCO's operational support includes membership administration, financial management, data management and archiving, and software tools for data exploration and access.

Motivation: The Earth's surface is a dynamic,complex system of processes that are constantly evolving and changing through time. Scientific research into these processes seeks to understand what causes some of the most significant natural hazards on Earth (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides) and how the risk from these events can be reduced for the affected citizens and environment. Long term processes such as subsidence due to groundwater extraction, change in ice thickness, and growth of forests are also necessary to understand exactly how the Earth's surface is changing across the globe. The technique of spaceborne Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) provides an excellent means of observing deformation (movement of the Earth's surface) over broad areas. It is capable of 10's of meters spatial resolution at monthly or greater intervals. InSAR has proven to be a powerful tool to characterize large-scale and small-scale deformation spanning time periods that range from a few years to decades. It is also an ideal tool for improving digital terrain models. WInSAR seeks to encourage the use and analysis of InSAR by providing access to data, software tutorials, and other means to education to help researchers across the world learn just how the ground is moving.

Data: WInSAR provides the opportunity to download both raw and processed SAR data. With the Seamless SAR Archive, you'll have the tools to search, access, and order (request additions to) the WInSAR data collection(s) of raw data from a variety of satellites. WInSAR helps coordinate requests for data acquisition and for data purchase, aiding individual investigators by simplifying interactions with data providers. There is also the InSAR Product Archive where you can upload a variety of processed data.

Funding: Funding for WInSAR operations and data acqusitions is provided by NSF, NASA, and the USGS. A portion of archived data was provided at low or no cost by the European Space Agency. WInSAR does not review or fund research.