Ka-band SWOT Phenomenology Airborne Radar

KaSPAR is a Ka-band single-pass, multi-baseline along- and across-track interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) designed to support the NASA Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) calibration/validation effort as the primary payload of the AirSWOT cal/val platform. KaSPAR will also support airborne field campaigns studying hydrodynamic and oceanic processes. This unique sensor will provide very high resolution topographic and velocity maps. Entirely solid-state, the system is designed to fly unpressurized to altitudes up to 70 kft.

Instrument / Performance Specifications:

  • Center Frequency: 35.75 GHz.
  • Bandwidth: 80 to 450 MHz.
  • Solid-state Transmitter: 36W peak.
  • Platform Altitude: up to 70 kft.
  • Swath: 0 to 27 degrees (assume 6 m/s wind speed over ocean).
  • Mean Height Precision: 1.2/2.1 cm with 80m azimuth and 20/50 m range posting.
  • Radial Velocity Error: < 5 cm/s (5 to 27 deg incidence).

Initially developed under a NASA SBIR, NASA's Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) is continuing this effort by jointly funding RSS and JPL to fully integrate and test KaSPAR for the AirSWOT program. The first checkout and calibration flights of KaSPAR are to be in the spring/summer of 2012 on a NASA King Air B200 aircraft .

Read the KaSPAR White Paper here.

Partners and Related Technologies and Missions:

Contact RSS for more information.