Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR)



The AIRSAR radar antennas on the back part of the DC-8 aircraft.

The Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) was an all-weather imaging tool able to penetrate through clouds and collect data at night. The longer wavelengths could also penetrate into the forest canopy and in extremely dry areas, through thin sand cover and dry snow pack. AIRSAR was designed and built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) which also manages the AIRSAR project. AIRSAR served as a NASA radar technology testbed for demonstrating new radar technology and acquiring data for the development of radar processing techniques and applications. As part of NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise, AIRSAR first flew in 1988, and flew its last mission in 2004.

Instrument Type: 
Point(s) of Contact: 
Yunling Lou (POC; PI)