An overview of SAR sensors and software and a comparative study of open source (SNAP) and commercial (SARscape) software for dinsar analysis using C-band radar images

Vivek Agarwal, Amit Kumar, Rachel L. Gomes, Stuart Marsh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Interferometry has several proven applications in seismology, volcanology, land movement, glaciology, hydrology, forestry sciences and numerous other fields. SAR techniques can solely be handled by experts in RADAR image processing. In addition, commercial software and high-quality radar data can be expensive and out of reach for most early researchers in this field. While many new SAR sensors are being launched, a look at their compatibility with different SAR processing software packages is also important. Thus an overview of past, present and future SAR sensors and software packages is discussed in this work. To understand the strength and limitations of open source and commercial SAR processing software, Differential Interferometry SAR (DInSAR) land displacement maps were created. The open-source software SNAP and commercial software SARscape were used to generate the land displacement maps. Sentinel-1A data over London between April 2015 and April 2018 was used. The land movement results obtained, shows that SNAP results are in good agreement to SARscape results. To compare the results, we made all attempts to keep the user input parameters consistent in both the experiments like multilooking factor, phase unwrapping principle, and filtering methods. However, some differences are unavoidable because of the Ground Control Points (GCPs) selection, co-registration, or spectral shift filtering steps. A difference of 1 mm/year in subsidence was observed in the results obtained from the two software packages. This is the first study that compares SNAP and SARscape software using Sentinel-1A data for London. We can conclude that open source and free of cost SAR software can be handy tools for DInSAR processing, especially for beginners who do not have access to expensive commercial software. We believe that more open source, free of cost datasets and software packages, will attract a larger number of early stage researchers in this field. It will enable an expansion of the use of DInSAR principle for different applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACRS 2020 - 41st Asian Conference on Remote Sensing
PublisherAsian Association on Remote Sensing
ISBN (Electronic)9781713829089
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event41st Asian Conference on Remote Sensing, ACRS 2020 - Deqing City, Virtual, China
Duration: 9 Nov 202011 Nov 2020

Publication series

NameACRS 2020 - 41st Asian Conference on Remote Sensing


Conference41st Asian Conference on Remote Sensing, ACRS 2020
CityDeqing City, Virtual

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