Skip Navigation
Advanced Component Technology

SRI CubeSat Imaging Radar for Earth Science (SRI-CIRES)

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Ground deformation measurements obtained with interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) technologies have the potential to improve short-term forecasting of natural hazards and enable more effective management of natural resources. For maximum impact, InSAR measurements must be precise (sub-cm level) and timely. Frequent acquisitions (sub-weekly) are needed to achieve both requirements. More observations per unit time provide enhanced deformation precision through averaging, and ensure that an event is properly captured and characterized. Yet, single-platform sensors cannot simultaneously achieve frequency and wide-area coverage, and traditional InSAR sensors are too expensive (> $300M) to replicate.   We propose to provide high-precision ground deformation measurement capabilities in an affordable package ($1-2M) that can be used to form a constellation of InSAR sensors capable of rapid-repeat (daily) coverage of science targets. Such achievements are made possible through developments in nanosatellite technology, specifically the emergence of the CubeSat standard. We have designed a TRL 2 (TRLin) S-band radar subsystem capable of moderate-resolution (25 m), high-fidelity InSAR performance (sub-cm deformation precision, SNR > 14 dB). The radar fits within 1U of a 6U CubeSat and satisfies the power and thermal requirements of the CubeSat environment. We call this subsystem the SRI CubeSat Imaging Radar for Earth Science (SRI-CIRES). In this investigation, we will develop, build, and test the RF and digital electronic subassemblies of SRI-CIRES over a two-year period to achieve a functional prototype at TRL 5 (TRLout). We will ensure that the SRI-CIRES prototype can meet the science objectives and performance requirements of an operational mission (e.g., can correct atmospheric artifacts and ionospheric effects to achieve sub-cm level accuracy). We will also use funds from this award to thoroughly study and model supporting subsystems, such as power, shielding, and thermal support, as well as the high-gain deployable antenna that SRI-CIRES requires to operate as a full instrument.

More »

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Share this Project

Organizational Responsibility

Project Management

Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Technology Areas

Target Destination

Light bulb

Suggest an Edit

Recommend changes and additions to this project record.
^