Spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) can globally monitor dynamic processes on the Earth’s Surface. The last SAR to be developed and deployed by NASA was in the year 2000. This system’s high costs inhibited development of new and improved designs. NASA has now developed a new, state-of-the-art SAR system that can provide capabilities beyond established systems and at a fraction of the cost.

The current innovation utilizes heritage flight proven L-band Digital Beamforming Synthetic Aperture Radar (DBSAR) in conjunction with a new P-Band Digital beamforming Polarimetric and Interferometric EcoSAR (ESTO IIP) architecture. The system employs digital beamforming (DBF) and reconfigurable hardware to provide advanced radar capabilities not possible with conventional radar instruments.

The SAR is operated without the use of a slewing antenna allowing the single radar system to provide polarimetric imaging, interferometry, and altimetry or scatterometry data types. The SAR is also capable of Sweep-SAR, simultaneous SAR/GNSS-R, and simultaneous active/ passive techniques.

This system has an increased coverage area and can rapidly image large areas of the surface using the simultaneous left/right imaging. The resulting images maintain their full resolution and allows for faster full coverage mapping.

NASA is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology. Please contact NASA’s Licensing Concierge at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call at 202-358-7432 to initiate licensing discussions. For more information, visit here .