The UAVSAR (Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar) ground data processing infrastructure facilitates a wide range of mission operational processes through a centralized database, Web-enabled interfaces, and background automation. By tracking flight request submissions and flight planning activities, the database provides the most up-to-date historical records on how and when flight missions took place, as well as what radar data were collected. As data-collection missions wrap up, post-mission reports are uploaded to the database via a Web interface, while raw data are scanned into the database enabling the operator to perform polarimetric/interferometric processing on the radar data.

Through an integrated processing system, each data set goes through a queuing system that has access to supercomputing resources locally at JPL, or remotely at Ames Research Center. For every data take, each stage of the processing is automatically logged and confirmed systematically in the database, data product delivery is finalized at Alaska Satellite Facility, and online tools are utilized to search and download processed data. While the end-to-end radar operational process used to be a very communication-intensive workflow, the automated data flow design simplifies the overall process as well as promotes transparent adaptation of the processing infrastructure for future upgrades.

Through a Web-enabled and database-driven infrastructure with access to supercomputing resources and archival capability throughout NASA sponsored centers, the UAVSAR automated ground processing facility enables timely delivery of ground-processed data while providing coordination with ongoing missions from online flight-planning to post-flight logistics.

This work was done by Yunling Lou, Yang Zheng, Brian P. Hawkins, Sarah L. Flores, Bruce D. Chapman, Wayne W. Tung, and Anhua J. Chu of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The software used in this innovation is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Dan Broderick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refer to NPO-47892.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the January, 2015 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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