The ISSI software package is designed to image the ionosphere from space by calibrating and processing polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) data collected from low Earth orbit satellites. Signals transmitted and received by a PolSAR are subject to the Faraday rotation effect as they traverse the magnetized ionosphere. The ISSI algorithms combine the horizontally and vertically polarized (with respect to the radar system) SAR signals to estimate Faraday rotation and ionospheric total electron content (TEC) with spatial resolutions of sub-kilometers to kilometers, and to derive radar system calibration parameters. The ISSI software package has been designed and developed to integrate the algorithms, process PolSAR data, and image as well as visualize the ionospheric measurements.

A number of tests have been conducted using ISSI with PolSAR data collected from various latitude regions using the phase array-type L-band synthetic aperture radar (PALSAR) onboard Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite mission, and also with Global Positioning System data. These tests have demonstrated and validated SAR-derived ionospheric images and data correction algorithms.

This work was done by Xiaoqing Pi, Bruce D. Chapman, Anthony Freeman, Walter Szeliga, Sean M. Buckley, Paul A. Rosen, and Marco Lavalle 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..

This software 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.. NPO-48351

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This article first appeared in the September, 2013 issue of Software Tech Briefs Magazine.

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