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Showing posts from April, 2019

Observing Flooding Extent in South Florida from ‘Super Camera’ 700km above the Earth

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Author: Boya Zhang
Looking at the title, you must be thinking I am crazy. And you will confirm that I am crazy, if I tell you this will be part of my PhD dissertation. You may also be wondering what is ‘super camera’? Why it is flying or floating in the 700 km in the outer space? Even if it exists, why and how to use this strange thing to observe South Florida flooding? Let me solve the puzzle.
The ‘super camera’ is not like a Canon digital camera. Indeed, it is a radar, which is short for ‘radio detection and ranging’. Simply speaking, one of the basic tasks of radar is to detect the signal and measure the distance.But, detect what signal, and measure the distance of what? My research uses a special type of radar, and it has a very unfriendly name- ‘Synthetic Aperture Radar’ or SAR. (Let’s skip the meaning of the first two words of the name, because it may take another article to explain!) SAR is able to actively transmit microwave signal towards the Earth surface. Indeed, the signal w…