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Explore techniques to apply SAR to the monitoring of hazards and the Earth’s ecosystems.

Professional Certificate in
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR): Applications

What you will learn

  • Gain an intuitive understanding of SAR image and phase information.
  • The role of wavelength and signal polarization on SAR image content.
  • Use of interferometric SAR techniques to measure cm-scale surface deformation.
  • Analyze ecosystem parameters using polarimetric information.
  • Pick the optimal sensor wavelength and polarization for your application.
  • Use of SAR images and time series analysis to map hazards such as flooding and deforestation.
  • Use of interferometric SAR techniques to measure cm-scale surface deformation related to volcanic activity and landslides.
  • Use SAR data to map and monitor agriculture extent.
  • Apply SAR to map and assess forest degradation activities.
  • Techniques to measure above-ground forest biomass from spaceborne SAR observations.
  • Properties of different SAR sensor types.

Remote sensing observations from airborne and spaceborne SAR satellite platforms have become an essential tool in earth observation. They provide an immediate and large-area overview of the evolving earth environment, revealing important information on the state of ecosystems, unfolding natural hazards, as well as geodynamic phenomena across the earth’s surface such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and the cryosphere.

This certificate program will introduce you to the concepts and applications of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), a remote sensing technology that can see the ground even during darkness and through rain, clouds, or smoke. As a participant completing the certificate, you will gain an intuitive understanding of the information contained in SAR observations. You will learn about the concepts of interferometric SAR and experience how SAR data acquired at different polarizations can reveal a wealth of information about the earth environment. Based on these foundations of SAR, interferometric SAR, and polarimetric SAR, participants will learn about how SAR and change detection techniques can be applied to the monitoring of natural hazards and to the analysis of the Earth’s ecosystems.

Specific topics include:

  • The mathematical and physical principles of SAR remote sensing.
  • How to access and visualize SAR data.
  • Interpretation of SAR imagery at different wavelengths and polarizations.
  • Interferometric SAR (InSAR) concepts.
  • The principles of Polarimetric SAR (PolSAR).
  • Application of SAR and InSAR to hazard monitoring with a focus on natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, wildfires, and flooding.
  • Application of SAR and polarimetric SAR data to the analysis of ecosystems and their change including monitoring agriculture extent, forest monitoring for forest fires and deforestation, and forest biomass estimation.

Learners on the verified track will put their learned knowledge into action in data analysis and data processing exercises, in which class participants will analyze SAR, InSAR and polarimetric SAR data sets, and apply them in hazard and ecosystems monitoring case studies. Learners who select the verified track will also have access to online computational labs using Jupyter notebooks that will allow deeper exploration and practice.

Recommended Prerequisites

In order for learners to succeed in the courses in this professional certificate, the following prerequisites and trainings are recommended:

  • General proficiency in GIS
  • For verified track: Basic knowledge in Python programming
  • ARSET Level-0 Training “Fundamentals of Remote Sensing” or equivalent
  • ARSET Level-1 Training “Introduction to Synthetic Aperture Radar” or equivalent

Expert instruction
3 skill-building courses
Progress at your own speed
3 months
4 - 6 hours per week
Discounted price: $429.30
Pre-discounted price: $477USD
For the full program experience

Courses in this program

  1. AlaskaX's Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR): Applications Professional Certificate

  2. 4–6 hours per week, for 4 weeks

    This course provides foundational knowledge of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) remote sensing including SAR imaging, SAR interferometry, and the concepts of polarimetric SAR. The individual concepts will be illustrated with data sets from spaceborne and airborne SAR missions.

  3. 4–6 hours per week, for 4 weeks

    This course focuses on the applications of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) remote sensing for disaster monitoring. Learn about weather and illumination-independent SAR remote sensing technology, and explore its applications to natural hazards including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and flooding.

  4. 4–6 hours per week, for 4 weeks

    This course will introduce the contributions of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) remote sensing to the monitoring of Earth’s ecosystems. Learn how the weather-independence of SAR combined with its ability to penetrate into vegetation canopies make SAR an excellent information source to characterize vegetation structure, measure above-ground biomass, and analyze the change of vegetation long term and throughout the seasons.

    • SAR remote sensing scientists at data analytics companies.
    • Remote sensing specialist at government agencies such as USGS, NGA, NASA, USDA, etc.
    • Data analyst in the New Space remote sensing sector.
    • Demand for Remote Sensing Technicians is expected to go up, with an expected 12,220 new jobs filled by 2029. This represents an annual increase of 2.19 percent over the next few years. (source:

Meet your instructor
from University of Alaska Fairbanks (AlaskaX)

Franz Meyer
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Experts from AlaskaX committed to teaching online learning

Enrolling Now

Discounted price: $429.30
Pre-discounted price: $477USD
3 courses in 3 months
Pursue the Program

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