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History of InSAR

It has been noted since early times that SAR interferometry (InSAR) is feasible technology. However, because observation data required for InSAR was not enough and a computer for InSAR analysis required a enormous amount of memory and calculation, InSAR did not come into practical use before 1990.

Using the data acquired by SEASAT (launched 1978), etc., pioneering experiments for InSAR were conducted at the U.S. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and showed that InSAR was effective. In those days, however, a shortage of available data made it difficult for InSAR to become popular.

Meanwhile, SAR has been successively installed on airplanes and satellites in the 1990s, the research results using phase data of SAR has started to be published. In the beginning, the main purpose of SAR observation was to measure elevation. But the achievements made by Massonnet, et al. or Zebker, et al., which revealed the crustal deformation caused by the 1992 Landers earthquake using the European Satellite ERS-1, let InSAR come to the front.


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