Over the past few months, MetaSensing has been taking measurements over the low hills of the Ardennes and into the agricultural region of Hesbaye. Flying between Liège and Brussels, this campaign is known as BelSAR, short for Belgium Synthetic Aperture Radar, while also a play on the French word 'belle,' reflecting the beauty of this region.
BelSAR is a special project in that it is one of the first airborne bistatic SAR measurements at L-band. This means that two L-band sensors are required to be at different positions, and therefore must be on two separate aircraft! While the complications in terms of assembly, management, and operation are many, the outcome of the campaign is worth it -- and so are the views!
BelSAR aims at measuring crop growth and soil moisture by using top-of-the-line radar sensors and processing techniques. In particular, temporal and geo-coordination are crucial to aligning the images from separate aircraft.
MetaSensing has completed a test and two official data takes during this campaign so far, as well as several missions done over the Netherlands to prepare for this project. The campaign continues into the fall, following the growth season and harvest.