Science For Alaska

Science for Alaska Lecture Series 2014: Feb. 4

“A World Without Night: The Endless Possibilities of Radar Remote Sensing.”

Franz Meyer
Associate Professor of Remote Sensing
UAF Geophysical Institute 

 
Abstract:
Believe it or not, radar technology has revolutionized our world. Nowadays, radar sensors are all around you. They predict the weather, are your eyes on the road at night, and make sure your airplane lands safely in bad weather. The tremendous success of radars is largely due to their remarkable ability to illuminate the darkness and see through clouds and fog.
In this presentation, you will hear about the development of this remarkable technology and will learn how radars are nowadays used to understand our planet and explore the universe. We will show how radars can produce two- and three-dimensional images of corners of the earth that are usually hidden below clouds or are often shrouded in darkness. We will explain how radars can measure the bulging of volcanoes when they prepare for eruptions and how they can sense the flow of ice masses towards the oceans. Towards the end of the talk, we will take radars out into the solar system, where they illuminate the dark side of the moon and penetrate the dense clouds surrounding Venus.
 
Biographical blurb:
Dr. Meyer is an associate professor in the department of Atmospheric sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Geophysical Institute.  He received his undergraduate and doctorate degrees in Geodetic Engineering from the Technical University of Munich in Munich, Germany.

After graduating Dr. Meyer worked as a senior radar remote sensing specialist for the Remote Sensing Technology Institute at the German Aerospace Center. He later came to Alaska to work for the Alaska Satellite facility as a Remote Sensing Scientist. He then became a Research Assistant Professor at the Geophysical Institute and later an associate professor.  In 2011, Dr. Meyer won the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society GOLD Early Career Award, which recognizes young scientists and engineers who have demonstrated outstanding ability and promise for significant contributions in the future. This international recognition is awarded only once per year.
 
Dr. Meyer’s research includes the development of advanced SAR, InSAR, PS-InSAR, and PolInSAR processing techniques and their application to geophysical problems. He uses SAR and InSAR data to study surface deformation, coastal change, tropospheric and ionospheric mapping, permafrost change, monitoring of natural hazards, such as volcanoes, earthquakes and glaciers.
 
Affiliations
Alaska Satellite Facility
UAF Department of Geology & Geophysics

Dr. Meyer’s research includes the development of advanced SAR, InSAR, PS-InSAR, and PolInSAR processing techniques and their application to geophysical problems. One aspect of his research focuses on the understanding, detection, modeling, and correction of tropospheric and ionospheric effects in single-pol, dual-pol, and quad-pol SAR and InSAR data. Also, he uses SAR and InSAR data to study surface deformation, coastal change, tropospheric and ionospheric mapping, and permafrost change.

Recent and ongoing work and research interests include:
  • Studying and mapping the dynamics of the troposphere and the ionosphere based on SAR observations
  • Monitoring of natural hazards (volcanoes, earthquakes, glaciers, ...) with SAR Interferometry
  • Mapping of slow surface motion (land subsidence, landslides) using the Persistent Scatterer technique
  • Conception and design of SAR Interferometry techniques with focus on current and future SAR satellites (e.g. TerraSAR-X, ALOS PALSAR, TanDEM-X, Radarsat-2 ...)
  • Applying SAR for mapping coastal erosion and permafrost change.