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In 1993 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry (InSAR) was introduced to the wider remote sensing community with the publication of the interferogram depicting the ground deformation caused by the Landers earthquake. Although the power of interferometry was demonstrated, the conventional technique has not always been applicable in all operational scenarios. Over the last few years, however, a number of technical developments have emerged that provide a higher precision of motion rates, the extraction of specific motion histories, and precise targeting. This paper examines uses of differential SAR interferometry (DifSAR) for monitoring geohazards. Limitations of DifSAR will be discussed: lack of coherence, atmospheric refraction and targeting. It will be shown how some of these limitations can be overcome with persistent scatterer interferometry (PSI), which detects slow ground motion with annual rates of as little as a few millimetres, reconstructing a motion history based on the European Space Agency's SAR image archive. The technique permits the estimation and removal of the atmospheric phase, achieving higher accuracies than DifSAR. PSI relies on the availability of pre-existing ground features that strongly and persistently reflect back the signal from the satellite. However, in highly vegetated regions, PSI may not be applicable because of the lack of natural scatterers. To ensure motion measurement of the ground or structures at targeted locations, the NPA Group is developing InSAR using artificial radar reflectors, such as Corner Reflectors (CRs) or Compact Active Transponders (CATs). Both reflector types are still undergoing validation tests, but results show a high phase stability in both cases.

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