Sensor AIRSAR (airborne synthetic-aperture radar)
Platform NASA DC-8 aircraft
Data distributor AIRSAR POLSAR MLC products are available from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Data product name and version
Distribution disk files
Returned data
Returned metadata

Data product name and version

Short name Long name Version
MLC Multi-look Complex, Standard Quad Polarization None

Distribution disk files

SPW can read this data product without prior conversion. AIRSAR MLC data is distributed as a single file for each scene, for each frequency.

File Name File Type Required Contents/details

One of:

Product-specific binary format Yes The #### section of the file name is a product number that is unique to each data set. The last letter in the file name indicates the band frequency with which the image is captured (C band, L band, or P band).

Returned data

Data product Data returned Details
MLC Nine 32R rasters and one array segment

The rasters are spatially coincident and represent the six independent elements of the symmetrized covariance matrix (C3r3c).

Three of these elements are real and correspond to one raster each. The other three elements are complex and correspond to two rasters each (representing the real and imaginary complex number components).

The rasters conform to SAR slant-range geometry.

The array segment contains an incident angle value (in degrees) for each range sample location.

Returned metadata

Returned metadata for the data set level:

Name Description Values
SensorModelName The model name of the sensor that acquired the data. AIRSAR
SensorType The sensor type. SAR
ProductType The data product type. MLC
MatrixType The type of the matrix whose elements correspond to rasters in the data set. C3r3c
SAR_Calibration The SAR-related physical units of the pixel values in the returned rasters. sigma0
MicrowaveBand The microwave frequency band in which the sensor operated during data acquisition. P, C, or L
Polarizations The set of <transmit, receive> polarization pairs that is represented by the data set. HH, HV, VV
NumLooks The number of looks processed in range and azimuth. A numeric value greater than 1.

Returned metadata for the channel level:

Name Description Values
MatrixElement The row and column position and number component (imaginary or real) of the matrix element to which the raster corresponds.

A real-valued matrix element has only a real component and is represented by one raster.

An imaginary-valued matrix element has both a real and an imaginary component and is represented by two rasters.

Possible values for each raster: real_1_1, real_2_2 , real_3_3, real_1_2, imaginary_1_2, real_1_3, imaginary_1_3, real_2_3, imaginary_2_3


NASA JPL, AIRSAR Integrated Processor Documentation, Data Formats, Version 0.17. June 9, 2003.

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