SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellites are orbiting satellites which use radars (generally at C- or X-band) to map terrain and measure it properties such as soil moisture, etc. From late 2017, the AuScope telescopes have been used to track the SENTINEL-1 SAR satellite, which makes a pass over the sites once every 12 days. By pointing the telescopes to a fixed direction, the telescopes provide a clear reflection to the radar beam and appear as bright, fixed reference points in the radar image.
The passes are extremely short and are generally complete in two minutes or less. With slewing times included, the total interruption to a schedule is less than 5 minutes. As such, we now support regular observations of the SENTINEL-1 satellite, even where this interrupts a regularly scheduled experiment. This is practically implemented through the
addSAR.sh script, which automatically edits the SNAP file for an experiment removing or shortening scans as necessary to support the SENT-1 track.
addSAR.sh is now run by default when preparing the SNP files through