SERVIR releases handbook on using SAR methodologies for forest monitoring and biomass estimation

SERVIR, a joint development initiative of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and SilvaCarbon, a U.S. government programme working to enhance capacity around the world in monitoring and managing forests, have announced the release of the “Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Handbook: Comprehensive Methodologies for Forest Monitoring and Biomass Estimation.” The publication brings together methods and theoretical background to facilitate the use of  SAR data for forest monitoring and biomass estimation.

The SAR Handbook is available for free as an e-Book on the SERVIR Global website. Each chapter of the Handbook is divided into a theory section, written by a SAR expert, which discusses the scientific background of the chapter topic; a step-by-step tutorial section, which provides instructions on how to put the theory into practice; and additional tutorial materials, which include data, scripts, slideshows necessary to complete the tutorial.

The Handbook also offers complementary materials for the general public such as  one-page quick reference guides highlighting key concepts, and an animated video explaining in straightforward language how SAR can capture information for forest monitoring.

The topics covered throughout the chapters include spaceborne synthetic aperture radar, using SAR data for mapping deforestation and forest degradation; forest stand height estimation; SAR methods for mapping and monitoring forest biomass; radar remote sensing of mangrove forests; sampling designs for sar-assisted forest biomass surveys and perspectives on the future application of sar in forest and environmental monitoring.

Given the crucial role forests play in our world and the growing volume of free and open source SAR datasets, SERVIR and SilvaCarbon took on the role of developing, and gathering in one document, resources that effectively explain how to use and process these powerful datasets for specific applications. The Handbook provides easily understandable technical materials for optical remote sensing specialists interested in using radar remote sensing for forest