Spaceborne SAR based assessment of nuclear test effects : the case of North Korea

Fiscante, Nicomino and Biondi, Filippo and Addabbo, Pia and Clemente, Carmine and Giunta, Gaetano and Orlando, Danilo; (2021) Spaceborne SAR based assessment of nuclear test effects : the case of North Korea. In: 2021 Sensor Signal Processing for Defence Conference (SSPD). IEEE, GBR. ISBN 9781665433143 (

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This study aims at estimating the Earth deformations due to the nuclear test carried out by North Korea on the 3rd of September 2017 by processing a time series of synthetic aperture radar images acquired by the COSMO-SkyMed satellite constellation. For active satellite sensors working in the Xband, phase information can be unreliable if scenarios with dense vegetation are observed. This uncertainty makes difficult to correctly estimate both the interferometric fringes and the information phase delay generated by the variation in the space-time domain of the atmospheric parameters. To this end, in our research we apply the Sub-Pixel Offset Tracking technique, so that the displacement information is extrapolated during the coregistration process. The results reveal an accurate estimate of the spatial displacement of similar pixels due to the nuclear explosion. The work also reveals a hypothetical underground tunnel network.