Orbit Errors in SAR Interferometry


Measuring large scale deformation phenomena with SAR interferometry (InSAR) requires adequate modelling of error sources, especially of those affecting an interferogram on long wavelengths. One of these are residual errors in the satellite orbits that induce an almost linear phase trend.

Example for a SAR interferogram of the Dutch province South Holland from an ERS tandem mission. Left: with orbit error, right: after correction.

Focus of Research

  • Qualitative and quantitative description of the interrelations between geometric errors in the satellite orbits and error signals in the interferogram.
  • Estimation of orbit errors from the interferometric error signals in a network of redundant linear combinations of interferograms.
  • Analysis of the effect of systematic baseline errors due to relative motion of the reference frame.


The research on orbit errors is pursued in cooperation with the department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands.


Bähr H, RF Hanssen (2012): Reliable estimation of orbit errors in spaceborne SAR interferometry – The network approach. Journal of Geodesy 86 (12), 1147-1164, DOI 10.1007/s00190-012-0571-6. (download pages: springerlink [for subscribers], EVA STAR [authors' version])

Bähr H, S Samiei-Esfahany, RF Hanssen (2012): On the Effect of Reference Frame Motion on InSAR Deformation Estimates. In: L Ouwehand (ed.): Proceedings of ’Fringe 2011’, 19.-23. Sep. 2011, Frascati, Italy, ESA SP-697. (download page)