Alaska Satellite Facility
Delivering Remote Sensing Data Since 1991

Seasat Making History

NASA's first orbital synthetic aperture radar

In Seasat's 106 days of remote sensing, it collected more information about the ocean surface — its primary mission — than had been acquired in 100 years of shipboard research.

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Processing Seasat SAR

Seasat's raw data was stored on tapes for decades

The details of how Seasat synthetic aperture radar data have been cleaned and processed for delivery to the scientific community; users are encouraged to give feedback.

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Get Seasat Data

Access Seasat SAR data and imagery

Satellite data products are available to users through ASF under NASA's open-access data policy.

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  •  For the past 20 years, I’ve had scientists calling me and emailing me from many places in the world asking me when Seasat data might be available. It still has unexamined value; it represents this older data set that has not been digitally processed to completion and so not fully analyzed.

    Ben Holt, Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  •  For software engineers, the most interesting thing about processing SAR images of 1978 are the challenges of resurrecting data that sat dormant on magnetic tapes for 35 years. Basically we've been processing the newest SAR products from the oldest SAR data around. Images of Earth from 1978 have been gradually revealed as we've cleaned everything from 'bit rot' to time records.

    Tom Logan, Senior Software Engineer, Alaska Satellite Facility
  •  At the time Seasat was mostly a demonstration that a relatively low-cost radar remote sensing satellite could be built. But after some of the data were available in digital format, we (primarily Richard Goldstein at JPL) were able to demonstrate for the first time that orbital SAR data could be used for interferometry.

    Howard Zebker, Geophysicist, Stanford University

ASF is a NASA Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) specializing in synthetic aperture radar data.


Get SAR Data

Get SAR Data

Select and download SAR data online using Vertex.

Use the ASF API for downloading SAR data via a command line.