Signal Processing

Plugs in a radar
A man in a red snowsuit lifts open a wood box on top of a lot of snow
A P3 plane in a snowy landscape

Getting Data Ready to Read

The CReSIS Signal and Data Processing Group researches new radar processing algorithms and designs, develops, and operates an open source radar processing pipeline for radar sounder data. The efforts of our group run the full gambit of the processing pipeline. Our research focuses on radar data collected over the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and sea ice in the Arctic and Southern Oceans for sounding temperate glaciers, measuring land snow, and monitoring agricultural systems.

Our Team

John Paden and Jilu Li lead a team of graduate students in signal and data processing, radar system engineering, and radar imaging. Students in our group work on various aspects of these problems and techniques. Some students straddle the hardware and software worlds while others stay focused on strictly software aspects.
Two men in a plane look at a radar system
The Signal Processing team at Nichols
The Signal Processing team outside

Signal Processing

  • US Navy 050403-N-4371L-001 Fire Controlman 3rd Class Christopher D. Dotson of Houston, Texas, attaches a loader assembly to a Close-In Weapons System (CIWS). Image from Wikipedia Commons

    Radar Calibration

    All aspects of radar calibration (e.g. radiometric, antenna array, system impulse response) including support for routine measurements to ensure radar performance

  • The 202nd Air Defence Brigade in the Western Military District in Russia. This air defence brigade is equipped with S-300V-SAMs. This brigade received these systems in 1989. By Vitaly V. Kuzmin

    Data ingest

    Data ingest from a variety of radar systems (we are actively working on adding support for additional radar systems so please contact us if you are interested in a particular system)

  • Research into the military applications of high-energy pulsed power systems is conducted in the 34,261-square-foot Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate, High Power Systems Facility. The facility houses Shiva Star, the Air Force’s largest pulsed-power system. Shiva Star stores nearly 10 million joules of energy (equal to 5 pounds of TNT). It produces a pulse of 120,000 volts and 10 million amps in one-millionth of a second. Photo courtesy United States Air  Force

    Pulse Compression

    Pulse compression and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) including a focus on layered media such as an ice sheet and related noise suppression techniques

  • Microstructure of heat affected zone corresponding to root pass. The base metal is UNS S32750 super duplex stainless steel. The welding process is gas metal arc welding. By Doris Ivette Villalobos-Veraa

    Multipass processing

    Multipass processing for differential InSAR (DInSAR) and SAR tomography.

  • : NASA and Boeing workers manufacture and process new roll out solar arrays for the International Space Station. Seen here is in the high bay of the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 2, 2021. The 63- by- 20-foot solar arrays will launch to the International Space Station later this year. They are the first two of six new solar arrays that in total will produce more than 120 kilowatts of electricity from the Sun’s energy. Courtesy NASA

    Array processing techniques

    Array processing techniques such as interferometric SAR (InSAR) and SAR tomography


    Image Analysis

    Image analysis using machine learning algorithms currently focused on layer and surface tracking in radar imagery

  • Pictured is an RAF Sentinel R1 aircraft from 5 Squadron, RAF Waddington, undergoing an engine test as part of routine maintenance at RAF Akrotiri, where the ISTAR aircraft was part of Operation SHADER. By Cpl Tim Laurence RAF

    Scientific analysis of radar data

    Scientific analysis of radar data and sensor fusion with radar data. Radar sounder systems that we have worked with range from 15 MHz to 38 GHz and scientific applications cover a range of natural phenomenon.

  • The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over part of the Mekong Delta – a major rice-producing region in southwest Vietnam. From the European Space Agency.

    Data distribution

    Data distribution including geospatial database, web server, and map server as well as tools to support data users

  • Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star hove to off of Marble Point, Antarctica, Jan. 23, 2014. Polar Star transported a nearly one mile of fuel hose to the Air Station at Marble Point. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt.j.g. Paul Garcia.


    The Open Polar Server is a complete spatial data infrastructure run by CReSIS