Mapping for Sustainable Development
Kasarani, Nairobi, Kenya
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During the week of 14th – 18th October, RCMRD conducted a training on Application of SAR for Forest Biomass Analysis. This training is part of a series of activities focused on building capacity and decision-making capabilities provided by RCMRD in conjunction with SERVIR and NASA. The training was given by Edward Ouko LULC & Ecosystems Lead and David Ongo a GIS Technician. Mr. Degelo Sendabo the Remote Sensing Officercoordinated the training. Most of the participants in the training included public officials.

SAR- Synthetic Aperture Radar – produces fine resolution images from a radar system. They are active sensors carried by satellites that emit radio waves at different frequencies in the microwave and do not need sunlight to “illuminate” the targets, these radio waves suffer little or no interference from the atmosphere making it possible to acquire images in places where clouds prevail over long periods of time, such as rainforests.


With these images it is possible to perform robust time series analysis and detect changes in the landscape, such as flooded areas, deforestation, degradation, regeneration, fires, agricultural areas, and biomass variation, thus becoming great complementary information to images from optical sensors aboard satellites like the Landsat series and Sentinel-2 for example.


The focus of this  training was to bring radar basic concepts, pre-processing and applications of SAR data closer to the technicians who produce relevant information about ecosystems monitoring. And who often face issues working with optical data  due to weather events and/or high cloud cover.

The use of SAR for remote sensing is particularly suited for

tropical countries. By proper selection of operating frequency, the

microwave signal can penetrate clouds, haze, rain and fog and

precipitation with very little attenuation, thus allowing operation

in unfavourable weather conditions that preclude the use of

visible/infrared system [3]. Since SAR is an active sensor, which

provides its own source of illumination, it can therefore operate

day or night; able to illuminate with variable lookangle and can

select wide area coverage. In addition, the topography change can

be derived from phase difference between measurement using radar

interferomentry. SAR has been shown to be very useful over a wide

range of applications, including sea and ice monitoring [4], mining [5],

oil pollution monitoring [6], oceanography [7], snow monitoring [8],

classification of earth terrain [9] etc. The potential of SAR in a diverse

range of application led to the development of a number of airborne

and spaceborne SAR systems.


The 14th – 18th October, RCMRD, Nairobi


 See photos here:


14th – 18th October, RCMRD, Nairobi

Focal Points Kenya

Principal Secretary
Ministry of Mining
Works Building, Ngong Road
P.O. Box 30009 - 00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 272 3101
Fax: +254 20 271 4398

Department of Resource Surveys
and Remote Sensing (DRSRS)
P.O Box 47146, 00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel:+254 20 6009013/27
Fax:+254 20 6009705

Principal Secretary
Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning
Ardhi House, Ngong Road
P.O Box 30450-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel:+ 254 20 2718050/2717289
Fax:+254 20 2724470

Director of Surveys
Survey of Kenya
Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning
P.O Box 30046-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel:+254 20 2718050
Fax :+254 20 2717553

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