PhD Studentship in SAR Remote Sensing SubSAR: Sub-surface radar imaging from space

Applications are invited for a 3-year fully-funded PhD studentship, available immediately.

Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is the main imaging tool for airborne and spaceborne radar platforms, and allows rapid, repeat imaging of large parts of the earth’s surface. However, there is a glaring capability gap in our ability to map, or even determine, sub-surface features in SAR imagery, from the geological scale down to individual pixels. Current schemes rely on close-proximity ground penetrating radars, which place severe restrictions on the size of the area that can be investigated or even accessed.

SubSAR is a radical new technique that promises, for the first time, sub-surface mapping at large stand-off distances, and at very high resolutions. It discriminates between surface and sub-surface returns using a novel application of differential SAR interferometry (DInSAR). Work so far has established a proof of concept, and this research will further progress the scheme for practical exploitation by current and future airborne and spaceborne SAR platforms. It promises exciting exploitation opportunities as varied as environmental monitoring, archaeology, and humanitarian demining. The study will involve the validation and development of a coherent radar-soil model, supported by laboratory and field measurements using the department’s extensive microwave measurement facilities.

Entry Requirements

Candidates should hold a first/ upper-second class degree or a masters (MSc/MRes) in a science subject. The PhD is aimed at UK/EU students, although exceptional overseas students might be considered. Good interpersonal and communication (oral and written in English) skills are required, as is an ability to work independently.

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Applicants are eligible for an annual bursary of £13,000-£15,000.

How to apply

A CV and the names and addresses of two referees should be sent to Dr K. Morrison at via the ‘Apply’ button below.

You can also contact Dr  Morrison by email for an informal discussion.

The closing date is September 30th.

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