Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

Imaging With Radar

  • By Rick Groleau
  • Posted 01.07.03
  • NOVA

Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) uses radio waves to "see" in complete darkness and through rain, clouds, and snow. It is becoming a regular component of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, like those flown over Afghanistan. The following picture shows what Washington, D.C. would look like if it were imaged by a SAR-equipped spy plane flying overhead on a snowy winter day.

Launch Interactive

See what synthetic aperture radar, like that used by spy planes, can reveal in this picture of Washington, D.C.

This feature originally appeared on the site for the NOVA program Spies That Fly.

Credits

Photo
© Sandia National Laboratories

Related Links

  • See Spy Photos

    A surveillance-image specialist analyzes photos of Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, and other political hotspots.

  • MiG vs. Sabre Anatomy

    Compare the two fighters—one Russian, one American—whose pilots dueled to the death over "MiG Alley."

  • Rise of the Drones

    Meet a new breed of flying robots, from tiny swarming vehicles to giant unmanned planes.

  • Space Race Time Line

    Examine turning points in the history of the heated competition between the U.S. and USSR to dominate space.

Close

You need the Flash Player plug-in to view this content.