This ASAR Wide Swath image of 405 km wide by 1235 km long shows in a single acquisition the east of Spain, the west of France and a part of the north of Africa. This image is a nice demonstration of one of the main features of the Wide Swath Mode, which is the capability to cover more than 400 Km in range using the ASAR beam steering in elevation and the ScanSAR technique.
The Pyrenees mountains chain, natural borders between Spain and France, can be easily identified in the centre of the image.
The brighter land areas are major European cities. The city of Barcelona in Catalonia appears particularly bright in the centre right part of the image. The small dark patch in the south of the city near the coast is the mountain of Montjuich, where took place the 1929 International Exposition. The image shows how the Barcelona urban area extends towards the north, along the main road axes, joining the major industrial cities in Catalonia. Some main French cities are also visible in the image: Toulouse, in the centre right part of the image, Nantes, in the top centre of the image, with the Loire river flowing through, and Bordeaux in the south of Gironde estuary on the west coast. This is the largest estuary in France and it is formed by the confluence of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, flowing from south and east respectively. On the small area of Africa visible at the bottom of the image, the Atlas mountains chain and the city of Algiers can also be identified.
Instruments: Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR)
Date of Acquisition: 16 April 2003
Orbit number: 05895
Orbit direction: Ascending
Instrument features: Wide Swath Mode (150 meter resolution)
ASAR Polarisation: VV
NE Lat/Long: N 47.71 / E 1.65
NW Lat/Long: N 46.96 / W 3.88
SW Lat/long: N 35.48 / W 0.43
SE Lat/long: N 36.21 / E 4.20