Tomographic processing of Sentinel-1

I was trying to generate a canopy height model using Sentinel-1 interferometric pair for a tropical mangrove forest site. But as the coherence values were low I couldn’t produce a good DEM for the area. Now I am thinking about doing tomographic processing of Sentinel-1 data. Is it technically possible to do it?

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Well, I am not an expert of tomography, but you normally need high values of coherence to derive good quality measurements out of the data. You could probably do something over urban area, but over vegetation, either try with only 6 days interval, or try to use other lower frequency band (L-band for example with ALOS or P-band from any airbone campaign if available)

Let us know! I am curious of your achiements on this goal

I can recommend these two resources of the EO college which have been published lately:


It was done with Airborne SAR data but it might help you to find out if it is feasible with Sentinel-1.

PolSARpro also has a Tomography module but I didn’t manage to get results with quadpol ALOS-2 data so far:
Maybe you want to test what I tried with Sentinel-1: Calibration in PolSARpro problem

Studies using TomoSAR on Sentinel-1:



Note that the last article about TomoSAR talks about the inclusion in this platform PSI capability ( Persistent Scatterers Interferometry) to estimate subsidence using TOPS Sentinel-1 data. Do not mention the use of Sentinel-1 data for tomography applications. Not sure if I am missing something tho…

About SAOCOM, is L-band, as I said, if you want to get coherence from canopy to soil, P-band airbone and L-band is the best you may get. With C-band you can try, and please let us know.

you are right - the last one is not about TomoSAR itself.

Thank you for your reply. I don’t have any airborne P-band data and due to financial constraints I have to work with freely available data only. I will try to do it with Sentinel-1 data.

Thank you for your reply. I will try to do tomography with Sentinel-1 and inform you about the results.

Hey, did you find some interesting results with S1? I´m going to the same direction in mexican mangrove, nut still in preproces. Dou you have a mail for send you some quick questions? Thanks

It’s great to know that you are working on the same topic. I was busy in field sampling for the last couple of months so that I couldn’t spend any time on tomographic processing. I started working on it again from the previous week. Once I get any result, I will post it in this thread. By that time if you get any result, please post it here.


you can download the JPL’s UAVSAR data, it is a free L band airborne SAR data, also it provide the dataset for tomoSAR application. plus, the data is acquired in GAPON national park, the pupose is to estimate the canopy height.

hope to see your progress

Hello ABraun,

I performed PolSAR Tomography on RADARSAT2 and UAVSAR data, both datasets are providing good results. I used both Python and PolSARPro for this purpose.

sounds great! Do you want to share some of your results in here?

Hello, I just saw that you used python and polsarpro to complete the tomographic processing of UAVSAR data. I want to ask if you have any experience you can share? I have many problems when using polsarpro to tomographic process UAVSAR data. For example, what format is used or whether there are relevant learning materials.

Have you seen this?

No, I have not. Thanks for mentioning it.

Hi everyone, please can you help me find useful links to learn how to simulate data for Tomography reconstruction, i am completely lost, i can’t find anything ???

May I ask why you want to do that?

yes, of course. well i want to evaluate the tomographic reconstruction of the reflectivity profil generated by the CAPON and MUSIC algorithms. To do so, i want to simulate data with sentinel-1 parameters before jumping to real data. I can’t find anything about it.

Speaking of SNAP, there is a SAR Simulation tool which might be a start. Anything beyond that is probably better done in PolSARpro.

SAR tomography normally requires SAR images acquired with a wide range of spatial baselines. Since Sentinel-1 has a narrow orbit tube, it is unlikely to work well for tomography.