No cloud effects in SAR images? Think again.

It’s usually assumed that Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images can penetrate through clouds, giving you an image regardless of cloud cover conditions. Well, that’s true…most of the time. Heavy clouds can still have an effect, especially for shorter wavelengths such as X and C bands.

I was really (and nerdily) excited after looking at the image below. A big, diffuse black spot over smooth forest, that isn’t there in the images taken 23 days before or after. Granted, I’m not 100% sure it’s a cloud, but what else could it be?

If you disagree, let me know in the comments!

Clouds in a Radarsat-1 image of Curuai Lake, Amazon floodplain, Brazil. Click for larger image.

If you’re curious about where in the world is this place, look here.

Usage of the image above is granted under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unreported License.

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