Surface Deformation and Change (SDC)

Deformation measurements, such as Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR), are an important tool for understanding the dynamics of earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, glaciers, groundwater, and the deep interior; for quantifying the rates and driving processes of sea-level change and landscape change; and for supporting hazard forecasts and disaster impact assessments.

The NRC 2017 Earth Decadal Survey recommended a new NASA “Designated” program element to address a set of five high-value Targeted Observables during the next decadal period. In response to that recommendation, and based on guidance from NASA’s Earth Science Division, a multi-Center study team was assembled to perform studies associated with the cost-capped Surface Deformation and Change (SDC) Targeted Observable. The SDC Study described here has three main objectives, namely: 

  1. Identify and characterize a diverse set of observing architectures, including innovative observing systems that have the potential for disrupting the norm for SDC observations
  2. Assess the ability of each of the architectures to meet SDC objectives, including cost effectiveness
  3. Perform sufficient in-depth design study of one selected architecture to enable rapid initiation of a Phase A concept study

To accomplish these objectives, the Study team will harness national expertise in Earth Science research, applications, technology, mission formulation and implementation. The team comprises all NASA centers with relevant expertise and engages major stakeholder organizations in government, academia, and industry. The SDC study started in October 2018, and will end in September 2023. At the end of this study documents to hold a Mission Concept Review will be generated for the selected architecture. NASA Headquarters will use the capabilities assessed through this study to prepare the announcement of opportunity for a future mission. 

< Back to Decadal Survey