- Course: PhD in Remote Sensing
- PhD title: Hazard Monitoring in Space: Next-generation InSAR Time-Series Analysis
- Nationality: British
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jcobconnolly/
Jacob Connolly is studying for a PhD in Remote Sensing on the Satellite Data in Environmental Science Centre for Doctoral Training (SENSE CDT). He is supervised by supervisors Professor Andy Hooper and Professor Tim Wright.
Jacob ultimately decided to apply for the SENSE CDT because of the extensive training offered. He said:
“Through the large amounts of training, there is also a lot of opportunities to meet and network with other research both here at Leeds and further afield.
“I did my undergraduate degree in Physics with Astrophysics so although I was confident with the technical and computational side of my project, I was unfamiliar with some of the geophysical processes that cause the ground to deform so having the training available helped give me the grounding I needed to get started with my PhD programme.”
Having the training available helped give me the grounding I needed to get started with my PhD programme.
Time-series analysis for hazard monitoring
Jacob’s project is based on improving InSAR time-series analysis for hazard monitoring. He explained:
“Although InSAR is an extremely useful tool for understanding how the ground changes as a result of natural and anthropogenic processes, it is not perfect. For example, for areas absent of man-made structures or other features that provide a coherent scattering surface for the microwaves, you can get intermittent coherence.
“This means that the quality of the measurements extracted from SAR data heavily depends on the type of surface being observed. I hope to be able to improve the processing techniques to extract better quality measurements from the available data.”
Working with SatSense
The CASE partner for Jacob’s project is SatSense, which is a university spin-out company founded by two of my supervisors Professor Andy Hooper and Professor Tim Wright. They provide ground deformation measurements of the UK using data gathered by ESA's Sentinel-1 SAR satellites.
“My project is aimed at improving InSAR time-series analysis capabilities to extract better quality measurements for varying surface types and characteristics so there is potential for the outcomes of my project to improve the services they can offer.
“They are also able to provide processed data for use in case studies. SatSense also provides funding for my project that contributes to research costs, conference attendance, fieldwork etc.”
SatSense... provides funding for my project that contributes to research costs, conference attendance, fieldwork etc.
Jacob explained that, most of the time, his research consists of writing and running code to process InSAR time-series and assessing the performance of algorithms. He added:
“I also do computational modelling of InSAR data to understand how changes in the behaviour of the scattering characteristics of the ground affect the measurements extracted. Since my research area is remote sensing, the bulk of my work is computational.”