SNAP Sentinel-1 Polarimetric Processing

This block provides a common polarimetric processing workflow with SNAP that operates ESA SAFE format scenes.


Polarimetry is one way to extract insights from radar images (the other being interferometric analysis). Polarization is an important property of an electro-magnetic wave of radar, similarly to how spectral reflectance is an important component of imagery for analysis. Based off of ESA’s Sentinel Application Platform (SNAP), Polarimetric SAR Processing turns a Sentinel-1 GRD image into a multichannel GeoTIFF ready that is ready for analysis. The output images usually have two channels (similar to bands of optical images) which are called polarizations. These two channels contain information about 1) the surface structure or texture, which can indicate geology, ground cover or vegetation and 2) the dielectric constant, which can be thought of as the conductivity of the surface and can indicate water content or metal content.

The applied processing steps are calibration, creation of a land/sea mask (optional), application of a smoothing filter to reduce the noise effects of image “speckle”, terrain correction, and conversion to decibels. The modified source code is published as free software / open source here.

Please note: Block Version 1.4.1-public supports clipping scenes. Set "clip_to_aoi" to True and use the same coordinates for the SNAP parameters in Bounding Box, Contains or Intersect. The pricing for this block is based on the megabyte output size.

General InformationDescription
Block Typeprocessing (data preparation)
Supported Input TypesSentinel 1 L1C GRD in SAFE format
Resolutionidentical to the input
PerformanceDelivers output of all polarization types

Block Capabilities

This block supports the following input and output capabilities.


"input_capabilities": {
    "raster": {
        "up42_standard": {
          "format": "SAFE",
          "sensor": "Sentinel1GRD",
          "dtype": "uint16",
          "resolution": 10,
          "bands": {
            "or" : [
              ["HH", "HV", "alpha"], ["VV", "VH", "alpha"], ["HH", "alpha"], ["VV", "alpha"]
          "processing_level": "l1"


"output_capabilities": {
    "raster": {
        "up42_standard": {
          "format": "GTiff",
          "sensor": ">",
          "dtype": {"or" : ["uint16", "float"]},
          "resolution": ">",
          "bands": ">",
          "processing_level": ">"

More information

Click here to learn more about the block's documentation.

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